Bahrain F1 Grand Prix 2015 attracts record visitors


BIC, Al Sakhir: Gulf Air F1 Bahrain Grand Prix 2015 which concluded on Sunday attracted over 90,000 visitors in three days breaking all previous records, according to a top official at the Circuit.

I am proud that the Bahrain Grand Prix continues to go from strength to strength, with our ticket sales yet again breaking records, with a crowd of over 32,000 for today’s race, beating last year’s record by some margin,” following the conclusion of the 2015 Bahrain Grand Prix, Zayed R. Alzayani, Minister for Industry and Commerce and Chairman of the Bahrain International Circuit, said.

Al Zayani also congratulated Lewis Hamilton and the Mercedes team on an superb victory this evening, in yet another absolutely enthralling race at The Home of Motorsport in the Middle East.

“The 2015 Bahrain Grand Prix yet again reaffirms the fact that the night race is attracting a new breed of fans to F1 in Bahrain. I am especially encouraged by the increase in the number of fans from outside of the region who have come to enjoy our Bahraini hospitality,” Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa, Chief Executive of the Bahrain International Circuit, added.

“I thank the team here at the BIC for their phenomenal efforts in delivering yet another wonderful weekend of racing and entertainment and I also thank our partners and sponsors for their continued support.”

World champion Lewis Hamilton produced a flawless drive to win an electrifying Formula One Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday evening.

A brilliantly floodlit Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) set the stage for what was once again an exciting and eventful race held over 57 laps under the desert stars.

A dazzling fireworks display lit up the night sky and the massive crowd roared into celebration as Hamilton steered his Mercedes across the finish line to claim victory number three after four Grands Prix so far in the 2015 FIA Formula One World Championship.

The Briton, who started from pole, repeated his success from last season in Bahrain despite experiencing brake issues towards the end. The win was also the second of his Formula One career in Sakhir.

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was another star on the night, chasing down Nico Rosberg over the race’s closing stages before overtaking him on the penultimate lap and claiming an impressive podium finish as runner-up.

Rosberg completed the podium placers in third to continue his strong start to the season for Mercedes.

His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander, First Deputy Prime Minister and Honorary President of the Bahrain Motor Federation attended the Grand Prix. His Royal Highness the Crown Prince awarded Hamilton the winning driver’s glistening trophy during the post-race podium ceremony.

Gulf Air Acting CEO Maher Al Musallam presented Mercedes Engineering Group Manager Stefan Strahnz the winning constructor’s trophy. Minister of Transportation Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed handed Raikkonen his silverware, while Bahrain Motor Federation president Shaikh Abdulla bin Isa Al Khalifa awarded Rosberg.

“Thank you to my team; they did an amazing job this weekend,” Speaking about his win, Hamilton said.

“Ferrari gave us a run for our money. Fortunately, I was able to keep the car together. A massive thanks to everyone.”

“You’re never happy when you finish second, but I am a bit pleased to get some result,” Raikkonen said.

“We came through in the end very quickly, we ran out of laps, but we have to be happy after where we qualified.

“We are very happy how team is working especially after last year. Where we are now is a big step. Things seem to be working well, and I’m sure as a team we’ll get there to be able all the time to keep fighting for wins.”

“The overtaking was enjoyable. I tried to catch Lewis but he pulled away. I lost my brakes unfortunately two laps in the end and gave up my position to Kimi, which is very disappointing,” Rosberg, who faced similar car problems as Hamilton in the end, said.

Hamilton won in a total race time of 1hr 35mins 05.809secs. Raikkonen finished 3.380s behind while Rosberg was 6.033s back.

Valtteri Bottas put Williams in fourth place but finished well behind the top three. He was 42.957s behind Hamilton’s winning time.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel started from the front row but could only managed fifth place with a 43.989s gap.

Daniel Ricciardo (+61.751s) was sixth for Red Bull Racing, while Romain Grosjean (+84.763s) of Lotus clinched seventh place.

Classified one lap behind from eighth through 15th place, respectively, were Force India’s Sergio Perez, Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat, Williams’ Felipe Massa, McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, Sauber’s Felipe Nasr, Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg, Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson and Lotus’ Pastor Maldonado.

Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi complete the final classification in 16th and 17th place.

Toro Rosso pairing Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz both did not finish, while the horrific weekend of Jenson Button ended in further disappointment as he did not even start the Grand Prix.

Hamilton improved to 93 points as the championship leader. Rosberg follows with 66 and Vettel is third with 65.

Mercedes rose to 159 points, followed by Ferrari with 107 and Williams with 61 points.

The 2015 FIA Formula One World Championship now heads to Barcelona for round five from May 8 to 10.

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