- Andrew Benson
- Formula One Reporter
Lewis Hamilton won his 11th victory this season in the Bahrain Grand Prix, which witnessed a violent accident involving Haas’ driver, Roman Grogan.
Grogan was taken to hospital with burns on both hands, after his car broke through barriers on the first lap.
The burned Haas car got stuck in the checkpoint, with nearly 30 seconds lagging by, before Grogan climbed over the barricade, as medical personnel scrambled for help.
Hamilton was in control the whole time, beating Max Verstappen, the driver of Red Bull.
Horrible and unique crash
We have not seen an example of the Arujan accident for many years.
The French-Swiss caused the accident after he veered significantly from the track between the third and fourth turns, and collided with Daniel Kvyat, the driver of Alfa Toure.
This prompted him to veer towards the barriers, which he bumped into at an angle that would not normally create such a dramatic effect.
But the car was moving between the fender layers, and the deflection force divided it into two, the engine and transmission stationed out of place.
A break in the hull exposed the fuel tank, and the vehicle, which was lodged in the bulkhead, caught fire.
Grogan fell into Hell for several seconds before he could extricate himself, and was helped by FIA doctor Ian Stewart, who was in the medical vehicle that was rushing to the scene.
Grogan first sat in the medical vehicle before being assisted in an ambulance, then airlifted him to the hospital, where it was confirmed he would stay overnight.
Another Hamilton win
The Grogan accident caused a long stop while the shattered metal barriers were replaced with concrete ones.
Shortly after the race returned, another accident occurred, when Racing Point driver Lance Stroll’s car was bombed by Kviat and turned upside down, but the driver was unharmed.
This resulted in the safety car being taken out, and the race did not finally start properly until the ninth session.
Hamilton did not make a mistake in the replays, and was able to dominate the race.
But he said it was “not as easy as it sounds,” indicating that he had struggled with tire management and felt pressure from Verstappen.
“We had the tires to put under more pressure today, but we didn’t do that … I don’t know why we were so conservative,” he added.
The Briton’s victory matches his previous best in one season, and means he can match the record, which is 13 wins in one year, currently held by Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel, if he wins in the last two races.
Racing Point driver Sergio Perez was on his way to a third place and second climb to the podium in two races, until a clear engine failure occurred, and the center went to Alex Albon, the rookie Red Bull driver.
The withdrawal of the Mexican was a major boost for Renault and McLaren in their struggle for third place, and McLaren drivers Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz advanced to fourth and fifth places, and Renault drivers Daniel Ricardo and Esteban Ocon to seventh and ninth, with Pierre Gasly, driver of Alpha Toure, finishing sixth.
Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas got off to a bad start from the front row and went into a miserable race after that.
But Bottas suffered a puncture on the first lap of the race and had to search for new tires.
Albon was unable to challenge Perez before the Mexican withdrew, while McLaren drivers had recovered from tough qualifying sessions, and the Sainz, in particular, produced good driving after starting on the soft tire, overtaking several cars.
Perez’s withdrawal pushed Charles Leclerc to 10th after a dismal race with Ferrari.