Bahrain Grand Prix 2014: live (2023)

Does Formula 1 need to make further rule changes just two races into the season? Email the answer to this along with thoughts, observations and jokes for your liveblogger to steal to or tweet @DanLucas86


17.49 Right, that's that then. I have to admit I didn't see either of the previous two races this year, but by all accounts that was by far and away the best yet. It's was a tight, tense race right the way down to the final lap and, although we can debate the fairness of the safety car rules, today's intervention probably actually made for a more exciting finish. Hamilton's second straight win takes him to the top of the embryonic rankings, while the Mercedes one-two firmly establishes their brilliant start to the season.

Many thanks for reading and for all your emails. Sorry I couldn't use them all. Bye!

Lap 57 So here we go with the final lap. Ricciardo has closed to within one second of Perez in third, while Hamilton has a lead of 0.8 second lead over Rosberg. Perez is under serious pressure here from the talented young Ricciardo. Lewis Hamilton wins the Grand Prix! He crosses just ahead of Rosberg and Perez holds on for third.

Lap 56 Button's car has practically stopped, which is a shame for him on his landmark. He's still going but it's very slow and the team order him to come in and retire. Massa goes very wide as he attacks Vettel then switches to the inside line and gets through. "Bugger off," thinks the champion and immediately gets back past Massa.

Lap 55 Massa himself has to watch out for Bottas, although I'd say they're not getting to the podium. Hamilton has increased his lead over Rosberg.

Lap 54 Ricciardo seizes on a mistake by Hulkenberg and moves up to fourth place. His team-mate Vettel on the other hand needs to watch out for some aggressive moves from Massa behind him.

Lap 53 Oh close! Rosberg goes inside of Hamilton on turn one but overbrakes and Hamilton gets back past him! There's a half-second gap between these two, but then it's 14 seconds back to Perez in third place.

Lap 52 Ah here we go! Rosberg is probing around the back of Hamilton's car and the Brit's positioning is absolutely superb. Remember he has the softer tyres.

Lap 51 This is absurd; the Mercedes have pulled out to an 11-second lead over the rest of the pack since the safety car went away four laps ago. The best action at the moment though is in sixth and seventh, where Vettel and Ricciardo are battling it out.

Lap 50 Vettel is overtaken by Ricciardo on turn one but he comes back as the come up the hill. Ricciardo holds the inside line and holds his team-mate off. Meanwhile Rosberg has put in the fastest lap of the race and cut 0.4 seconds from Hamilton's lead.

Lap 48 "I've got no power" says Lewis Hamilton over the radio, which sounds like a far more serious problem than his tone of voice or driving style would seem to suggest. Both Red Bulls are flying all of a sudden too. Hamilton holds the lead now with just eight laps to go.

Lap 47 Ah here we go, safety car is off and we're going to have a race again. Maldonado will have to come in for a ten second penalty at some point. Immediately the Mercedes have pulled away from the chasing pack. Hulkenberg is has a dart at Perez but can't get past. Vettel is suddenly up to fifth.

Lap 46 This safety car does mean that we're at least going to see a battle for the win between the two Mercedes drivers. It's harsh on Hamilton though, who had built up a 13+ second lead, but will now have to try and hold Rosberg off with the softer tyres.

Lap 44 We're told that it was a clutch failure that saw Magnussen retire, although so high is the standard of driving ahead of him that I doubt he was ever really threatening the points positions. There's going to be a hefty points penalty coming Maldonado's way at some point I would reckon; that was very reckless driving to cause the Gutierrez crash.

Lap 43 This must be very frustrating for Lewis Hamilton, whose hard work in building a big lead is for nothing as per the rules of F1 and the safety car. Perez is the man currently holding on to third, from Hulkenberg.

Lap 42 Yep here comes the safety car as Magnussen's car stops working. We're not sure what his problem is just yet, but his race is run. Well, driven.

Lap 41 We could be seeing some safety car action soon. Maldonado came haring out of the pits and ploughed into the side of Esteban Gutierrez, flipping the Sauber over a couple of times and turning the track into the 'Debris Road' that Ocean Colour Scene sang about in 1998. Gutierrez is OK but obviously out.

Lap 40 Button is now having a look at Alonso. At the moment it's Bottas in third place but it's really far too close to call third place at the moment.

Lap 39 Massa is coming in for his third pitstop. The improvement in the Force India cars this season has been one of the more remarkable stories F1 has produced lately.

Lap 38 "Just the facts please, Lucas," writes politeness's David Thompson, asking for the most boring liveblog that's ever been written. Hamilton has extended his lead to around 9.5 seconds.

Lap 36 Vettel is now battling Kevin Magnussen to keep hold of tenth place. Ericsson, in the Caterham, is out of the race. More on that when I get it.

Lap 35 Er I'm starting to lose track of who's where in the third-place chase. Currently it's Hulkenberg in third place. There was a probelm with Vettel's release from the pit stop there and that might cost him.

Lap 34 Bottas does unto Ricciardo as he did unto Raikkonen, easing up to just behind Massa.

Lap 33 Well the Mercedes engine has just taken the Ferrarri one out in front of the class and whipped its bum with a wet towel. He may have been forced off the track to prevent a collision with his compatriot earlier but he's simply beaten him for speed on the straight here. POWER.

Lap 31 Bottas comes up behind Raikkonen far, far too quickly with Ricciardo right on his tail and is forced wide and off the track to avoid a nasty collision. Drama, the likes of which we've not seen since the dogfight scene in Top Gun.

Lap 30 Here's a pretty photo.

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Lap 28 Massa's wheels lock up at the start of the lap and Perez nips past him to take third place. It's a disastrous lap for the Brazilian as Hulkenberg has also taken the opportunity to get past him. Massa down in fifth now behind Hamilton, Rosberg, Perez and Hulkenberg respectively.

Lap 26 Perez is also interested in third place, although Bottas has stepped back for a moment and gone in for his second pit-stop.

Lap 25 Hulkenberg quite fancies a podium finish himself and is watching the battle between Massa and Bottas with some interest. Tempers have cooled slightly in the battle for first place, so Dan Johnson has a moment to breathe, which it sounds like he could do with:

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Who said F1 was boring? This is pulsating stuff. Three races into the new season and we've been waiting for a battle between Hamilton and Rosberg, and we aren't half getting one.

The pair came extremely close to touching wheels in a ding dong battle: Rosberg even said over the radio, "what he did was not on!"

Now the first pit stops are over, it seems as if Hamilton is on a three stop strategy, and Rosberg is on a two.

Lap 23 Vettel is scrapping with Raikkonen. Meanwhile here's a bizarre email from Steffan Hultman, with the subject line "Formula 1":

Bahrain Grand Prix 2014: live (3)

What Formula is that? Certaily not one.

Eh? No, "one" means "1".

Lap 22 Rosberg has put the hard tyres on, in contrast to Hamilton who has the soft. Massa, who made a good start, is under pressure from the Finn Bottas for third place. In fact it looks like Bottas has done him here.

Lap 21 Button has slipped all the way back to ninth place from fourth... although no sooner do I write that than he overtakes Raikkonen into eight. Adrian Sutil meanwhile has retired from his second successive race after that collision with Bianchi. The French driver was given a drive-through penalty for causing that collision.

Lap 19 My colleague Dan Johnson was right, this is a real battle for first place. Rosberg has a dart at the start of the lap but his wheels lock up and he can't make it. His second assault is more successful but Hamilton knows he's stronger down the hill and fires past Rosberg and back into the lead there. Cometh the end of the lap, cometh Hamilton's pit stop.

Lap 18 Rosberg takes the lead! He sneaks up on Hamilton and goes- oh never mind, Hamilton notices and says "I'm not having any of that mate" and immediately takes the place back after Rosberg had just nudged inside him. They were very close to touching when Hamilton retook the lead too.

Lap 17 Vettel is coming in while Ricciardo stays out on the track. Button also hasn't stopped yet, which suggests that he's on a two-stop strategy today. As mentioned earlier, Vettel is on the medium compound tyres today so you would expect him to be a touch slower than Ricciardo.

Lap 16 Vettel is asked to allow the quicker Ricciardo through and immediately complies. Still, that must be a bit of a blow for the reigning champion.

Lap 15 Massa has taken a pit stop and lost a place to Button by the looks of things. That's excellent news for Perez, who is quicker than Jenson up in third. The stewards are having a look at the collision between Bianchi and Sutil. There's still debris on the track, so perhaps it will turn out to be slightly more significant than I first thought.

Lap 14 There's a problem here for Adrian Sutil. He appears to have been touched by Bianchi (not like that) a couple of times and as they went into turn one bits of car shattered on to the track and Sutil gets a puncture. Those two were down in 17th and 18th respectively, so it's not really a big deal in the grand scheme of things.

Lap 12 Speaking of ding-dong battles, Perez is battling Massa down the hill. He gets past but Massa looks to come back and his wheels lock up. Perez holds on to the podium space.

Lap 11 Hamilton's lead is up to 1.3 seconds now. "Rosenberg's in a better place," says the commentator. He's actually in second place, but there you go. Here's Dan Johnson:

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"A frenetic opening lap, with team-mates battling each other all the way down the field. It was brave of Hamilton to go down the inside - he wasn't clearly in front of Rosberg and it took a compliant team-mate to make it through. It was phenomenal racing down to turn four - Hamilton squeezed Rosberg wide. Looks as though it's going to be ding dong between the pair of them for the whole race. A much closer fight at this stage than in Malaysia."

Lap 10 Bottas and Button are battling it out for fifth place and Hulkenberg sees an opportunity. Button has 250 GPs to his name and uses all that experience to get ahead of them both.

Lap 8 I won't lie to you, this hasn't been a thriller so far. A thousand Jeremy Clarkson types, struggling to have the excitement aroused, are sat at home sadly weeping into their pot noodles. Vettel, who under the new rules is not allowed to win, is forced wide as he looks to overtake Raikkonen and is forced off the track. Just for a little bit though.

Lap 7 The McLarens have been the slowest team using a Mercedes engine so far this season and it's showing here, as Magnussen is struggling to hold off Ricciardo.

Lap 6 I've neglected to mention that Kimi Raikkonnen was claiming to have been hit at the start of the race, although replays haven't showsn us anything on the TV yet. Perez is making a nice comeback here, closing the gap to Massa.

Lap 5 Rosberg has set the fastest lap of the race, although at this early stage that's fairly meaningless. Hulkenberg is up to seventh, which means two Force India drivers are now up in the top seven.

Lap 3 As the lap begins Hamilton's lead is still under a second. It's also been reported that Vergne said "this man tried to kill me", which might be a slight exaggeration. We've seen a replay of Massa's start and I can't quite believe the progress he made up from seventh so quickly. The commentators are suggesting that he may have jumped the gun.

Lap 2 The noise of this race reminds me of the time I was sat in my parents' garden last summer and was surprised by a frankly massive swarm of bees. My girlfriend says it's like the waiting room at Tony & Guy. Problems here for Vergne, who was clipped by an "absolutely mental" Lotus guy (his words). He's in for running repairs.

Lap 1 I don't do the F1 liveblogs very often, so I don't get the opportunity to be Murray Walker very often... It's go, go, go! Massa goes into third past Perez and Hamilton slips inside of Rosberg and takes the lead.

16.04 FYI:

Warm-up lap It's actually quite a picturesque track out there in the desert. The lap passes without incident.

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15.56 fun fact: this is the 900th ever Formula 1 Grand Prix.

15.53 Sorry just realised the liveblog was looking a bit weird, wasn't it? Refresh the page and it should all be fixed now.

15.49 With ten minutes to go, we've just about got time for the quite excellent thoughts of Steve Wise in Malaysia.

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Ol' Bernie is well past his 'best before' date, and it is long past time he was shuffled off. Of course F1 should be about constant technological improvements, not clawing them back. It is the infighting and bickering that is turning off fans, not the changes in the rules, which has always been part of this sport.

Another drag on the gate is the simple lack of transparency and integrity. Not fan wants to feel like s/he is being played for a dupe. Get your act together, fellows. I'd rather have reasonable rules on fuel flow than artificially constructed degradation rates on tyres; that was just plain stupid, and in these environmentally sensitive times, unconscionable.

P.S. Go get 'em Lewis. You have paid plenty of dues. Time to cash in.

15.40 Fancy some more thoughts from Dan Johnson out in Bahrain? Of course you do, otherwise it'll just be witless Simpsons references from me.

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"It was a surprise to some that Rosberg outqualified Hamilton yesterday, but the German has been learning from his team-mate all weekend. In Malaysia, Rosberg was convincingly beaten, so he will be eager to put that right this time around.

Away from the track, it has been a day of frenetic meetings in the paddock. Jean Todt, FIA President, Luca di Montezemolo, Ferrari president, and Bernie Ecclestone have been meeting with the teams to discuss, among other things, the engine noise. The main conclusion seems to be that something will be done - if all the teams can agree - with possible solutions tested most likely in Barcelona at a two day test after the race."

15.22 More reading: Lewis Hamilton has rejected claims that F1 is boring.

15.07 It's a big day too for Jenson Button, who is driving in his 250th race. For someone who had been written off by many a few seasons ago, it's an excellent achievement.

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14.54 We can take pops at Ecclestone all we like, but I have to admit he's excellent at building up excitement around F1.

14.47 Well we've started this up rather early, haven't we? There are still a couple of hours until the race, er, drives off (what is the correct verb for the start of an F1 race?) so why not have a read of Oliver Brown's excellent piece on the harsher realities facing Bahrain, away from the glitz and glamour of the Grand Prix?

14.20 We've got an update on the latest from Bernie Ecclestone regarding proposed rule changes, although there doesn't appear to be any hint of what said changes might be. Doesn't Bernie come across as a loveable fellow? "But I don't think that's [reduced fuel consumption] Formula One business. They should do it in touring cars or something, but not in Formula One."

Sure thing Bernie, you're in an oil state with a bunch of very, very rich men after all. Why bother with fuel conservation, doing your bit for saving the planet and all that, lest it make the spectacle slightly less ostentatious. Still, distracts from all those questions over human rights in the country and stuff, doesn't it?

Come on Bernie, it's surely not that hard to keep a little dignity in F1 is it?

11.56 Good afternoon. Welcome to our live coverage of the 2014 Grand Prix from Bahrain (that's the Grand Prix; we're based in lil' ol' London I'm afraid). We'll be getting things underway from around 2pm-ish, by which point we should know, er, what rules they'll be racing under for the forseeable future (read: the next couple of weeks at any rate). Our F1 expert Dan Johnson is the man out in Bahrain for us today and he'll be sending over regular updates to help those of us less knowledgeable than him - which is to say most people - keep up-to-date with happenings out east.

The race starts at 4pm UK time, but we'll be here with you for a couple of hours before that. In the meantime, why not have a read of Dan's piece on the latest proposed rule changes?

Here's how they'll line-up on the grid:

1 Nico Rosberg

2 Lewis Hamilton

3 Valtteri Bottas

4 Sergio Perez

5 Kimi Raikkonen

6 Jenson Button

7 Felipe Massa

8 Kevin Magnussen

9 Fernando Alonso

10 Sebastian Vettel

11 Nico Hulkenberg

12 Daniil Kvyat

13 Daniel Ricciardo

14 Jean-Eric Vergne

15 Esteban Gutierrez

16 Romain Grosjean

17 Pastor Maldonado

18 Adrian Sutil

19 Kamui Kobayashi

20 Jules Bianchi

21 Marcus Ericsson

22 Max Chilton


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