Lewis Hamilton wins crash-marred Bahrain GP

Hamilton won Bahrain GP
Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton won the Bahrain GP under caution after an incident with three laps remaining saw a 17 second lead over Max Verstappen evaporate. It was an anticlimactic ending to a race that began with two major incidents in the opening laps.

Romain Grosjean crashed heavily on the first lap of the race while trying to overtake Daniil Kvyat. His car impacted a barrier head on and burst into flames. Grosjean survived the fiery crash with reportedly minor injuries that included burns on his hands and ankles as well as possibly broken ribs.

“At first I was angry that he had turned across me in the way he did, but that changed as soon as I saw the flames and what happened in my mirrors,” Kvyat told BBC Sky Sports. “I was really worried. It was a scary moment.”

After a complete restart, Kvyat made contact with Lance Stroll, who landed upside down to bring out a second red flag. (Watch Here.)

Once the Bahrain GP returned to green it featured a dominant win for Hamilton, who led all 57 laps. This was the first time a Bahrain GP has been led flag to flag.

But the win was not as easy at it appeared.

“It was physically very demanding,” Hamilton said of the win. “With the break that we had at the beginning, you get into a mindset, you have a good start. And then with the wait that we had it’s so easy to step out of the zone. That was tricky. But then getting back in, [Red Bull] had a lot of speed today, so I was flat out the whole way trying to keep them at bay.”

Second-place Verstappen set the fastest lap of the race with nine circuits remaining. He posted a speed of 211.741 kilometers per hour on Lap 48, which was almost two kilometers per hour faster than Hamilton’s 209.803.

The Bahrain GP victory was Hamilton’s fifth consecutive win and his 11th of the season. With 11 wins Hamilton tied his most in a season. He won 11 times previously in 2014, 2018 and 2019. Hamilton has two more chances to achieve a new personal record.

On Lap 31, Hamilton set a new best with 588 laps led in a season. He ended the race with 614 laps led. His previous best was set in 2015 during which he won his third of seven drivers’ championships.

Sergio “Checo” Perez was on his way to a second consecutive podium finish for the first time in his career before his Mercedes burst into flame with engine failure.

“It was a great race today by [Perez],” said Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal of the Racing Point F1 team. “Never put a foot wrong. It’s just unfortunate. Bad luck today for both Lance and Checo.

“We’ve got two races to go. We just have to regroup and it’s not over. We have a quick car.”

Perez’s late race retirement allowed Alex Albon to take the final podium position in third. That completed a comeback from a Practice 2 crash that forced the team to roll out a new chassis for the race.

McLaren grabbed the next two spots with Lando Norris finishing fourth and Carlos Sainz fifth.

Hamilton’s win extends his points lead in the drivers championship to 131 over Valtteri Bottas. Hamilton clinched his seventh championship in the Turkish Grand Prix.

As Hamilton won the Bahrain GP, teammate Bottas had a difficult race.

He fell back dramatically on the opening lap, which contributed to the traffic jam that eventually ensnared Grosjean. During the race he had multiple tire punctures requiring pit stops to replace the deflated rubber. His eighth-place finish earned four points and places Bottas only 12 ahead of Verstappen with two races remaining. Verstappen earned 19 points with his second-place finish.

Supercross 2023: Results and points after Detroit


The focus of the Detroit Monster Energy Supercross round was on the mid-pack battle while Aaron Plessinger pulled away from the field, but when he crashed after hooking his foot in the dirt, the results once more looked like we’ve come to expect, with Chase Sexton, Cooper Webb and Eli Tomac sharing the podium for the fifth time in 10 rounds.

Supercross Results Detroit
Justin Barcia was part of an exciting, four-rider battle in the middle of Detroit’s A-Main. – Feld Motor Sports

For Sexton, Plessinger’s late-race crash was a vindication of sorts. Several times already this season, Sexton has crashed while battling for the lead and the points that has cost him keeps him sporting the red plate. He lost points in Detroit for a different reason, however.

Sexton was allowed to keep the win, but was penalized seven points for jumping in a red cross section of the course. As a result, he dropped four points to Webb and two to Tomac. Sexton is now 17 points behind Webb in the championship hunt.

RESULTS: Click here for full 450 Overall Results; Click here for 250 Overall Results

One week after snatching the red plate from Tomac for the first time in 2023, Webb stretched his advantage by two. With his second-place finish, Webb holds a three-point lead over Tomac, which essentially means both riders control their fate in the coming weeks. Webb continues to have a sweep of the top five this season with his sixth consecutive podium.

Coming off his worst finish of the season, Tomac rebounded to finish third. His eighth-place result last week was partially attributed to a stiff neck that hindered him in traffic and he still suffered some of those same effects in Detroit. Before Plessinger’s crash, he was destined to be the only rider in the three-man title scrum to finish off the podium in Detroit.

It is surprising what one position can do for one’s confidence.

Click here for 450 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier | Lap Chart

Justin Barcia scored his fourth top-five of the season. He was part of the exciting four-man battle that dominated the middle stages of the race before Sexton and Webb gained a little separation. Finishing less than three seconds behind Tomac, he kept that rider honest for the entire race.

Coming off his first win of the season, Ken Roczen finished fifth. It was his seventh top-five of the season and it elevated him to fifth in the standings.

Plessinger’s fall took the wind from his sails. He attempted to right his bike after a hard crash, but as it smoked and pinged, he dropped to 13th in the final rundown.

Click here for 450 Overall results | Rider Points | Manufacturer Points

Hunter Lawrence tied his brother Jett Lawrence with 10 wins each after another dominating ride in the Detroit Supercross race and the results in the points continue to widen. With his fifth win in six rounds and a worst finish of third, Lawrence now has a 35-point advantage over Nate Thrasher with four rounds remaining. Finishes of 14th or better in the final four mains will give him his first 250 championship.

Supercross Results Detroit
Strong starts have been one of the keys to Hunter Lawrence’s success in 2023. – Feld Motor Sports

Jett will have an opportunity to retake his wins’ lead as Supercross heads west for the next two rounds in Seattle and Glendale, Arizona.

Nate Thrasher earned his third second-place finish of the season with a gap of 7.6 seconds to Lawrence. He won the overall in Arlington earlier this season, but a 15th-place finish in the opening round in Houston and 10th in Daytona hurts his championship chances.

Click here for 250 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier | Lap Chart

Haiden Deegan scored his second podium and fourth top-five in six rounds of his young career. On his way to that finish, he rode aggressively against his teammate Jordon Smith in the heat race. Fans are getting a glimpse of what his on-track personality might be.

Jeremy Martin continues to be the model of consistency. He has not finished worse than sixth or better than fourth in six rounds now and that has allowed him to close to within two points of third in the 250 East championship standings.

Rounding out the top five is Chris Blose, who was pressed into service at the start of the season because of a rash of injuries at Pro Circuit Kawasaki. This is Blose’s first top-five of the season, although he’s steadily improved over the past five rounds.

Click here for 250 Overall results | 250 East Rider Points | 250 Combined Rider Points

Max Anstie entered the race weekend second in the points, but a hard crash in heavy traffic early in the main forced him to retire after two laps. Earning only one point for the round, he plummeted to fifth in the standings.

The news was worse for Smith, who was dropped out of the top nine in his heat after the altercation with Deegan and failed to advance through the LCQ. In the last chance race, he stalled his engine and had to mount a determined charge. He got only as high as seventh in that race after crashing while attempting to make a pass on fourth-place Jack Chambers.

2023 Results

Round 10: Chace Sexton wins, penalized
Round 9: Ken Roczen wins
Round 8: Eli Tomac wins 7th Daytona
Round 7: Cooper Webb wins second race
Race 6: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence win
Race 5: Webb, Hunter Lawrence win
Race 4: Tomac, H Lawrence win
Race 3: Chase Sexton, Levi Kitchen win
Race 2: Tomac, J Lawrence win
Round 1: Tomac, J Lawrence win

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings

Week 8: Chase Sexton unseats Eli Tomac
Week 7: Jason Anderson narrowly trails Tomac
Week 6: Perfect Oakland night keeps Tomac first
Week 5: Cooper Webb, Sexton close gap
Week 4: Tomac retakes lead
Week 3: Ken Roczen takes the top spot
Week 2: Roczen moves up; Sexton falls
Week 1: Tomac tops 450s; Jett Lawrence 250s