Lewis Hanilton and Valtteri Bottas saluted each other after a dramatic Bahrain Grand Prix. With the new cars and regulations coming into play, many were keen to see how the action would unfold during the season’s opening race, and it didn’t disappoint. Ferrari secured a sensational 1-2 as Charles Leclerc took the chequered flag, with teammate Carlos Sainz coming second.
Hamilton, who struggled with his Mercedes car all weekend, took the final podium spot in third, and an impressive performance from his former teammate in the Alfa Romeo saw Bottas cross the line sixth. As the drivers made their way around the track following the race’s conclusion, the pair drove alongside each other. They then proceeded to acknowledge each other with a thumbs up and were both very pleased with their results.
The duo benefited from a nightmare end to the race for Red Bull, as Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez both suffered issues with their cars in the closing stages. This resulted in both drivers unable to finish the race and Hamilton, who was cruising to a fifth place finish, was able to notch his 182nd podium after disaster struck for his rivals. I think it was such a difficult race, we’ve struggled throughout practice.
This was the best result we could have got,” the 37-year-old said after the race. “Of course it was unfortunate for the other two drivers but we did the best we could and we’re grateful for these points.” He added he was “hoping” for some new updates to the car, but he warned: “It’s not going to be a quick turnaround.” Hamilton has now aimed a dig at Red Bull by saying Mercedes had done a ‘better job’ at preparing for the race.
“Of course, we were fortunate, but ultimately we’ve done a better job – we have better reliability,” he said. “I wouldn’t say that’s luck. I think this is the hard work of everyone. It’s such a long season. It’s going to be such a hard battle, but we love a challenge – I really do enjoy a challenge. It is a privilege for all of us to be able to work with large teams of people who are hungry, who are focused on a common goal.
“There’s no greater feeling when you all come together and you get a result like this.” The teams will head to Saudi Arabia next week for the second race of the 2022 F1 season.