♦ The drama started seconds after the cars left the grid and charged into the first few turns, with Romain Grosjean crashing and a big fire starting. Red flags appeared immediately, bringing the race to a stop and requiring the cars to return to the pits.
♦ Grosjean had collided with Daniil Kvyat and his car left the track, slamming into the barriers and splitting in half! It is believed that the fire started due to the severe impact that probably resulted in fuel leaking. Grosjean was unhurt (apart from some burns) and quickly attended to by the team in the medical car that came up behind.
♦ Observers, commentators and racing drivers were unanimous in recognising the great advances that have been taken in safety by the FIA and various people 30 years ago. That is why Grosjean survived what has been described as a shocking crash, never before seen in a race. The quick and brave actions of the track personnel were also commended.
♦ The race was suspended for about 45 minutes and then the cars were flagged off for a restart with a grid order determined by the Stewards. Lewis Hamilton, who had snatched the lead right from the start, was in pole position, followed by Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez and Valtteri Bottas.
♦ And there was drama again! Lance Stroll came in contact with Kvyat, and as the Canadian driver’s car went over the wheels of the othee car, it tipped over and ended upside down. Though Stroll was unhurt and got out, the Safety Car was despatched which meant the cars had to get in convoy behind it. Bottas took the opportunity to rush to the pits to change tyres as pressure loss had been detected.
♦ Only 5 laps had been run up to the point Stroll overturned and the race had started one and a half hours earlier. When the Safety Car pull away, it was the ninth lap and hopefully the cars would be able to complete their first full lap of racing.
♦ After discussion, the Stewards decided that Kyvat was at fault for causing the accident with Stroll and a 10-second time penalty was given. The Russian driver served the penalty when he came into the pits on lap 18.
♦ Around the 20-lap mark, most of the cars began entering the pits for a tyre change, moving to medium or hard compounds.
♦ At the halfway point in the race, Hamilton was still staying ahead of Verstappen with a gap of around 4 seconds. Way back was Perez in a comfortable third, 18 seconds away with Alexander Albon closing in. In spite of the drama, only two drivers – Grosjean and Stroll – were out of the Bahrain GP.
♦ Bottas and Sebastian Vettel were not having a good race from the start, the Mercedes driver struggling around 11 position and the Ferrari driver reporting difficulties driving the car.
♦ With 5 laps remaining, the field had pretty much settled and the drivers were probably just waiting for the race to end. Carlos Sainz with Pierre Gasly and then took his sixth position, leaving Gasly to deal with Daniel Ricciardo who was coming up behind fast.
♦ But the Bahrain drama was not finished as flames appeared from the back of Perez’ car on lap 54! He pulled over and quickly jumped out, and out came the Safety Car as well – with 3 laps remaining. Perez departure allowed Albon to get a podium place.
♦ And so the race with extraordinary events ended with the Safety Car leading the winner – Lewis Hamilton – across the finish line.