Lewis Hamilton reacts to Max Verstappen retirement after snatching third in Bahrain

F1 preview: A lap of the Bahrain Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton says it was “unfortunate” Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez retired from the race as he picked up a podium place in a dramatic finish. Hamilton benefited from retirements from Verstappen and Sergio Perez on the final laps. 

Verstappen slowed in the last sector a few laps before the end and pulled into the pits to retire the car. That paved the way for Hamilton to rescue a poor weekend with a third-place finish.

The Brit said: “I think it was such a difficult race, we’ve struggled throughout practice. This was the best result we could have got. Of course it was unfortunate for the other two drivers but we did the best we could and we’re grateful for these points.”

He added he was “hoping” for some new updates to the car. But he warned: “It’s not going to be a quick turnaround.”

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Perez lost control of his car on the exit of Turn One after complaining of issues just minutes earlier. The seven-time champion didn’t have the best start after pitting as early as Lap 12 for hard tyres.

He complained on team radio that it was “too early” to stop and struggled for grip. However, a second stop for mediums saw him battle through the pack and was running in fifth until the closing stages before. 

It comes after Mercedes warned they would not be challenging in the early stages of 2022 after a poor performance in Bahrain. 

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Race winner Charles Leclerx praised his team after some “extremely difficult” years for the team.

He said: “I’m so happy. The last two years have been extremely difficult for the team.

“One-two today with Carlos, we couldn’t hope for better. It’s incredible to be back at the top.”

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