19 January Tuesday

Hamilton wins Bahrain GP as Grosjean survives fiery crash

Anas YassinUpdated: Monday Nov 30, 2020

Massive fire engulfs Romain Grosjean's car at the F1 Bahrain GP. (Image: AP)

Manama: Mercedes driver and seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton won the Formula 1’s 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix which witnessed a horrific and fiery crash for Haas driver Romain Grosjean who escaped with minor burns on Sunday night.

The 35 - year - old Hamilton lifted the trophy as he finished in a total time of two hours 59 minutes 47.515 seconds, 1.254 seconds ahead of RedBull’s Max Verstappen (19 points) and 8.005s in front of Alexander Albon(15 points). Hcraamilton has now 25 points.

Hamilton’s win was the 95th of his F1 career, and his 11th of the 2020 season. Also, this is his fourth victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, tying the record of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. It was also his fifth straight race triumph this year, and second successive at BIC.

Grosjean, the 34-year-old French driver, slid off the track at high speed on the first lap at turn 3 and speared off into the barriers after his back wheel clipped the front of Daniil Kvyat’s AlphaTauri. The Haas car VF-20 exploded into flames after being sliced in two by the barrier.

Grosjean was able to extricate himself from the burning wreckage, clambered out to the track-side of the fence and into the arms of FIA medical delegates.

The race was red-flagged after 36 seconds, and suspended for an hour and 20 minutes while Grosjean was taken first to the circuit's medical centre by ambulance and then airlifted to the BDF Military Hospital for further evaluation. Grosjean's relieved team said the driver had only light burns to his hands and ankles.

The barrier was replaced and the track cleared of oil and debris.

Moments after the race restarted about 90 minutes later, on Lap 3 of 57, there was another incident as Lance Stroll's Racing Point clipped the AlphaTauri of Daniil Kvyat and flipped over. The Canadian driver was unharmed. The race was yellow flagged. Both accidents interrupted the race for about two hours.

Having been involved in both of the evening’s big accidents, Kvyat was left to finish 11th.

Hamilton, who secured his title at the Turkish GP on November 15, was subdued and did not celebrate his win after climbing out of his car, other than a brief fist-pump with the Red Bull drivers.

"It was such a shocking image to see ... horrifying. It could have been so much worse," Hamilton said. "I respect the dangers that are in this sport,” he added.

Hamilton has won a joint-record seven World Drivers' Championship titles tied with Michael Schumacher, while he holds the outright records for the most wins (95), pole positions (98), podium finishes (164), points finishes (228), career points (3763) and points in a season (413). Hamilton is regarded as one of the greatest Formula One drivers in history.