Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton won a dramatic, incident-filled Bahrain Grand Prix as Romain Grosjean survived a horrific fireball crash that stopped the race.

Newly-crowned seven-time world champion Hamilton claimed his 11th victory of the year to keep him on course to match the record for most wins in a single season (13), ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in a race which began and ended in dramatic circumstances after more than three hours following the delays.

The race was suspended for over an hour following Grosjean’s terrifying, fiery accident on the opening lap.

Grosjean’s Haas was sent spearing into the barriers at the exit of Turn 3 following contact with AlphaTauri’s Daniil Kvyat, with the impact so forceful it split his car into two and burst into flames.

Miraculously, Grosjean was able to escape the horrific crash largely unscathed thanks to the Halo head-protection device and the speedy work of the medical crew who assisted him from his burning wreckage within seconds of the accident.

The Frenchman has been taken to hospital with minor burns to his hands and feet and is also suspected to have sustained broken ribs.

When the race finally got back underway with a standing restart on Lap 3, the Safety Car was called into action almost immediately for another incident as Kvyat flipped Lance Stroll’s Racing Point upside down at Turn 7.

Hamilton, who blitzed both standing starts, aced the Safety Car restart to maintain his lead over Verstappen before pulling clear.

In a bid to put Mercedes under pressure for the victory, Red Bull attempted an undercut strategy as it pitted Verstappen for a second time on Lap 34 to take on the Hard tyres, but a delayed pit stop cost the Dutchman and effectively ended any hopes of getting the jump on Hamilton.

Mercedes immediately reacted by pitting Hamilton to cover Red Bull on the next lap, with Hamilton rejoining comfortably clear of Verstappen as he went on to secure the 95th win of his career.

There was heartbreak for Sergio Perez, who looked destined to claim successive podiums for the first time in his career until his Racing Point conked out with three laps to go as he dropped out of third place, allowing Alex Albon to complete the podium in the second Red Bull.

The failure marked a huge blow to Racing Point’s hopes of taking third place in the constructors’ championship with both of its cars failing to finish, while McLaren duo Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz took fourth and fifth to move the Woking squad into the much coveted P3 with two races remaining.

Pierre Gasly claimed a strong sixth place for AlphaTauri, ahead of Renault's Daniel Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas, who 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 in the early stages, before recovering into the points. The Finn sustained a second puncture on the final lap, but was able to coast across the line with the race neutralised by the late Safety Car for Perez's parked Racing Point. 

Esteban Ocon ensured Renault finished with both cars inside the points as he took ninth, with Charles Leclerc claiming the final point on offer in 10th for Ferrari. 

FULL RACE RESULTS FROM THE 2020 F1 BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX.

 

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