Lewis Hamilton’s domination of Formula One continued in Bahrain as the reigning world champion clinched his ninth victory in the past 11 races.
As in China a week ago it was another masterful, controlled drive from Hamilton who has now set a personal best record of finishing in the points for 11 consecutive grands prix.
Overall, Hamilton now has 36 career wins, with 21 of those from pole position to open up a 27-point cushion over Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg, who had to settle for third behind Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.
It was Raikkonen’s seventh podium in Bahrain, with the Finn runner-up now on four occasions, but with this his first top-three finish since the 2013 Korean Grand Prix.
Hamilton finished a comfortable 3.3 seconds clear of Raikkonen, who made his way past Rosberg on lap 56 of the 57 under the lights of the Bahrain International Circuit courtesy of a mistake from the German who seemingly had trouble with his brakes late on.
With three-times champion Sir Jackie Stewart conducting the podium interviews, the Scot asked Hamilton as to his chances of emulating his feat to which the 30-year-old replied: “I’m gunning for it.”
Hamilton added: “The team did an amazing job, Ferrari gave us a run for our money, but we kept the car together and the tyres as healthy as possible to win through.”
Hamilton appeared to suffer a brake issue on the last lap to which he said: “Yeah, my brakes got a bit warm behind a few backmarkers, but it was not really a problem.”
Raikkonen, as deadpan as ever, said: “You’re never happy when you finish second, but after a difficult start to the year I’m a bit pleased to get a result.
“In the end we ran out of laps, but we have to be happy given where we started (fourth).
“Overall, I’m very happy with the way the team is working, and the atmosphere is good. I’m sure as a team we’ll get there all the time fighting for wins.”
Rosberg, meanwhile, conceded his brake problem cost him second as he said: “The overtaking was enjoyable; passing the red cars I liked a lot.
“In the end I tried to catch Lewis but couldn’t do it, then I lost my brakes which was disappointing.”