Force India finish third as Sergio Perez earns team a rare podium finish at Manama
Manama: Sergio Perez put in a giant-killing performance in yesterday's Bahrain Grand Prix to give Force India their second-ever podium finish.
Force India's Sergio Perez celebrates on the podium after finishing third at the Bahrain GP. Pic/AFP
Perez, who started fourth on the grid after Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo was demoted ten places, was in the fight for the podium throughout the race along with teammate Nico Hulkenberg and the two Williams of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas.
The battle between the Force India and Williams was close but was eventually settled in the Silverstone-based team's favour after the safety car disadvantaged the Williams drivers.
At the restart, Hulkenberg initially powered past his Mexican teammate but Perez went past him and stayed in third until the end, untroubled by a charging Daniel Ricciardo who managed to get past Hulkenberg.
With his third place finish, Perez repeats Giancarlo Fisichella's podium effort from the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix when the Italian finished second to the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen.
The result, combined with Hulkenberg's fifth-place finish, helps Force India vault to second in the constructors' standings, behind only the dominant Mercedes cars.
Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton fended off Nico Rosberg to take victory at the Bahrain GP after a furious race-long duel with his teammate that raises the prospect of a hard-fought and intense battle for the title between the former karting rivals.
Lewis Hamilton (right) and Nico Rosberg celebrate on the podium yesterday. Pic/Getty Images
One second counted
Hamilton, who also led Rosberg across the line last week in Malaysia, took the flag just one second ahead of the German with the two silver cars jostling for the lead and trading fastest laps right until the very dying stages of the 57-lap race.
"No one can tell me that this sport is boring!" Rosberg exclaimed on the radio at the end of an eventful grand prix that was made all the more exciting by a safety car late in the race and was a ringing endorsement for Formula One's new rules.