2014 Bahrain Grand Prix
|Race 3 of 19 in the 2014 Formula One season|
|Layout of the Bahrain International Circuit
Layout of the Bahrain International Circuit
|Date||6 April 2014|
|Official name||2014 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix|
|Location||Bahrain International Circuit
|Course||Permanent racing facility|
|Course length||5.412 km (3.363 mi)|
|Distance||57 laps, 308.238 km (191.530 mi)|
|Time||1:37.020 on lap 49|
The 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix, formally known as the 2014 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix, was a Formula One motor race held on 6 April 2014 at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, Bahrain. The 57-lap race was the third round of the 2014 season, and marked the tenth time that the Bahrain Grand Prix had been held as a round for the Formula One World Championship and the 900th World Championship event. The race was held as a night event, starting at 6:00pm local time under lights, similar to the Singapore Grand Prix. The decision to hold the race under lights was taken as a means of marking the tenth anniversary of the event.
Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes won the race after starting 2nd and overtaking teammate Nico Rosberg at the start. Rosberg finished second, with Force India's Sergio Pérez finishing third, scoring Force India's second ever podium, and first podium since Giancarlo Fisichella at the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix.
The race was notable for the race-long battle between Hamilton and Rosberg and a collision on lap 41 between the Lotus of Pastor Maldonado and the Sauber of Esteban Gutiérrez. Gutierrez was flipped over in a side impact caused by Maldonado; Maldonado served a 5 place grid penalty at the Chinese Grand Prix for causing the crash.
Tyre supplier Pirelli brought its white-banded medium compound tyre as the harder "prime" tyre and the yellow-banded soft compound tyre as the softer "option" tyre, as opposed to the previous year where hard and medium selections were provided.
Practice and qualifying
Three practice sessions were held before the race; two 90 minute sessions on Friday and one lasting an hour on Saturday. Lewis Hamilton was fastest in all three practice sessions.
Qualifying began at 6:00pm local time. Nico Rosberg secured his first pole position of the season in Q3 with a time of 1:33.185. Hamilton qualified behind his teammate in second, after he locked his brakes into turn 1 on his final flying lap, flat-spotting his tyres and abandoning the lap as a result.
The race started at 6:00pm local time. Lewis Hamilton got a great start to beat polesitter Nico Rosberg into the first corner, but Felipe Massa had the best start of all to move from seventh up to third by the first corner. There was contact on the first lap between Pastor Maldonado and Jean-Éric Vergne, which punctured Vergne's tyre. There was also first-lap contact between Kevin Magnussen and Kimi Räikkönen resulting in bodywork damage to Räikkönen's car. Hamilton and Rosberg fought hard for the lead on the opening lap, with Rosberg attempting to overtake at turn 4 but being fended off by Hamilton.
Having been unsuccessful in his attempts to retake the lead, Rosberg started to conserve fuel to prepare for an attack later in the race, dropping back slightly from around a second behind his teammate to around 1.5 seconds by lap 7, and maintaining a similar gap over the following laps. The Williams cars were harder on their tyres than the cars around them, and on lap 10 Valtteri Bottas was overtaken by Jenson Button for fifth, and three laps later the other Williams of Felipe Massa was overtaken as well, with Sergio Pérez taking third place from the Brazilian. Both Williams cars - as well as both Ferraris - had to change strategy from a two-stop to a three-stop as a result of high tyre wear. Magnussen also converted to a three-stop as a result of high tyre wear, but teammate Button was able to conserve his tyres well enough to continue with the two-stop.
Rosberg had managed to maintain the gap to Hamilton despite conserving more fuel, and by lap 18 he was in DRS range. Due to having saved more fuel, he would have more horsepower available for an attack, and after utilising DRS down the pit straight he managed to briefly get past Hamilton by braking late on the inside into turn 1. However, Rosberg's late braking had forced him slightly wide, and Hamilton switched to the inside to immediately retake the position from Rosberg. On the following lap Rosberg attempted the same move into turn 1 again, and this time managed to stay ahead through turn 1. However, Hamilton managed to come back at his teammate to claim the inside for turn 2, with the two cars coming perilously close to contact as Hamilton cut across to retake the lead from Rosberg. This overtake was critical as, due to being the lead Mercedes at the time, it meant that Hamilton was called into the pits first - diving into the pits at the end of the lap to be fitted with the softer tyre - while Rosberg would pit on the following lap and take on the harder medium tyre.
Following his pit stop on lap 19, Hamilton pulled out a gap on the faster tyre over the next phase of the race and by lap 40 he was around 10 seconds ahead of Rosberg with 17 laps remaining. However, with the option tyre estimated to be as much as a second a lap faster than the prime, Rosberg would still had a very good chance of catching up to his teammate in the remaining laps, as they were scheduled to be put on the opposite tyres for the final stint - with Hamilton scheduled for primes and Rosberg for the faster option. However, the race was then turned on its head when Maldonado, who had just exited the pit lane, hit into the side of Esteban Gutiérrez's Sauber at turn 1. This flipped the Sauber over completely, and the ensuing debris resulted in the deployment of the safety car. Both Mercedes pitted under the safety car, but its deployment mean that Hamilton's lead of over 10 seconds was evaporated. Now with no buffer back to Rosberg, Hamilton would be at a large disadvantage on tyres that were estimated to be around a second a lap slower as the two Mercedes cars scrapped for the lead - Hamilton on the slower medium tyre, Rosberg on the faster soft. As the safety car circulated, Paddy Lowe spoke on the radio to both Mercedes drivers to remind them to make sure to bring both cars home.
With 10 laps to go, the safety car pulled into the pits and racing resumed. Hamilton defended from Rosberg into turn 1, but as a result Rosberg got the better line through the corner and through turns 2 and 3, and he attempted to overtake again on the outside of turn 4. Hamilton defended again, holding his teammate out wide and managing to maintain his position. With their drivers fighting hard for the lead of the race, and with fuel no longer being a concern due to the safety car, the Mercedes were being driven flat-out and the extent of the car's superiority was revealed for the first time; within three laps the two Mercedes had pulled out a gap of over six seconds to third-placed Sergio Pérez. On lap 52 Rosberg again attempted an audacious late braking move into turn 1, but Hamilton managed to stay ahead by waiting for Rosberg to run wide from his late braking move and turning in to switch to the inside and maintain his lead. Rosberg continued his assault by attempting the move again on the following lap, and again Hamilton had to get very defensive on the run towards turn 4 but still managed to hold onto the lead.
With the two Mercedes having repeatedly duelled for position over the closing laps, Rosberg had taken the best from his tyres by the start of the final lap. Hamilton held onto the lead to take his second win of the season ahead of Rosberg, with Sergio Pérez completing the podium in third. This was Force India's second ever podium, and their first since the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix.
|3||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:36.220||1:34.592||1:34.051||131|
|5||11||Sergio Pérez||Force India-Mercedes||1:34.998||1:34.747||1:34.346||4|
|11||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:35.549||1:34.985||10|
|12||27||Nico Hülkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||1:34.874||1:35.116||11|
|13||26||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso-Renault||1:35.395||1:35.145||12|
|14||25||Jean-Éric Vergne||Toro Rosso-Renault||1:35.815||1:35.286||14|
|107% time: 1:41.515|
- ^1 — Daniel Ricciardo was given a ten-place grid penalty for an unsafe pit release during the Malaysian Grand Prix.
- ^2 — Adrian Sutil was given a five-place grid penalty for impeding Romain Grosjean during qualifying.
Championship standings after the race
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
In January 2014 an alliance of Bahraini human rights organisations including the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights and the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights wrote to FIA President Jean Todt, requesting that the Bahrain Grand Prix be suspended until the FIA's Ethics Committee could investigate the impact the race has had on human rights in Bahrain. According to the BCHR no response was received from the FIA. Reports from the race meeting indicated that thousands of people attended a rally protesting against the Grand Prix and the government, held on the Friday before the race itself outside the Bahraini capital Manama. Clashes between protesters and police took place following the demonstration.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix.|
2014 Malaysian Grand Prix
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2014 Chinese Grand Prix
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|Bahrain Grand Prix||Next race:
2015 Bahrain Grand Prix