F1 Bahrain Grand Prix - LIVE - Live coverage - The Independent

F1 Bahrain Grand Prix - LIVE



BY JACK DE MENEZES
by Jack de Menezes
Welcome to The Independent's live coverage of the Bahrain Grand Prix, brought to you live from the Sakhir International Circuit.

We want to hear from you. To do this, click the 'Make a Comment' button below and we'll re-post the best ones. 

Follow the latest news and updates below...
  • Welcome to The Independent's live coverage of the Bahrain Grand Prix, brought to you live from the Sakhir International Circuit.
    4/6/2014 1:38:23 PM
  • 4/6/2014 1:40:28 PM
  • So with the memory of the season-opening race in Melbourne still fresh in our minds, we already find ourselves at the third race of the season in Bahrain. Talk of quiet engines, fuel conservation and the Silver Arrows leading the way has dominated to headlines, but will we get any changes today? Lets take a look at the news so far.
    4/6/2014 1:48:43 PM
  • Rosberg claimed pole after Hamilton made a late error in final qualifying:

    So far Mercedes have lit up the track on their own with blistering pace none of their rivals have been able to come close to. Hamilton, however, made a mistake on his final run, locking up at one point and handing the initiative to Rosberg, who claimed pole for the second consecutive time at this track.

    To read our qualifying report, CLICK HERE.
    4/6/2014 1:52:50 PM
  • The day was brightened up by the positive news surrounding Michael Schumacher:
    As an antidote to the negative taint on much of the recent news about Formula One, the revelation that Michael Schumacher is showing the first genuine signs of positive progress swept like a breath of fresh air through the paddock in Sakhir yesterday.
    To read more of David Tremayne's report from Saturday, CLICK HERE.
    4/6/2014 1:54:20 PM
  • After The Independent revealed that a new team is expected to join the grid in 2015, Bernie Ecclestone admitted that two new teams are likely for next season:

    Gene Haas, one half of the successful Stewart-Haas Racing team that competes in NASCAR, has long been a favourite to be given a slot. Another potential newcomer is StefanGP, run by former Hispania and Midland team principal Colin Kolles, and with bases in Serbia and Germany.

    To read more on what Ecclestone said on Sunday morning, CLICK HERE.
    4/6/2014 1:56:01 PM
  • A lot of talk this morning has surrounded Ferrari's Luca Di Montezemolo...
    To read why, and also what radical changes could be brought in to F1 this season, CLICK HERE.

    4/6/2014 2:06:08 PM
  • Here's the starting grid for the Bahrain GP:
    1. Rosberg
    2. Hamilton
    3. Bottas
    4. Perez
    5. Raikkonen
    6. Button
    7. Massa
    8. Magnussen
    9. Alonso
    10. Vettel
    11. Hulkenberg
    12. Kvyat
    13. Ricciardo (10-place grid penalty)
    14. Vergne
    15. Gutierrez
    16. Grosjean
    17. Maldonado
    18. Kobayashia
    19. Bianchi
    20. Ericsson
    21. Chilton
    22. Sutil (5-place grid penalty)
    4/6/2014 2:12:01 PM
  • Just half an hour until the race gets underway. A lot of support coming for Lewis Hamilton in the poll so far. Does he 2008 World Champion need to jump his team-mate at the start, or can he still pass him in the race? Send us your thoughts, and don't forget to vote!
    4/6/2014 2:32:13 PM
  • Pre-race thoughts and a handy little stat for you:

    4/6/2014 2:33:20 PM
  • Button gets into his McLaren ahead of his 250th start:

    4/6/2014 2:35:08 PM
  • It's wonderful to see Williams back competing at the front after years of running down the field. The historical marque stand a real chance of securing a podium finish today - possibly more - with Bottas starting in third and Massa seventh. Could they steal a victory if trouble hits the Mercs?
    4/6/2014 2:39:10 PM
  • There's some concern regarding the brakes and how they will wear during the race. Bahrain is notoriously harder on the brakes than any other track given the long straights and tight corners, and there was a fair amount of brake dust seen in both practice and qualifying.
    4/6/2014 2:43:21 PM
  • On the grid, Ron Dennis has been pretty scathing about the proposed rule changes. The McLaren chief feels that they all chose and approved the rules, and just because some teams are struggling shouldn't mean that they need to be changed. Except he said it in much, much stronger terms. Meow.
    4/6/2014 2:48:53 PM
  • Just 10 minutes until the race gets underway. Nerves are building in Bahrain, although Jenson Button is in good spirits as he speaks with Martin Brundle - refusing to talk unless he puts a 'Button 250' shirt on. Meanwhile, Bernie is having a chat with ACDC frontman Brian Johnson. Does a rock career await for the F1 supremo? Probably not...
    4/6/2014 2:52:49 PM
  • Hearing that Vettel will start on the harder tyres in an effort to run longer on the first stint and make some late progression through the top 10 when he's on the softer tyres. We'll have to wait and see how that strategy works out.
    4/6/2014 2:59:48 PM
  • The cars are on their warm-up lap with final preparations complete.
    4/6/2014 3:00:40 PM
  • Worries that Perez had stalled on the grid, but he got away after a brief delay and is able to take his place in fourth given that the field hadn't passed him.
    4/6/2014 3:01:34 PM
  • 4/6/2014 3:01:37 PM
  • Rosberg leads the pack round, and they're just coming onto the grid to line-up for the race start. Can the German hold off Hamilton and Bottas into the first corner? Here we go...
    4/6/2014 3:03:18 PM
  • Final pre-race thoughts:

    4/6/2014 3:04:11 PM
  • Lights out: Hamilton jumps Rosberg off the start into turn 1!
    4/6/2014 3:04:50 PM
  • Lap 1: Brilliant start from Hamilton as the Briton out-braked his team-mate into turn one. Rosberg charged back into turn four, but Hamilton pushed his team-mate off the track - legally -  to maintain position. Massa jumped four places into third, with Bottas slipping to sixth, though he has now passed Button into fifth. Vergne span-off and suffered a read puncture, and he evetually recovers to the pits.
    4/6/2014 3:08:14 PM
  • Lap 2: Further down the field, Alonso jumped Raikonnen to get up to seventh, just behind Button and ahead of Hulkenberg who has a massive flat-spot after a first corner lock-up. Kimi is complaining in the radio that Magnussen hit him again, after they clashed last week in Malaysia.
    4/6/2014 3:10:02 PM
  • Lap 3: Vettel didn't make any progress off the start, and remains in tenth two places ahead of his team-mate Raikkonen. 
    4/6/2014 3:11:11 PM
  • Lap 4: Replays show that Magnussen and Raikkonen did clash coming out of turn six, with the McLaren appearing to run into the Ferrari. Rosberg is creeping up on Hamilton, who responds with the fastest lap. However, Rosberg is given the message that he is saving more fuel than the leader. Hulkenberg ghosts past the Ferrari of Alonso to take seventh going into turn one. 
    4/6/2014 3:13:48 PM
  • Lap 6: Hamilton is given a message just to look after his front-left tyre, and that he's experience some more understeer than Rosberg. The Force India's are running strong, and look like they're going to give the Williams' and the McLaren of Button some trouble in the next few laps.
    4/6/2014 3:15:15 PM
  • Lap 7: Both Raikkonen and Vettel are right behind Alonso, and the Spaniard looks to be under significant pressure with both in DRS range.
    4/6/2014 3:16:37 PM
  • Hamilton challenges Rosberg at the start


    4/6/2014 3:17:45 PM
  • Lap 7: Sutil pits from 20th to change his medium tyres for the softs.
    4/6/2014 3:18:14 PM
  • Lap 8: Ricciardo dives under Magnussen going into turn one, but massively overcooks it and runs off the track allowing the Dane back through. Kvyat sees a chance and challenges the recovering Aussie, but thinks better of it as Riccardo hols 12th.
    4/6/2014 3:20:00 PM
  • Lap 9: That'll do for Button, as he executes a masterful overtake through turns one and two for fifth. It gets worse for Bottas as Hulkenberg follows Button through, and loses two places in two corners.
    4/6/2014 3:21:36 PM
  • Lap 10: Hamilton has Vergne in his sights as he comes round to lap the Toro Rosso, but Rosberg is dangerously close to the leader and looks to be in a strong position. Bottas pits from seventh for a new set of tyres, and emerges in 18th.
    4/6/2014 3:22:59 PM
  • Lap 12: Perez challenges Massa for third, and manages to get past after some brilliant jostling. Massa comes back at turn eight, but Perez holds on in the Force India. Ricciardo switches back at turn nine to pass Magnussen for 11th.
    4/6/2014 3:25:45 PM
  • Lap 13: Alonso pits from eighth, but Ferrari have lost a lot of time with the Spaniard struggling. Sutil has stopped on track at turn one, and appears to have clashed with Bianchi at turn four, and then again at turn one the following lap.
    4/6/2014 3:28:02 PM
  • Lap 13: Raikkonen pits from eighth and comes out behind Alonso and Kobayashi in 15th. Vettel reports that his DRS has failed, and Ricciardo is closing in on his team-mate for sixth.
    4/6/2014 3:29:09 PM
  • Lap 15: Ricciardo is given the go-ahead to pass Vettel, and the Australian wastes little time in doing so as the reigning world champions lets him go. Hulkenberg pits, but that hasn't worked out as he's now behind Raikkonen and Kvyat.
    4/6/2014 3:31:56 PM
  • Lap 16: Hulkenberg doesn't hand around, and passes Raikkonen and Kvyat within two corners on his out-lap. Perez pits from third, but Button stays out for another lap. Vettel is also coming in.
    4/6/2014 3:33:03 PM
  • Lap 18: Rosberg surprises Hamilton and dives under his team-mate for the lead into turn one. Hamilton fights back, and manages to hold off the German as he resumes his lead. No doubt about it though, they're open to race at the front! Rosberg screams down the radio: "Warn him, that was not on!"
    4/6/2014 3:35:11 PM
  • Lap 19: Rosberg is angry as Hamilton switched back on Rosberg before moving across the front of his team-mate. Rosberg comes again a lap later, but Hamilton is responding. Lewis challenges again at turn four, before steaming up the inside of Rosberg into turn five. Brilliant stuff.
    4/6/2014 3:36:46 PM
  • Lap 20: Hamilton pits to end a brilliant battle over those two laps. Hamilton gets a good stop and should be beneficial of the undercut. Rosberg will go for two more laps before switching to a two-stopper. Elsewhere, both Force India's drive past Alonso in a straight line. If ever there was an advert for Mercedes power.
    4/6/2014 3:38:21 PM
  • Lap 22: Hamilton emerges safely in second, and we wait for Rosberg to pit. Button pitted during that epic battle, and has suffered badly as he emerges in ninth. Bottas, the first to pit, is now up in third ahead of his team-mate, and that's one for the Williams strategists.
    4/6/2014 3:40:12 PM
  • Lap 23: Rosberg pits from the lead and puts on the hard tyres. He's lost out significantly as he comes out of the pits as Hamilton enters turn one.
    4/6/2014 3:41:46 PM
  • Lap 24: Bottas may have jumped up to third, but he's got a rather large train behind him. Massa is right on his tail, claiming: "He's losing his tyres!" on the radio, and both Hulkenberg and Perez are also there for company.
    4/6/2014 3:45:34 PM
  • Lap 25: Vettel squeezes past Raikkonen for ninth and there's life left in the Red Bull. Massa is challenging Bottas, but the Finn holds on despite the clear speed and grip difference.
    4/6/2014 3:47:19 PM
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