Bahrain Grand Prix Report: Rosberg extends lead as Raikkonen splits the Mercs

Some early troubles for Lewis Hamilton allowed Nico Rosberg to take the race win while Raikkonen also took advantage to secure a 2nd place finish.

Bahrain Grand Prix Report: Rosberg extends lead as Raikkonen splits the Mercs
Nico Rosberg held onto his lead to win his second victory of the season | Photo: AP

Nico Rosberg took his fifth consecutive win in Bahrain as he extends his lead at the top of the Driver's Championship in his bid to stop Lewis Hamilton from winning three Driver's Championships in a row.

The German driver held on to the top step of the podium for Mercedes having jumped Lewis Hamilton on the race to the first corner, Kimi Raikkonen meanwhile secured his first podium finish of the season as he finished second with Hamiton completing the podium.

Behind the race leaders, Daniel Ricciardo continued Red Bull's resurgence as he took fourth place while Romain Grosjean continued Haas' amazing start to F1 with a fifth place finish. Max Verstappen, Danil Kvyat, Felipe Massa, Valtteri Bottas and the impressive debutant Stoffel Vandoorne completed the point scoring places.

Rosberg takes advantage of Lewis' bad luck

After Hamilton's spectacular lap record qualifying performance yesterday, many expected that the race trophy would likely end up going home with the Englishman, it wasn't to be, however. The World Champion didn't get a good start off the line and was already behind his teammate before the first corner. Things soon went from bad to worse for Hamilton as when he turned into the first corner Bottas attempted to get through a gap that was never really there and tagged Hamilton sending bits of the Mercedes car flying around the track.

Rosberg more than took advantage. While the rest of the cars were bunched up behind the stricken Mercedes the German immediately had the hammer down and extended a realistically unassailable lead. The German wasn't the only benefactor however as Raikkonen also built a lead away from the pack to secure a very important second place finish for Ferrari.

The crash didn't only hinder Hamilton's chances however as Bottas' driving exuberance landing him with a drive-through penalty leaving his race in damage control and only just managing to hold onto a ninth place finish.

Ferrari have the pace, but do they have the reliability?

So far this season Ferrari have proved that they certainly have the pace to at least challenge the Mercedes at the head of the race. So far the impressive pace of the Italian outfit has caused some highly entertaining racing, but questions are beginning to be asked about the reliability of the Ferrari outfit and whether they actually have the reliability to pose a serious threat to Mercedes' Constructor's Championship campaign.

Two podium finishes in as many races have proved the Ferarri threat, especially the 2nd place finish today.  However, they have also suffered two retirements in as many races. Neither have the retirements have been caused by any external factors and today the problem was so bad Sebastian Vettel couldn't even begin the race, giving him his first ever Did Not Start in his Formula 1 career.

The new boys impress

This Bahrain Grand Prix did feature some highly exciting racing, it is likely to be remembered due to the impressive performances from the new faces on the grid.

Romain Grosjean Once Again Secured Points For The Haas Newbies | Photo: f1

While many expected Haas to be somewhat competitive in their first season in F1, very few were expecting a return of 18 points in 2 races. So far Romain Grosjean has been the man to secure all 18 of those points and in truth Haas could have even more points, they have twice been unlucky with Esteban Gutierrez, once the victim of that horror crash with Fernando Alonso and now today with a spot of engine unreliability today.

It wasn't just Haas however that have been enjoying a good start to life in Formula One. Stoffel Vandoorne made a very impressive start to his life in F1.  Given an eleventh hour call-up to race following Fernando Alonso's injuries from his horror crash in Australia. Vandoorne has made an enormous impact on the grid immediately. The Belgian youngster out-qualified his experienced team-mate, Jenson Button, and then finished off his impressive qualifying job with a highly impressive 9th place finish today.