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Mercedes Really Enjoyed The Dramatic End To The Bahrain Grand Prix

Mercedes Really Enjoyed The Dramatic End To The Bahrain Grand Prix

Max Verstappen and Checo Perez's problems at the end of F1's season opener handed Lewis Hamilton a very unexpected place on the podium.

Lewis Hamilton secured a surprise top three finish at the opening race of the Grand Prix season, thanks to Red Bull's problems, and Mercedes were loving it.

Going into the first weekend of the Formula One season, Mercedes are almost always favourites for both the drivers and constructors championships, but not this year.

With the new regulations Toto Wolff admitted that his team were way behind rivals Red Bull, who he claimed were in a 'league of their own.'

However that wasn't the case on Sunday, as Charles Leclerc, in the Ferrari, managed to keep Red Bull's Max Verstappen at arm's length throughout the race and looked on course to win quite easily.

With 11 laps to go however, Pierre Gasly had issues and had to go off on the side of the course, leading to the safety car coming out and bunching the pack back together, in scenes reminiscent to the end of last season.

However, Verstappen had been complaining about an issue with his car and when the safety car came in, the world champion's problems only got worse.

He started going backwards on track as Carlos Sainz, Sergio Perez, Hamilton and George Russell soon went past him and the team had to retire his car.

With just two laps to go his teammate, Perez, started having similar issues and right at the start of the final lap they caught up with him, causing him to spin and earning Hamilton an unexpected podium, and it's fair to say his team were loving it!

Whilst we can only say that Mercedes were happy that their team secured a podium place they never would have imagined getting, cynics might suggest there was more to it.

The bad fortune of the Red Bulls would no doubt have added to the good mood of fans of Hamilton and his team, especially after what happened at the end of the season.

After the race, a very humble Hamilton congratulated Leclerc and Sainz for Ferrari's first 1-2 finish since 2019, and said he was grateful for the points, "Firstly, a big, big congratulations to Ferrari, so happy to see them do well again, that's such a historic, epic team," the seven times drivers' world champion said.

"It's great to see Carlos and Charles up there as well, so congratulations to them.

"It was such a difficult race, we struggled throughout practice. This is really the best result we could have gotten.

"Of course, it's unfortunate for the other two drivers but we did the best we could and I'm grateful for these points."

Hamilton, Russell, Wolff and the whole team will be hoping they don't need to rely on others' bad luck next week in the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix, but it's likely that improvements will take some time.

Featured Image Credit: PA/Sky Sports

Topics: Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, Mercedes