FORMULA 1 GULF AIR BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX 2019
Location: Sakhir, Bahrain
Race Weekend: 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix
It’s here! The second race of the 2019 Formula 1 season and here, you’ll be able to see live race updates as they happen – including driver interviews and photos from the paddock.
With Charles Leclerc on pole, anything can happen – will Ferrari let Charles Leclerc remain in the lead? Will Sebastian Vettel be able to take the lead and will it be a close battle with the Merc’s or have Ferrari found the lost pace from Australia?
It’s set to be a great race and one thing is for sure – I can’t wait!
Below, you can take a look at some of the photos from earlier today – drivers with fans, signing autographs and taking photos.
PRE RACE DRIVER INTERVIEWS (Track Parade) – 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix
Here are some of the drivers speaking ahead of the race and below, you can see what they have to say on the track parade.
Charles Leclerc: “It’s been a positive day. I’ve been dreaming about this day and my focus now is to have a clean race and remain in the lead – making sure I stay in the lead. The most difficult thing here is the difference in the grid and the position as we normally start the practice further behind. Thank you to everyone for the positive comments, it means a lot when you have the support and thank you.”
Valtteri Bottas: “I’m sure that we can do plenty from fourth, we seem to have an OK race pace and nothing has been lost yet so we will do all we can to get ahead of the Ferrari’s. We will be ideally in the same position as Melbourne but they (Ferrari) are a few steps ahead.”
Max Verstappen: “I think today I’ll be defending from Carlos (Sainz) – the numbers are all over the place at the moment but we will try and follow Mercedes. It’s really windy today, I don’t know if that will help us but we will see. You cannot change the car after qualifying but we will try to have a good race.”
Carlos Sainz: “I wish I can overtake Max – it’s a joke more than a reality but we will see. The Red Bull’s have good pace and I think getting past them is a dream. In testing in Barcelona, we have taken a few steps forward and we were stronger – we have shown that we are a few steps forward.”
Lewis Hamilton: “I enjoy the intensity of qualifying – it requires that extra perfection in qualifying and we’re in fighting distance so we’ll give them a good race and battle them. Things can go either way but generally Ferrari have good starts – the strategy will be interesting, you can see how windy it is, but we’ll be giving it everything for sure.”
Sebastian Vettel: “It’s been a good day for us – a big difference from Australia and back to where we thought we should be. It’s very windy today – this will play a factor and we will do all we can for today. Generally this year, the DRS is quite big and I think overtaking will be likely – we start from the front but I think it will be a tight race.”
Mattia Binotto says that their drivers are allowed to race and only if there is any “necessities” will team orders be placed – adding, if Charles can stay in front then he’s in front.
If this is the case, this is good news – we want racing in F1.
Lewis Hamilton signing fans merchandise earlier today.
Pit Lane – 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix
There’s not long to go ahead of the race and drivers are now getting ready – they’re in the garages getting prepared for the Bahrain Grand Prix and going through things with their race engineers.
The sun has started to set and the floodlights have come on – it’s getting close to the race.
PIT LANE NOW OPEN
Drivers are now making their way out of the garages and down the pit-lane.
The drivers have now made their way onto the grid – Charles Leclerc settled in pole position and last minute run throughs are taking place amongst the havoc on the pit-lane.
Lewis Hamilton is talking to his race engineer, known as Bono, and going through the last few details and race information.
Havoc on the grid – crowds surrounding Charles Leclerc who spoke to the media. This is what he had to say.
Charles Leclerc: “There’s a lot of people here but I will try and focus on myself. It will be important to start well. This will be a difficult race as there’s a lot of wind to take into consideration. The exit of Turn 4 is windy and we’ll have to see how it goes. At the moment, I’m just thinking about the race, the race start and going through everything – it’s very important to put your energy into one thing and this is what I’m doing.”
LIVE RACE – 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix
Drivers are now making their way round the circuit – getting their cars ready for the start of the 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix.
Sebastian Vettel makes his way to the front with Bottas right behind – Leclerc seems to have a problem as he’s struggling for grip, could this be due to not having his tyre temperature right?
Lewis Hamilton is right behind Leclerc.
Leclerc now manages to make his way past Bottas with a battle between Hamilton and Bottas however Hamilton just manages to claim position and is back in P3.
It’s Vettel, Leclerc, Hamilton and Bottas who are the top 4 and this is going to be close!
Sebastian Vettel leading the race with his team-mate right behind.
DRS is now enabled.
The two Ferrari’s are looking strong yet again but Mercedes aren’t too far behind. This will now be about strategies and handling the pressure.
There’s a battle between Sainz and Verstappen however there’s damage for Sainz! Damage for Sainz!
Charles Leclerc has now found his pace and is closing the gap to his team-mate, Sebastian Vettel. He’s right behind him – closing the gap.
Pressure for Vettel with his team-mate right behind – it’s close!
Charles Leclerc makes it past Vettel in a good move – he gained speed quickly.
Vettel tries to come back and overtake Leclerc – so much so that he nearly goes into the back of his team-mate!
Drivers have now started coming into the pits – Kimi Rakkonen was one of the first drivers following a radio call from his team asking “any problems with the front wing?” to which Kimi Raikkonen replied “I don’t know, you tell me….”
NO FURTHER ACTION FOR THE INCIDENT BETWEEN VERSTAPPEN AND SAINZ
Verstappen now comes into the pits – we’ve got quite a few drivers coming into the pits but the front runners have remained out on track – the strategy will play a big part in the race.
A spin for Daniil Kvyat!
In the meantime – Valtteri Bottas comes into the pits, this is to cover of Max Verstappen. Lewis Hamilton on the other hand is right behind Sebastian Vettel with Leclerc in the lead.
Verstappen now makes his way past Bottas.
Hamilton now comes into the pits – a quick stop for him.
Sebastian Vettel now comes into the pits – Hamilton stays in front of Vettel however he has Leclerc and Ricciardo in front of him.
This is going to be a good race.
Battles going on throughout the circuit – drivers are all battling and pushing.
Lewis Hamilton is right behind Ricciardo – he’s on fresh tyres whereas Ricciardo hasn’t stopped yet.
Leclerc leads the race with Hamilton in P2 – Vettel is down in P4 at the moment.
Leclerc sets the fastest lap time.
It’s Charles Leclerc, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel who are currently the top 3 drivers for the 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix but there’s a long way to go!
Romain Grosjean is OUT of the race. A disappointment for Haas.
Leclerc is leading the race and quite comfortably at the moment. Lewis Hamilton has dropped back a little bit – he goes wide on the last corner allowing Sebastian Vettel to gain on him.
A battle between Hulkenberg and Raikkonen – Raikkonen keeping close to Hulkenberg who’s ahead. It’s close between the two.
Lewis Hamilton on the radio to his team whilst Sebastian Vettel is closing the gap.
Every turn, Vettel closes the gap even more – Hamilton seems to be struggling on his tyres by saying “my rears are done”.
Lewis Hamilton: “I’m a sitting duck out here guys” He’s not happy with his tyres.
Sebastian Vettel now in P2 and on the way to catch up to his team-mate.
Leclerc still leading the race.
Lando Norris has now closed the gap to Kimi Raikkonen.
Kimi Raikkonen on the other hand is covering the moves and maintaining his position – for now.
Norris just manages to make his way past Raikkonen.
Charles Leclerc is now lapping back markers – he’s handling the race and staying comfortable in the lead.
He’s also got the fastest lap time so extra points for him and the team.
Lewis Hamilton still struggling on his tyres – suffering a lockup.
There’s battles all around the circuit as Max Verstappen now comes into the pits. There was a problem with his pit-stop, a delay.
Max Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen now battling. Max Verstappen makes his way past. The latter part of the 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix will be lively!
Lewis Hamilton now comes into the pits. Leclerc is still in the lead with Vettel right behind.
Bottas is up in P3 and Lewis Hamilton is right behind.
There’s battles going on throughout the midfield – Ricciardo leading Hulkenberg. Verstappen behind Hamilton.
Vettel now comes into the pits – Bottas up in P2. Lewis Hamilton now right behind Sebastian Vettel who’s just come out the pits.
Leclerc: “I’m struggling a lot”.
Vettel also struggling to keep Lewis Hamilton behind him – Lewis Hamilton now has DRS and has found pace on his new tyres.
Leclerc now comes into the pits with Bottas just behind.
Lewis Hamilton sets the fastest lap time – he’s closing the gap and the two come close – so close in fact that it looked liked they touched however Hamilton went wide.
WOW – what a battle between Vettel and Hamilton. Hamilton manages to make it past however Vettel spins! He spins and loses places.
To add more bad luck – the front wing of his car comes off and he makes his way back to the pits for a tyre change and front wing change – ruining his race, for now.
What a race the Bahrain Grand Prix is turning out to be!
Kimi Raikkonen now manages to make his way past Ricciardo – he’s up into P8
Leclerc: “There’s something strange with the engine”
He’s losing time – Hamilton on the other hand is closing the gap.
In the meantime, there’s a fight between Kimi Raikkonen and Lando Norris – at the moment, Kimi Raikkonen is still behind Norris.
Leclerc: “WHAT’S HAPPENING!?” He’s shouting on the radio – not happy after leading the race, comfortably and overall in a great way.
Lewis Hamilton is closing the gap.
There’s an issue with Leclerc’s car – there’s a problem and Lewis Hamilton is now right behind the driver.
The team telling Leclerc if he manages to keep going at this rate – they will stay in the same position, P2.
Lewis Hamilton now leading the race with his team-mate, Bottas in P3.
Sebastian Vettel on the other hand has managed to gain some places following a disaster earlier and is up to P5.
The team (Ferrari) now telling Leclerc to “stay calm” and to “bring the car home” with Leclerc replying “I will try”.
Oh No – both Renault’s have come off track. At first thought – it looked like the two team-mates had come together but it’s a failure for BOTH cars and this is an absolute disaster for Renault.
Carlos Sainz retires whereas his team-mate, Lando Norris is up in P6 – a great result for the McLaren driver.
Charles Leclerc could stay in P3 thanks to the safety car as Max Verstappen had started to close the gap.
It’s the final lap and the safety car is still in this lap – Lewis Hamilton is leading the race and as things stand, Charles Leclerc will be in P3 for the end of the race. Being on the comfort is something positive.
Team to Lewis Hamilton: “OK Lewis, the safety car will come in the pit lane and it’s the chequered flag”
LEWIS HAMILTON WINS THE 2019 BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX
Lewis Hamilton: “What a race – that was a shame for Charles, he drove such a great race. We have a lot of work to do to keep these cars on our tail.”
Charles Leclerc: “Ah, I don’t know what to say guys – I’m sorry. What a shame, what a shame…”
BRIEF PADDOCK INTERVIEWS
Lewis Hamilton: “Today was a really hard job. This weekend the Ferrari’s were amazing – I just went to see Charles and he did such an amazing job. I still gave it everything I could and I had the fight with Vettel too. There’s a massive headwind on the turn, I don’t think we touched or anything but this guy here (Leclerc) has a big future ahead of him.”
Valtteri Bottas: “As a team, we got a bit lucky today but overall, we didn’t make any mistakes today. Otherwise, it was a difficult race as the balance was difficult today for me. I never will make things easy – the first lap was good and there was good battles with Lewis too.”
Charles Leclerc: “This is what happens, it’s a part of motorsport and I’m confident that the team did an amazing job. The whole team is extremely disappointed – we have been lucky in an unlucky situation with the safety car. A very hard one to take but thanks to the team for an amazing car and I’m sure that we’ll come back stronger. We were strong throughout the race – this is just a part of racing.”
There’s lots more which will be online this evening – including driver interviews, team feedback and driver press conference features too so make sure you check back for all the latest!