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F1 Debrief: All you need to know after the Bahrain GP

Good morning. Welcome to our F1 Debrief after the Bahrain Grand Prix – your quick wrap-up of all the important stories that have taken place in the last 24 hours. Click on the links for each story...

F1 Debrief: All you need to know after the Bahrain GP

A Mercedes 1-2, with Lewis Hamilton beating Valtteri Bottas, doesn’t sound like anything new, but Bahrain was all about Charles Leclerc.

He became Ferrari’s youngest-ever F1 pole winner on Saturday, and then looked set to win Sunday’s race – until his Ferrari’s engine lost a cylinder.

Despite the huge power loss, Leclerc clung on valiantly – giving up a 30s to Hamilton, and then Bottas passed him too. But he was saved by Renault’s double disaster with a couple of laps remaining, which meant the race ended under the safety car.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, 3rd position, in Parc Ferme

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, 3rd position, in Parc Ferme

Photo by: Andy Hone / LAT Images

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1, 1st position, talks with Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, 3rd position, after the race

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1, 1st position, talks with Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, 3rd position, after the race

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / LAT Images

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90, be Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF90

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90, be Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF90

Photo by: Jerry Andre / Sutton Images

After the race, Leclerc took the punch on the chin, but admitted he might not have even finished the race without the safety car, as he was also struggling with his fuel level as the car was running so rich.

Hamilton admitted that Leclerc had the race won until he hit his trouble, that cost the Monegasque driver over 5s per lap, and said it “felt weird” when he breezed past him.

“I went past Charles on the back straight and I raised my hand to him because there was nothing I could do, I didn’t have any problems. But what can you do?”

Earlier in the race, Hamilton benefitted when Leclerc’s Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel spun just after he passed him at Turn 4.

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90, comes in for a pit stop to replace his front wing

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90, comes in for a pit stop to replace his front wing

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Sutton Images

The Ferrari pit crew change the nose on Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90

The Ferrari pit crew change the nose on Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Sutton Images

Vettel – who had led the race early on, but fell back from Leclerc and battled with Hamilton – was further delayed after the spin when his front wing flew off due to the vibrations from his flatspotted tyres. He also said that his car was “extremely difficult” to drive.

Renault also suffered a disastrous race, when both of its cars retired at the same corner within seconds of each other. Nico Hulkenberg described it as a “brutal moment” and team boss Cyril Abiteboul called on his squad to “react and shift our focus on reliability.”

After the race, Daniel Ricciardo was requested by stewards to explain why he didn’t replace the steering wheel after he exited his stranded Renault. His answer – to “avoid potential electrocution” – was accepted on safety grounds!

Hulkenberg’s exit opened the door to McLaren’s rookie Lando Norris to score his first-ever top-six finish in Formula 1, which brightened the team’s day following his teammate Carlos Sainz’s early clash with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, which broke the Spaniard’s front wing and effectively ended his challenge.

Sparks trail from the damaged car of Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL34

Sparks trail from the damaged car of Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL34

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / LAT Images

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