HAMILTON WINS THE BAHRAIN GP!
The drivers come across the line behind the Safety Car and Hamilton takes the chequered flag! Verstappen and Albon give Red Bull two drivers on the podium. McLaren take fourth and fifth through Norris and Sainz. That could be crucial in the race to finish third in the constructors' championship.
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56/57 - Heartbreak
That is such a shame for Perez. Keep in mind he doesn't have a seat for the 2021 season yet. Another podium finish would have been symbolic of how good a driver he is and how he deserves to be picked up by a team for next year. This race could now finish behind the safety car.
55/57 - Perez problem!
Oh dear! Big problem for Perez! There is smoke billowing out of the end of his Racing Point car and that will be the end of his race. What a shame. Perez was on course for a second straight podium finish and now Albon has inherited third place.
54/57 - Gasly getting tense!
Gasly has been asked over the AlphaTauri team radio if he can last five more laps and the response from the young Frenchman wasn't exactly reassuring. In short, he doesn't know.
52/57 - What happened to the brake problems?
Sainz up into P6! That didn't look like a car with brake problems as Sainz gets past Gasly and up into sixth position. What did AlphaTauri see?
51/57 - Perez getting bored?
"Are you falling asleep? Wake up, wake up!" Perez just making sure that his engineer is still with him. Amid all the chaos, this has been a straightforward race for the Mexican. He is currently on course for a second podium finish of the season.
50/57 - Brake problems?
AlphaTauri have told Gasly over the team radio that Sainz is struggling with brake problems. How do they know that? Does Sainz even know he has brake problems? Interesting.
49/57 - Difference in strategy!
Verstappen has made three stops while Gasly has only made one. The AlphaTauri is currently running in P6, but he could easuly tumble to P9/P10 if this strategy doesn't work. There has been a lot of tactical variance in this race this evening.
47/57 - Verstappen pits
This is a bit of a risk from Red Bull as they put Verstappen on fresh tyres. Are they going for the fastest lap point in the final 10 laps of this race? The Dutchman was never going to catch Hamilton, but Red Bull might just have gambled his second place finish. Perez is on his tail.
46/57 - Ferrari struggles
Leclerc is in P11 and Vettel is in P15. This is a track Ferrari dominated on last season and yet both of their drivers are currently out of the points. What a disastrous season it has been for the Scuderia. They cannot wait for 2022 to get here.
44/57 - Bottas gets past!
Good move from Bottas! The Finn dives down the inside of Ocon and moves ahead of the Renault, making the position stick. Bottas will now have a good look at Ricciardo in P8. He could still salvage some good points from this race. Not over yet.
43/57 - 'The Germany situation'
Norris has been told over the McLaren team radio that this is "the Germany situation" for him. What on earth does that mean? Is that code for some sort of change of strategy from McLaren? I guess we'll find out!
42/57 - 15 laps to go!
As things stand after a lot of pitting... 1) Hamilton 2) Verstappen 3) Perez 4) Albon 5) Gasly 6) Norris 7) Sainz 8) Leclerc 9) Ricciardo 10) Ocon 11) Bottas 12) Giovinazzi 13) Kvyat 14) Raikkonen 15) Magnussen 16) Russell 17) Latifi 18) Vettel
37/57 - Hamilton box, box!
Hamilton into the pits! Mercedes haven't wasted much time in moving the race leader on to fresh tyres after Verstappen's pit stop. Hamilton is on the hard compound tyres until the end of the race and emerges in front of Verstappen. That has worked well for the world champion.
36/57 - Verstappen pits
That's a slow pit stop from Red Bull! If they were attempting the undercut on Hamilton, that won't have helped. How will this affect Hamilton's strategy? Will he come in soon to change tyres? Or can he manage these medium compounds until the end of the race?
35/57 - Hamilton update
The race leader has been on these medium compound tyres for 16 laps. Will they carry him to the end of the race? This is a very abrasive circuit and Mercedes have had some trouble with tyre management at times this season. Hamilton has a lead of around five seconds on Verstappen.
34/57 - Damage!
Raikkonen's engineers have told him that he has picked up some damage somewhere along the line. He is down in P16 and is driving quite well considering he appears to be sat in something of a broken car.
33/57 - FIA statement
A statement from the FIA confirms Grosjean was "conscious at all times." Still can't believe how he walked away from that crash. He ended up in the barrier, in all the metal.
30/57 - Renault switch-around
At long last, Renault have taken the decision to switch around their drivers, with Ocon letting Ricciardo past. He is the faster of the two cars. The Australian will now want to have a look at Norris and Sainz ahead of him. These could be crucial points in the race to finish third in the constructors' championship.
29/57 - Ricciardo complaints
"Why aren't we racing each other? We really need to do something." Ricciardo is right to complain about this strategy from Renault. Ricciardo is being restricted from racing Ocon for position and is being held back from making progress further up the pack.
28/57 - Bottas box, box!
Second pit stop! Bottas is into the pits again. It feels like the Finn has spent half of his race in the pits. This has been an evening to forget for Bottas so far. He is down in P11, but he is finding some grip on these medium compound tyres. He could still claim some good points.
27/57 - Sainz moves up!
Renault have missed their opportunity to switch their two cars as Sainz passes Ricciardo. That could prove to be a bit of a tactical blunder from Renault. They had the chance and took too long to come to a decision.
26/57 - As things stand...
1) Hamilton 2) Verstappen 3) Perez 4) Albon 5) Norris 6) Ocon 7) Ricciardo 8) Sainz 9) Gasly 10) Leclerc
25/57 - Norris into P6!
Great move from Lando! Norris goes down the inside of Bottas and takes sixth place from the Finn. Great racing from the McLaren driving. He is having himself a good evening here. In play for serious points.
21/57 - Race leader pits
Hamilton into the pits! The race leader and world champion has taken the opportunity to pit and he has been moved on to the medium compound tyres. Verstappen also comes in, but he's on the hards. That's interesting.
18/57 - Pit window open!
The pit window is now open and so you will almost certainly see drivers pulled in over the next few laps. Meanwhile, Bottas is struggling to get past Raikkonen despite the Finn's Alfa Romeo having a broken front wing.
15/57 - Hamilton lead
While there has been all this chaos in the midfield and at the back of the pack, Hamilton is leading the way. The seven-time world champion has a two-second lead over Verstappen. Can the Red Bull keep the Mercedes honest this evening? Verstappen is sticking with Hamilton so far.
13/57 - Penalty!
Kvyat has been handed a 10-second penalty for his role in the flipping of Stroll's car. He will have to serve that in the pitlane.
12/57 - Sainz past Leclerc!
What about that?! Great move from Sainz! The Spaniard was late on the braking into turn one and shows great bravery to get past Leclerc. Sainz then just a great job to make the position stick under counter pressure from the Ferrari.
10/57 - How it stands
1) Hamilton 2) Verstappen 3) Perez 4) Albon 5) Norris 6) Ocon 7) Leclerc 8) Sainz 9) Ricciardo 10) Gasly 11) Kvyat 12) Russell 13) Raikkonen 14) Latifi 15) Vettel 16) Bottas 17) Giovinazzi 18) Magnussen
9/57 - Racing again!
Ocon gets his elbows out as Leclerc has a look at the Renault and keeps hold of P6. Great driving from Ocon. He has some doubters to prove wrong and is doing so in the early stages of this race.
8/57 - Safety car
We're still behind the safety car as the marshalls clean up the debris from Stroll's car. The Canadian is fine and has walked away and we will get racing again shortly, you'd imagine. What a race this has been. Have we even had a racing lap yet?
6/57 - Ferrari trouble
Vettel is fuming with Leclerc over the Ferrari team radio. "Again! He can't just do that, as if I wasn't there. It's the same as Austria, seriously. This time... I should have crashed, maybe was the better option." What was he upset about there? Not entirely clear.
5/57 - Bottas pits!
Bottas has picked up a puncture and has been forced to pit. It hasn't been the Finn's evening so far. He is now down in 16th having already moved on to the hard compound tyres.
4/57 - Yellow flag!
ANOTHER BAD INCIDENT! Stroll's car is upside down! We are under yellow flags and it appears the Canadian is fine, but yikes. What is going on this afternoon?
3/57 - Under way again!
Verstappen up into second! The Red Bull slips ahead of the Racing Point of Perez. Hamilton keeps his lead at the head of the pack. Bottas gets past Albon. Leclerc overtakes Gasly.
We will get under way at 3.35pm GMT, 6.35pm local time. The drivers are going through their pre-race routine again.
There's still a lot of relieved drivers down in the paddock. Grosjean has been airlifted to hospital for suspected broken ribs, but even if he has suffered that injury, what an escape. The scenes and replays of the incident are astonishing. Grosjean's car went through the barriers, slicing it in half. The engine was divided from the chasis.
That was one of the scariest crashes we have seen in F1 in a long time. It's quite remarkable that Grosjean has walked away from that. The halo has potentially saved his life there. We are still under red flags for the time being as the marshalls clean up the considerable debris and fix the barrier.
Grosjean looks fine! It was the Haas that exploded, but Grosjean is out and in the medical car. He looks to be fine. Meanwhile, the session is stopped. I think everyone is just relieved that Grosjean is fine and doesn't look to be badly hurt. What happened there? We haven't seen a car explode like that for a long time.
1/57 - LIGHTS OUT!
Bottas loses four places! Stroll is off the track. But there has been a giant crash somewhere near the back of the pack! A massive fire. That doesn't look good at all. RED FLAG! RED FLAG!
14:10 - Formation lap!
Okay, here we go at the Bahrain International Circuit. The drivers have embarked on their formation lap. Not long until lights out. Can Hamilton convert his 10th pole position of the season?
14:05 - Tricky track
The drivers have all been speaking about how this is such an abrasive track and so that makes it very difficult to look after the tyres. Hamilton has mentioned this. Of course, Mercedes have had trouble with tyre management at this over the 2020 season. One to keep an eye on.
14:00 - Not long now
The drivers and the engineers are down on the grid. Not long until the formation lap now. This promises to be an exciting race. Can the Red Bulls take on the Silver Arrows? For the sake of entertainment, let’s hope so.
13:55 - Tough Saturday for Sainz
Sainz is stuck down in P15 after a pretty disastrous Saturday qualifying. The Spaniard experienced a car issue, describing himself as “very angry” afterwards. Of course, this will be one of his final races for McLaren.
13:50 - Focus on the Renaults
Ricciardo has already spoken about how he hopes to “bully” Perez in the opening few laps of today’s race, with Renault embroiled in a scrap with Racing Point for second place in the constructors championship.
13:45 - Perez in P5
This is also a good opportunity for Perez to show he deserves a seat at a team next season. The Mexican driver still hasn’t been picked up for 2021, but is enjoying a good season, finishing on the podium in Turkey.
13:40 - Second row
Red Bull had a good Saturday, with Verstappen and Albon locking out the second row. This is a big opportunity for the latter to prove he still deserves to be in the second seat at Red Bull for 2021. This year has been rough for Albon.
13:35 - The grid
How they will start... 1) Hamilton 2) Bottas 3) Verstappen 4) Albon 5) Perez 6) Ricciardo 7) Ocon 8) Gasly 9) Norris 10) Kvyat 11) Vettel 12) Leclerc 13) Stroll 14) Russell 15) Sainz 16) Giovinazzo 17) Raikkonen 18) Magnussen 19) Grosjean 20) Latifi
13:30 - It's race day!
Good afternoon and welcome to Eurosport’s LIVE coverage of the Bahrain Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton was confirmed world champion two weeks ago, with Mercedes also crowned as constructors champions, but there is still plenty on the line here.
Hamilton clinched pole on Saturday, with the Brit keen to finish the season strongly. “It is in my DNA. It is how I’m wired. I love that challenge,” he said. “Coming to another race where the pressure is different and the focus is on getting the best out of this weekend.”
The world champion has spoken about how these dead rubbers can help Mercedes get ready for next season, which is ominous for the rest of the teams in the paddock to hear.
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