Lewis Hamilton celebrates on the podium after winning the Formula One Bahrain Grand Prix at the Sakhir circuit, Manama. AFP
MANAMA: Defending world champion Lewis Hamilton took advantage of Ferrari new boy Charles Leclerc's wretched misfortune on Sunday when he claimed a dramatic victory for Mercedes in the Bahrain Grand Prix.
The five-time champion, who looked to be heading for second behind the 21-year-old Monegasque, gained the lead with 10 laps remaining when Formula One's new star, who claimed a record-breaking pole position for Ferrari on Saturday, was hit by engine problems.
As he slowed, Hamilton hunted him down to claim his first win of the season, his third at the Bahrain International Circuit and the 74th of his career ahead of his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas, who won the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton celebrates with his teammate Mercedes' Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas. AFP
Leclerc came home third as the race finished behind a Safety Car, following the spectacular late exit of both Renaults at Turn Two, ahead of Max Verstappen of Red Bull.
"It happens," said a calm Leclerc afterwards. "It's part of motor sport. It's a very hard one to take, but I am sure we will come back stronger."
Four-time champion Sebastian Vettel finished fifth in the second Ferrari, after a late spin had damaged his front wing during a duel with Hamilton, ahead of British rookie Lando Norris who scored his first points for McLaren in sixth.
Kimi Raikkonen, 39, was seventh for Alfa Romeo ahead of Pierre Gasly of Red Bull, Thailand's rookie Alex Albon of Toro Rosso, who also had his first points finish, and Mexican Sergio Perez of Racing Line.
"That was extremely unfortunate for Charles, he drove a great race," said Hamilton, on the team radio.
Former British football player David Beckham waves the checkered flag. AFP
"We've got work to do to keep these guys off our tails. It must be devastating for Charles."
It was Leclerc's first podium finish in F1 and he also scored a point for fastest lap.
Bottas stayed on top in the drivers championship, one point ahead of Hamilton.
"That was extremely unfortunate for Charles, he drove a great race," Hamilton said over the radio.
"We've got work to do to keep these guys off our tails."
Egan Bernal of Team Ineos became the first Colombian rider to claim the prestigious Tour de France title with an emphatic victory on Sunday.
As a field of 62 all-female teams tackled a gruelling Gov Games obstacle course comprising nine mind and body-defying challenges
The defending five-time world champion said the message from Harry Shaw, who is battling Ewing's Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, helped him defeat Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas who beat him to pole in a "nightmare" qualifying session
Rafael Nadal ended a run of three straight losses to Alexander Zverev with a convincing 6-3, 6-4 win over the German on Friday to reach the Italian Open semifinals. Zverev had beaten Nadal in straight sets at the same stage in Madrid a week ago but their latest
Pep Guardiola has warned Manchester City’s rivals that his addiction to winning will push the Premier League champions to even greater heights next season. Guardiola clinched his eighth major trophy as City manager when his side were confirmed as Premier
The 28th edition of the UAE President’s Cup World Series for Purebred Arabian Horses is set to kick off on Saturday at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland, US. To be held under the patronage of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan,
After a difficult day for UAE Team Emirates at the Giro d’Italia, which saw Joe Dombrowski retire from the race after suffering a concussion in a crash on stage 5, Ryan Gibbons boosted the squad’s morale by clinching victory at Trofeo Calvia, part of the four-day