Rosberg romps to fifth win in a row

Sun Apr 3, 2016 1:50pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

MANAMA (Reuters) - Germany's Nico Rosberg romped to his fifth win in a row for Mercedes on Sunday and ended Formula One champion team mate Lewis Hamilton's hopes of a third successive Bahrain Grand Prix victory.

In a race that at times resembled a demolition derby, with bits of bodywork flying as cars collided, Rosberg seized the lead from the start and enjoyed an easy evening under the floodlights.

"It's been an awesome weekend. The key was really at the start, I made a great getaway and from then on I was trying to control the pace," said Rosberg of his first win at the desert track where he made his F1 debut a decade ago.

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, whose team mate Sebastian Vettel failed to start after his car's engine let out a plume of smoke on the formation lap, finished 10.2 seconds behind to repeat last year's second place.

Hamilton, a distant third and never in a position to challenge for the lead, made a slow start from pole position and tangled with the Williams of Valtteri Bottas at the first corner as the Finn tried to go past on the inside.

That left him having to battle back from seventh place at the end of lap two with a damaged car, while stewards gave Bottas a drive-through penalty for causing the collision.

Hamilton had also started on pole in Australia two weeks earlier, when both Mercedes drivers were jumped by the Ferraris before eventually finishing one-two.

"Two separate incidents, both equally painful -- perhaps today more painful," said Hamilton.   Continued...

Formula One - Bahrain F1 Grand Prix - Sakhir, Bahrain - 03/04/16 - Mercedes F1 driver Nico Rosberg of Germany (R) Ferrari F1 driver Kimi Raikkonen of Finland (C) and Mercedes Team Engineer Director Aldo Costa (R) celebrate after winning the Bahrain GP. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed