Clive Mason/Getty Images

F1: Hamilton wins Bahrain Grand Prix as Leclerc experiences heartbreak

9 Comments

It was an action-packed race under the lights at the Bahrain International Circuit Sunday night, but for Charles Leclerc, the Bahrain Grand Prix did not end the way he had hoped.

After starting the race from the pole for the first time in his relatively young F1 career, Leclerc led for the majority of the race, only to experience engine issues within the final ten laps, causing the Ferrari driver to lose power and cede the top two positions to Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

“It happens. Unfortunately it was not our day. Of course I’m extremely disappointed,” Leclerc said. “A very hard one to take but thanks to the team. Congratulations to Lewis and Valtteri”.

Hamilton would pass Leclerc with nine laps remaining and took the checkered flag behind the safety car after a late race incident which saw Daniel Riccardo and Nico Hulkenburg retiring due to reliability issues.

Hamilton’s victory Sunday night was the first of the season for the defending world champion, and second consecutive 1-2 finish for Mercedes, with Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas finishing second.

“It was a really, really hard race today,” Hamilton said. “Charles did such a great job so it must be devastating for him”.

With Leclerc finishing third, Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen finished the race in the fourth position and Leclerc’s teammate Sebastian Vettel would finish the race fifth.

Like Leclerc, Vettel’s Sunday night would not go as planned. Looking to collect a podium finish himself, Vettel’s Ferrari spun out of control while battling Hamilton for position, and would lose its front wing on the back straight as a result, forcing Vettel to pit.

Teenager Lando Norris would once again post an impressive finish for McLaren, finishing sixth in only his second career start. Kimi Raikkonen, Pierre Gasly, Alexander Albon, and Segio Perez would round out the top 10.

Four drivers in total would retire from the race, including Romain Grosjean, who sustained damage on the first lap after tangling with Lance Stroll. Carlos Sainz would also retire due to damage caused by contact with Max Verstappen.

Full results are below. The next race is the Chinese Grand Prix on April 14, the sport’s 1000th world championship race.

Follow Michael Eubanks on Twitter

IMSA: Hailie Deegan to honor Lyn St. James in Ford debut

Ford Performance
Leave a comment

When Hailie Deegan makes her IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge debut this Friday, she’ll do so in a paint scheme honoring a former racer who helped pave the way for women in motorsports.

St. James’ 1985 IMSA GTO Ford Mustang. Photo: Ford Performance.

Last week, Ford Performance unveiled the paint scheme of the No. 22 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang GT4 that Deegan and co-driver Chase Briscoe will drive in the four-hour race at the Daytona International Speedway this Friday.

The red, white and blue paint scheme is a throwback to the Roush Racing Mustang IMSA GTO car that was driven by Lyn St. James in her breakout season in 1985.

In that season, St. James captured three victories, including the first IMSA GT victory by a woman driving solo. Over the course of her career St. James won six IMSA sports car victories with Ford, including two class victories in the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

She also competed in IndyCar, with seven starts in the Indianapolis 500.

“I can’t wait to get behind the wheel of this Mustang,” said Deegan. “My anticipation and excitement level was already sky high, making my debut for Ford in my first ever road race in IMSA, but now we add this cool throwback scheme honoring the only woman to win a major IMSA race solo and it is just that much cooler.

“I have a ton of respect and admiration for what Lyn St. James did to pave the road for racers like me. It will be really cool to drive a car inspired by her 1985 IMSA GTO Ford Mustang.”

St. James served as an advisor for Ford Motor Company between 1981-96 and, has been a major ambassador for women in sports, particularly auto racing.

“I’m delighted that Ford is doing this throwback scheme,” said St. James.  “The whole goal of every race driver is to win races, and going into that 1985 season I was on the cusp of winning, and to get my first three IMSA wins that year really meant so much to me because they say that once you win once, the others follow, and that was true for me.

“I am certain Hailie and Chase felt the same way after winning their first stock car races.  You just want to win more.  Sports car racing may be different than what they normally do, but the mindset is the same.  I am excited to see them race and get to the winner’s circle.

The first round of the 2020 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season at Daytona International Speedway starts at 1:00 pm ET on Friday, January 24, and will stream live on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold.

Follow Michael Eubanks on Twitter