The Bahrain Grand Prix turned into a tense strategic tyre battle between Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who started from pole, and Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, who subsequently won the race after defending his advantage with more used tyres. Hamilton got in front after pitting earlier, but Verstappen was able to benefit from tyres that were 11 laps younger during the final stint. Both drivers ran different two-stop strategies.
Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas finished third after making a late final stop for the P Zero Yellow medium tyre, to claim the extra championship point for the fastest race lap. Sergio Perez also stopped three times on his Red Bull debut, finishing fifth after having started from the pitlane. AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly was the only other three-stopper, following a first pit stop due to a contact.
Temperatures were much cooler on race day than they had been previously during the weekend, with 21 degrees ambient and track temperatures of around 25 degrees, as well as gusting winds.
There were a number of different strategies seen throughout the action-packed race, which was shortened by one lap after an extra formation lap. In total, we saw five different strategies in the top six.
2021 Driver Standings
|1.||44||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes-AMG Petronas||1:32:03.897||25|
|2.||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing||+0.745s||18|
|3.||77||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes-AMG Petronas||+37.383s||16|
|4.||4||Lando Norris||McLaren Racing||+46.466s||12|
|5.||11||Sergio Perez||Red Bull Racing||+52.047s||10|
|6.||16||Charles Leclerc||Scuderia Ferrari||+59.090s||8|
|7.||3||Daniel Ricciardo||McLaren Racing||+66.004s||6|
|8.||55||Carlos Sainz||Scuderia Ferrari||+67.100s||4|
|9.||22||Yuki Tsunoda||Scuderia AlphaTauri||+85.692s||2|
|10.||18||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin F1 Team||+86.713s||1|
|11.||7||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Orlen||+88.864s||0|
|12.||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Orlen||+1 lap||0|
|13.||31||Esteban Ocon||Alpine F1 Team||+1 lap||0|
|14.||63||George Russel||Williams Racing||+1 lap||0|
|15.||5||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin F1 Team||+1 lap||0|
|16.||47||Mick Schumacher||Uralkali Haas F1 Team||+1 lap||0|
|17.||10||Pierre Gasly||Scuderia AlphaTauri||DNF||0|
|18.||6||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Racing||DNF||0|
|19.||14||Fernando Alonso||Alpine F1 Team||DNF||0|
|20.||9||Nikita Mazepin||Uralkali Haas F1 Team||DNF||0|