F1 Bahrain GP Live: Lewis Hamilton wins season’s 1st GP after tense battle with Verstappen

Formula 1: Max Verstappen wins the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix, Hamilton in second
Formula 1: Max Verstappen wins the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix, Hamilton in second

F1 Bahrain GP – Lewis Hamilton Wins: Lewis Hamilton wins season’s 1st GP after tense battle with Verstappen: Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton won a nail-biting Bahrain Grand Prix season opener, triumphing over the Red Bull of Max Verstappen in a fantastic duel in the desert that went down to the very last lap of the race, as the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas completed the podium.

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“What a difficult race that was. Stopping early we knew was going to be difficult, but we had to cover Max. It was going to take something pretty special,” said Hamilton after his 96th career win.

“Max was all over me right at the end, but just managed to hold him off, one of most difficult races I have had for a while.”

F1 Bahrain GP – Lewis Hamilton Wins: Starting from the fourth pole position of his career, Verstappen had taken control of the race early on, but lost his advantage when Hamilton was able to undercut the Dutchman into the lead in the first round of pit stops. Following a second stop for both drivers – Verstappen’s coming 10 laps after Hamilton’s – a thrilling finale was set up, Verstappen eating into Hamilton’s lead before attempting a pass on Lap 53 but running too wide and giving the place back.

F1 Bahrain GP – Lewis Hamilton Wins: That would be Verstappen’s last opportunity, with Hamilton able to hold on until the flag to take his 96th career win by less than a second – while Hamilton also passed Michael Schumacher’s record of 5,111 for the most laps led in F1 history.