Lewis Hamilton has won the Bahrain Grand Prix after an engine problem disrupted runaway leader Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari late in the race.
Leclerc had dominated after retaking the lead following a poor start and was on course for a maiden victory when his hybrid system failed.
Hamilton closed an eight-second deficit within three laps and swept by for his first win of 2019 with nine laps to go.
Leclerc would have slipped down to fourth behind Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen but was saved by a late race safety car.
As victory slipped from his fingers, the despair in Leclerc’s voice was clear as he asked the team what had happened, and was told he had suffered a failure of the MGU-H, the part of the hybrid system that recovers energy from the turbo.
It cost him 40km/h on the straights and left him helpless as first Hamilton and then Bottas closed in at five seconds a lap.
“Oh my God,” he said, as he saw a fairytale victory slip from his grasp on a weekend on which he had destroyed his four-time world champion team-mate Sebastian Vettel.