Hamilton finishes first in Bahrain after misfortune strikes Leclerc
Lewis Hamilton was handed a dramatic victory in Bahrain after a cruel engine problem denied Ferrari's Charles Leclerc a maiden win. Leclerc, in just his second race for Ferrari, was on course to become the third-youngest winner in Formula One history following a commanding drive.
But with just nine laps to run, Hamilton took advantage of the Ferrari's lack of speed to sail past the young Monegasque and take an unlikely win, the first of his championship defence. Valtteri Bottas was also the fortunate recipient of Leclerc's demise to steal second place, and secure an improbable one-two for Mercedes.
The Finn, who won in Melbourne a fortnight ago, retains his lead in the championship by one point. Leclerc took the chequered flag in third as the race ended under a safety car after Daniel Ricciardo's Renault engine failed.
Sebastian Vettel finished only fifth after he dramatically spun while duelling for second with Hamilton. It marked yet another error for the German after a series of mistakes blighted his title challenge last year. British teenager Lando Norris crossed the line an impressive sixth for McLaren and his first Formula One points.
On Saturday, Leclerc came up with the goods to deliver a huge statement of intent by blowing away Vettel to become the sport's second youngest pole-sitter, and 24 hours later carried on his fine form.
His start was poor and he fell to third, but after passing Bottas and then Vettel was back in charge just five laps later. Leclerc was signed by Ferrari as an emerging talent, with Vettel's number one status set to go unchallenged.
Hamilton had been nine seconds behind, but within just three laps he was all over the back of the Ferrari gearbox before biding his time to make his move and seal the 74th win of his career.