Saturday, September 25News That Matters

SAKHIR RACE ZONE: Mercedes blow it for Valtteri Bottas as Mazepin endures horror show on debut

The 2021 Formula One season kicked off in dramatic style in Bahrain but the racing king still reigns supreme as Lewis Hamilton ended up with the top prize on Sunday.

The seven-time F1 champion was given a tough run by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen but Hamilton just clung on for victory.

Meanwhile, it was a first F1 outing for Mick Schumacher who turned out in Bahrain for Haas but Sebastian Vettel had an afternoon to forget on his Aston Martin debut.

Sportsmail brings you the talking points you may have missed from the fascinating weekend in Bahrain…

Sportsmail looks at the talking points you may have missed from Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix

Sportsmail looks at the talking points you may have missed from Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix

Sportsmail looks at the talking points you may have missed from Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix

MERCEDES BLOW IT FOR BOTTAS  

George Russell’s dream Mercedes outing in Bahrain last year turned into a nightmare after a pit-stop mix-up.

This time, Valtteri Bottas’ hopes of a top-two finish were dashed after trouble fitting his right front tyre.

Mercedes had issues with Valtteri Bottas' front tyre during Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix race

Mercedes had issues with Valtteri Bottas' front tyre during Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix race

Mercedes had issues with Valtteri Bottas’ front tyre during Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix race

HE’S NIKITA MAZE-SPIN! 

It was a horror show from Haas’ Nikita Mazepin on debut. 

The rookie, who courted controversy when a video of him groping a woman emerged earlier this year, did not even complete the first lap, crashing out just three turns in.

A GERMAN WHO DOESN’T LIKE PENALTIES 

Sebastian Vettel had a weekend to forget. 

The German started from the back of the grid after a yellow flag in qualifying. 

His collision with Esteban Ocon was also deemed to be his fault and he was hit with five penalty points in five hours.

Sebastian Vettel's horror show of a weekend saw him collide with Esteban Ocon

Sebastian Vettel's horror show of a weekend saw him collide with Esteban Ocon

Sebastian Vettel’s horror show of a weekend saw him collide with Esteban Ocon

YUKI OUTSHINES ALONSO 

Japan’s Yuki Tsunoda, 20, said after the race that his father idolises Fernando Alonso, who made a welcome return in Bahrain. 

Tsunoda Snr must have been proud, then, to see his son nonchalantly overtake Alonso and finish in ninth. 

LUCKLESS PEREZ FIGHTS BACK 

Sergio Perez, who memorably won the Sakhir Grand Prix against the odds last season, was dogged by bad luck again and started from the pit lane this time. 

Despite the issue on the formation lap, Perez battled back to finish fifth. 

Sergio Perez battled back to finish fifth despite starting from the pit lane on Sunday

Sergio Perez battled back to finish fifth despite starting from the pit lane on Sunday

Sergio Perez battled back to finish fifth despite starting from the pit lane on Sunday