The 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix will go down as being remembered for the shocking opening lap and remarkable scenes of Romain Grosjean’s miraculous escape more than the result itself.

Grosjean’s terrifying accident left us drained and grateful for the incredible F1 medical team and tireless work the FIA has put in over the years to ensure he walked away from the crash relatively unscathed.

Subsequently, Grosjean’s incident led to the race being red flagged for over an hour, before Lewis Hamilton ultimately prevailed by taking his latest win.

Here are our winners & losers from Bahrain

Winner: Romain Grosjean and F1 safety

Without a doubt, Romain Grosjean is by far the biggest winner from Sunday’s race.

The heart-stopping, jaw-dropping crash left everyone shellshocked until images of Romain jumping out of flames into the hands of the FIA’s Medical Delegate Dr Ian Roberts brought a huge sense of relief. 

The speed of response by the Medical Car driver Alan van der Mewre and the marshal who sprinted across the track with a fire extinguisher, played a huge part in ensuring Romain’s safe extrication out of the car. 

The sheer bravery of Dr Ian Roberts, who rushed towards the flames to rescue Grosjean in an unprotected helmet and minimal fireproof overalls, was an incredible sight to see. 

Time after time we forget these drivers risk their lives, and with a history mired with deaths, it is a testament to how safe these cars are that we did not lose another one.

There is no denying that the halo device, introduced following the tragic loss of Jules Bianchi in 2014, certainly saved Romain Grosjean’s life today. 

Haas has confirmed Grosjean escaped the incident with minor burns, with the Frenchman remaining in hospital overnight for further observation. 

Loser: Racing Point

With three laps to go, Racing Point looked set to score a second successive podium and take a giant leap towards claiming third place in the constructors’ world championship.

Sergio Perez was destined for third place until his engine dramatically failed just before the chequered flag, marking a huge moment in the fight for third place as Racing Point suffered agonising late heartbreak.

With Lance Stroll already out after being flipped upside down at the restart, it meant the Silverstone squad ultimately came away from Bahrain with nothing, after staring at the prospect of an important 15-point haul.

What’s more, McLaren took fourth and fifth to enjoy a huge 22-point swing over its chief rival in what might end up being a decisive moment in the battle for P3.


Winner: McLaren 

McLaren made a big step forward in the constructors battle for P3, with both Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz bringing home much-needed points for the Woking squad to move them into third. 

Norris drove a clever and calculated race as he rose up the order before subsequently inheriting fourth after Perez’s late engine failure in the dying laps of the race. 

Sainz in particular had an impressive race, with Spaniard reaping the benefits of the Soft tyres by making them work during the opening stint. 

He then went on to finish in fifth after starting fifteenth, making some impressive moves against the likes of Daniel Ricciardo and future Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc

Loser: Daniil Kvyat 

Daniil Kvyat had a race to forget after narrowly missing getting tangled with Grosjean and adding to an already nasty accident. 

It didn’t get any better for the Russian after the red flag restart when he clipped Stroll, tipping the Racing Point upside down and knocking the Canadian out of the race. 

He was then penalised with a 10-second time penalty & ultimately finished out of the points in 11th.

Winner: Sergio Perez

Racing Point may be ranked as losers, but Perez remains a winner in our eyes, despite the fact he ultimately finished with a DNF to his name.

It was another brilliant display from the Mexican all weekend as he first qualified fifth in qualifying and drove smartly to what looked to be a certain podium before his late engine drama.

Perez may have missed out on successive podiums for the first time in his career, but a DNF will change little as to whether he finds himself landing the Red Bull drive or not next year.

Either way, Perez has proved his worth this season and knows he can leave F1 with dignity if it he is heading into his last two races in the sport.

Loser: Valtteri Bottas

After Turkey the other week you would think Valtteri Bottas’ race weekends couldn’t get any worse. 

Enter Bahrain, where the Finn endured another difficult race as he limped home to eighth after suffering two punctures. 

Bottas lost a handful of positions with a poor initial start and picked up a puncture when he ran wide over debris before recovering into the points until a second puncture hit on the final lap, but luckily for Bottas he was able to reach the finish line with the race neutralised by the late Safety Car period.

Winner: Red Bull

Red Bull achieved its first double podium since Japan 2017. 

Inevitably Hamilton took the lead & disappeared into the sunset, leaving Verstappen to coast along behind to a strong second place finish, also picking up an extra point with the fastest lap of the race. 

On a weekend where Alex Albon needed a solid performance, he certainly provided the goods. Despite a nasty crash on Friday, Albon impressively recovered to qualify in fourth in qualifying and kept his cool in the race with no mistakes or dramas and some nice overtakes.

He was ultimately handed his third place on the podium after the devastating blow to Perez, but it was nevertheless a solid weekend for the Anglo-Thai driver. 

Who was your biggest winner & loser from Bahrain? Has Romain’s crash changed your mind on the effectiveness and necessity of the halo? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and don’t forget to like and subscribe to Crash F1.

 

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