Heartbreak For Charles Leclerc Hands Bahrain Victory To Hamilton

Charles Leclerc had what you would call a “dream weekend” in Bahrain, that was until about 10 laps to go when the dream turned into a nightmare. He’s worked his entire life, a whopping 21 years, to get atop the podium in an F1 race. It was right there in sight, the silver arrows of Lewis Hamilton looked like a Micro Machine in his mirror. Until suddenly the 5-time champ was right on top of him like a lion stalking a gazelle wounded by an incompetent Italian businessman.

The first year Ferrari driver looked was in cruise mode late in Sunday’s race when he suddenly radioed the pit wall telling them he was losing power. As the Ferrari pit wall searched for answers an agitated Leclerc demanded to know what was happening on the radio. Ultimately Ferrari determined the engine had dropped a cylinder on Leclerc’s car. Without only 5 cylinders the Monaco native was down 40+ kph on the straights and his 9 second lead on Hamilton disappeared quicker than Michael Avenatti’s Nike lawsuit.

Hamilton took the lead on lap 48 and never looked back. He cruised to his 74th career victory and first of the 2019 season. His Mercedes teammate claimed second as the wounded Leclerc was left treading water while the sharks circles.

Renault Died So Leclerc Could Live

As Leclerc putted around calculations showed Max Verstappen would pass the Ferrari before the end of the race thus taking the final podium position. That was until both Renault’s decided to die in the same corner on the same lap without ever touching.

Seriously Hulkenburg blew up going into Turn 1 and stopped in the run off area. Teammate Daniel Ricciardo had his car die in the middle of turn 1 and he coasted to a stop further down in the run off area. Just like that both Renault’s were out and because of the location of Hulk’s car a safety car was deployed with 3 laps to go.

That safety car saved Leclerc because the race would now finish under safety car. While he didn’t get the win he was able to at least stand on the podium for the first time. Leclerc will have more opportunities to win this season. He’s faster than Vettel, will Ferrari let him be faster than Vettel? That’s the big question heading into China.

Vettel Making Mistakes Like It’s 2018

After a blinding start that saw Vettel take the lead he fell back into the clutches of his 21-year old teammate. After Leclerc got past him Vettel was looking to maximize points for the team. On lap 38 however in a battle with Lewis Hamilton the plagued Ferrari driver spun himself out.

Vettel attempted to get back to the throttle too quickly and looped himself while Hamilton drove off. If Vettel doesn’t do that he wins the race easily. Instead he flat spotted the tires and the vibration from that made him lose his front win on the straight in a spark show that would make any 4th of July firework display jealous.

Bahrain was exceptionally better than Australia. Formula 1 heads to China in two weeks time for the 1000th Grand Prix in F1 history. Can Leclerc rebound there?

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