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Hamilton Edges Verstappen For 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix Victory

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Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton claimed the 2021 Formula One season-opening win at the Bahrain Grand Prix – holding off Red Bull’s Max Verstappen for the victory.

Verstappen had claimed the pole position for the race with Hamilton starting alongside him in the first row. As it was about to begin, the race was briefly delayed as Verstappen’s new Red Bull teammate, Sergio Perez, experienced a technology issue during the formation lap and had to move to the side of the track to solve the problem, causing the rest of the field to take an extra formation lap and Perez to start the race from the pit lane.

Once started, Verstappen beat Hamilton to the first corner and proceeded to hold that lead for the next 17 laps as a battle of pit strategies ensued – Hamilton had pitted on Lap 14 and took the lead when Verstappen pitted on Lap 17. Hamilton returned the favor 12 laps later and Verstappen took the lead on Lap 29. A mere 11 laps later, Verstappen took his final pit stop and ceded an 8.8 second lead to Hamilton and then began the process of trying to chase down and overtake Hamilton over the final 15 laps of the race.

On Lap 53, it appeared as though he succeeded when he finally did pass Hamilton but in doing so, Verstappen went beyond the track limits and sensing he would be penalized by race stewards for that maneuver, he immediately gave the position back to Hamilton. With new life, Hamilton was then able to stave off Verstappen for the final four laps of the race.

In addition to the victory, Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate, Valtteri Bottas, finished in the third and final podium position and also claimed a point for the race’s fastest lap, giving Mercedes 41 points to Red Bull’s 28 points in the first race of the season.

2021 Bahrain Grand Prix Top 10

1] Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes
2] Max Verstappen – Red Bull
3] Valtteri Bottas – Mercedes
4] Lando Norris – McLaren
5] Sergio Perez – Red Bull
6] Charles Leclerc – Ferrari
7] Daniel Ricciardo – McLaren
8] Carlos Sainz, Jr. – Ferrari
9] Yuki Tsunoda – Alpha Tauri
10] Lance Stroll – Aston Martin

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