Hamilton edges Rosberg to win Bahrain GP
SAKHIR, Bahrain (AP) Lewis Hamilton beat Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg after an intense race-long duel to take victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday.
The two Mercedes were predictably in a different league to their rivals and recorded their second one-two finish in eight days after victory last weekend in Malaysia.
With no team orders, the two were allowed to race for the lead and while Rosberg got his nose ahead occasionally, he finished one second behind the Briton.
''It was very, very fair and it was very hard to keep him behind,'' Hamilton said. ''He was very fast on the option tires and I was on the knife-edge the whole time.''
Force India's Sergio Perez was third and his teammate Nico Hulkenberg fifth, separated by Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo.
Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel finished sixth, ahead of Williams drivers Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas, with the Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen filling the final two points positions in ninth and 10th.
The race was closely fought up and down the field throughout, providing a boost for the sport after a tepid opening two races of the season, and the need for the safety car late on set up an 11-lap shootout.
Hamilton was ahead but on the harder of the two tires while Rosberg was on the softer rubber. The drivers were cautioned by the garage to ensure they both made it to the finish.
Twice Rosberg was able to pull off passing moves at the end of the main straight, but both times Hamilton was able to get better drive out of the ensuing corners and narrowly stayed ahead in some enthralling wheel-to-wheel racing.
Rosberg did have the comfort of staying ahead in the drivers' championship with 61 points compared to Hamilton's 50.
''I strongly dislike coming second to Lewis,'' Rosberg said. ''It was the most exciting race I have done in my career.''
The safety car came on after Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado emerged from the pits and plowed into the side of the Sauber of Esteban Gutierrez at the first corner, flipping the Mexican's car in a frightening accident, but Gutierrez was able to walk away.