Lewis Hamilton displayed all his class to fend off team-mate Nico Rosberg and drive to a brilliant victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix for the Brackley-based Mercedes team.
In round three of the 2014 World Championship, Hamilton held off a strong challenge from the German in a gripping race under the lights as the duo drove the team to a second successive one-two finish.
Sergio Perez finished third for Silverstone-based Sahara Force India, marking a podium clean sweep for cars based within the area – the first time this has been achieved in the 900-race history of the Grand Prix motor racing.
The two Mercedes drivers swapped positions for the lead on several occasions, and with the Silver Arrows hierarchy granting permission to their two superstar drivers to race for victory, Hamilton and Rosberg both made attempts to grab the win in an absorbing battle between the two.
Eventually the pendulum swung in Hamilton’s favour, and the British driver was able to gain a slight advantage – one he held until the fall of the chequered flag.
Speaking after the race, Hamilton said: “That was a really good race. Nico and I got pretty close at times and we have been told we are allowed to race for the win. The only thing we must not do is hit each other. We have to finish, and of course me the ultimate aim is to finish first!”
Rosberg added: “The thing I don’t like is finishing second to Lewis! We had a good battle and in the end he was able to gain some some advantage.
“However, second position allows me to maintain the lead in the championship and that is my desire. The leader of the championship wins the prize.”
Force India also enjoyed a sensational race with both Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg in the mix throughout.
Perez, in only his third race for the team, scooped third, much to the delight of Force India team owner, Vijay Mallya, who said: “Our season is now really underway. We are ranked second in the points table and for everyone in the team that is a great feeling.”
Rosberg retains his overall lead at the top of the standings as the teams head to China next weekend for round four.