Formula 1: Lewis Hamilton wins in Bahrain, Romain Grosjean survives fiery wreck

Lewis Hamilton secured his 11th victory of the 2020 Formula 1 season at Bahrain International Circuit in the Bahrain Grand Prix, a race which featured Romain Grosjean surviving a fiery wreck.

In a shortened 2020 Formula 1 season, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton has managed to tie his career-high win total with his 11th victory of the year at Bahrain International Circuit in the Bahrain Grand Prix, the 17-race season’s antepenultimate race.

The win was his fifth in a row and the 95th of his career, and he has now led a career-high 613 laps this year, despite only 15 races and 895 laps having been contested.

But that was hardly the story of the race.

On the opening lap of the 57-lap race around the 15-turn, 3.363-mile (5.412-kilometer) road course in Sakhir, Bahrain, Romain Grosjean made a move across the track in an attempt to avoid flying debris from contact ahead as well as a car that had gone off track to his left.

In doing so, he veered right across the front of the AlphaTauri of Daniil Kvyat, sending his Haas straight into the barrier. But it wasn’t a “normal” barrier, in that it wasn’t a barrier where you’d normally expect to see a wreck.

As a result, it wasn’t protected like many of the crash barriers around Formula 1 tracks, and Grosjean’s car was split in two, with the front half slicing through the barrier before going up in flames. Grosjean was able to emerge from the flames relatively unharmed, save for a few burns.

Pictures of the crash damage illustrate the role of the halo in carving through the barrier. Pre-2018, it would have been his helmet.

On the ensuing restart, which did not take place until about an hour and a half later as a result of barrier repair work, Lance Stroll was hit in the side by Kvyat, sending his Racing Point flipping onto its top.

The race was clean from that point forward, but with only four laps remaining, puffs of smoke began to emerge from the Racing Point of Sergio Perez, who had run in the top three all race and was in line for a second consecutive podium finish for the first time in his career.

That forced him to drop out, and it led to the race ending under a safety car period, with Hamilton winning ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in second place.

Red Bull’s Alexander Albon, who crashed in practice, took advantage of Perez’s misfortune to finish in third place, marking his second career podium finish and a fantastic recovery from earlier in the weekend.

It also marked Red Bull’s first double podium finish in over three years, as they hadn’t pulled that off since the 2017 Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka Circuit when Verstappen finished in second place ahead of Daniel Ricciardo in third.

McLaren capitalized on the misfortunate of Racing Point, rounding out the top five to overtake their rivals for third place in the “best of the rest” battle in the constructor standings. Lando Norris finished in fourth ahead of Carlos Sainz Jr. in fifth.

AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly stayed out on old tires late to earn a sixth place finish ahead of Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo in seventh. Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas had another disastrous race and was only able to manage an eighth place finish, marking three finishes of eighth or worse in the last five events.

Renault’s Esteban Ocon and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc rounded out the top 10 in ninth and 10th place, respectively.

Here are the full race results of the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix at Bahrain International Circuit.

Race Results
1st – Lewis Hamilton
2nd – Max Verstappen
3rd – Alexander Albon
4th – Lando Norris
5th – Carlos Sainz Jr.
6th – Pierre Gasly
7th – Daniel Ricciardo
8th – Valtteri Bottas
9th – Esteban Ocon
10th – Charles Leclerc
11th – Daniil Kvyat
12th – George Russell
13th – Sebastian Vettel
14th – Nicholas Latifi
15th – Kimi Raikkonen
16th – Antonio Giovinazzi
17th – Kevin Magnussen
18th – Sergio Perez
19th – Lance Stroll
20th – Romain Grosjean

Here are the updated driver standings and constructor standings following Hamilton’s win.

Driver standings

Rank – Driver: Points (Behind)
1st – Lewis Hamilton: 332 (0)
2nd – Valtteri Bottas: 201 (-131)
3rd – Max Verstappen: 189 (-143)
4th – Daniel Ricciardo: 102 (-230)
5th – Sergio Perez: 100 (-232)
6th – Charles Leclerc: 98 (-234)
7th – Lando Norris: 86 (-246)
8th – Carlos Sainz Jr.: 85 (-247)
8th – Alexander Albon: 85 (-247)
10th – Pierre Gasly: 71 (-261)
11th – Lance Stroll: 59 (-273)
12th – Esteban Ocon: 42 (-290)
13th – Sebastian Vettel: 33 (-299)
14th – Daniil Kvyat: 26 (-306)
15th – Nico Hulkenberg: 10 (-322)
16th – Antonio Giovinazzi: 4 (-328)
16th – Kimi Raikkonen: 4 (-328)
18th – Romain Grosjean: 2 (-330)
19th – Kevin Magnussen: 1 (-331)
20th – Nicholas Latifi: 0 (-332)
20th – George Russell: 0 (-332)

Constructor standings

Rank – Constructor: Points (Behind)
1st – Mercedes: 533 (-)
2nd – Red Bull Racing-Honda: 274 (-259)
3rd – McLaren-Renault: 171 (-362)
4th – Racing Point-Mercedes: 154 (-379)
5th – Renault: 144 (-389)
6th – Ferrari: 131 (-402)
7th – AlphaTauri-Honda: 97 (-436)
8th – Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari: 8 (-525)
9th – Haas-Ferrari: 3 (-530)
10th – Williams-Mercedes: 0 (-533)

Bahrain International Circuit is slated to host another race, this one on the track’s outer layout, next Sunday, December 6. This race, the Sakhir Grand Prix, is the penultimate race on the 2020 Formula 1 schedule and is set to be broadcast live on ESPN beginning at 12:10 p.m. ET.