Nico Rosberg has won the Bahrain Grand Prix ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and teammate Lewis Hamilton, as Sebastian Vettel fails to start the race due to an engine failure.

After getting the better start over his teammate who was on pole position, Rosberg jumped into the lead by the first corner while Valtteri Bottas ran into Hamilton at Turn One, causing the world champion to drop down the order into ninth position. The Finn was later handed a drive through penalty for the incident, which he served on the 10th lap.

Sergio Perez also made contact in the opening stages of the race when he attempted to pass Carlos Sainz Jr on the second lap. The Mexican dived in on the inside of Turn One and clipped the rear of Sainz, causing a puncture on the Toro Rosso. Sainz pitted immediately while Perez waited a lap to change his damaged front wing.

Rosberg began pulling away from the Williams pair of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas and created a 10 second lead by the 10th lap, while Hamilton was left to fight his way through the pack and managed to get himself up to sixth by the seventh lap.

Raikkonen was forced to recover along with Hamilton as the Finn had a terrible start and fell down the order. By the first round of pit stops the Ferrari driver had moved up into second position.

Daniel Ricciardo recovered from his own troubles at the start of the race as he lost part of his front wing during the Hamilton/Bottas incident. The Australian fought with the Williams drivers until the first round of stops, where Williams decided to put the medium compound tyre on for both of their drivers while Ricciardo put the softs on.

Daniil Kvyat struggled in the early stages of the race, failing to fight to keep position against the Williams drivers and Max Verstappen, although turned it around towards the end once he bolted on the super soft tyres and relegated both Bottas and Massa to finish the race in seventh.

Rosberg and Hamilton also differed in tyre strategy as the German opted for a set of new softs while Hamilton chose the Mediums for a longer stint.

Starting the race on the soft tyre, Pascal Wehrlein was able to run as high as seventh while Rio Haryanto climbed up to 11th before their first round of pit stops. Wehrlein continued his impressive day by challenging the Force India’s in the latter part of the race to finish in 13th position.

It was a poor performance from both Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez in the Force India’s, as neither driver found any sort of pace to challenge for a points paying position.

This left the door wide open for debutant Stoffel Vandoorne, who collected his first point in Formula 1 finishing in 10th position while his teammate Jenson Button retired on the seventh lap.

Romain Grosjean was again a strong contender for the drive of the day, as he wrestled his way to finish in fifth place, one position higher than the last race in Australia. His teammate Esteban Gutierrez was running just outside of the points when he was forced to retire on lap 11.

Jolyon Palmer joined Sebastian Vettel on the sidelines as he too failed to make the start, pulling into the pitlane on the formation lap due to a hydraulic problem.

Image via Mercedes AMG F1 Petronas

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Josh Kruse

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