MANAMA, (Reuters) – Lewis Hamilton won a thrilling Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix yesterday after a duel with Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg in a floodlit night race full of overtaking and wheel-to-wheel battles.
The win was the Briton’s second in a row, the 24th of his career and also a second successive one-two for a team in a class of their own and with two drivers free to race each other from start to finish.
Mercedes have now won all three races so far in 2014.
“Nico drove fantastically well. It was so fair but so hard to keep him behind me,” smiled Hamilton, the 2008 world champion who last enjoyed back-to-back wins four years ago with McLaren.
“I was on a real knife edge at the end,” said the Briton, who won by 1.085 seconds and described the race as the hardest since his 2007 debut season.
Mexican Sergio Perez took third place – 22.9 seconds behind Rosberg – as Mercedes-powered Force India celebrated the second podium finish in their history.
Rosberg, winner of the season-opener in Australia, stayed top of the overall standings with 61 points to Hamilton’s 50 after three races.
“I strongly dislike coming second to Lewis, but it was definitely the most exciting race I have ever done in my entire career,” said the German, who had started on pole and whose disappointment was clear as he stood on the podium.