There are glimmers of hope that a German in a Red Ferrari may once again be at the top of the motorsport world. Ever since moving to Ferrari in 2015, Sebastian Vettel has wanted to emulate his idol – Michael Schumacher – and bring home championship glory for the red cars from Maranello. A good sign is that since Alain Prost did it in 1982, nobody winning the first two grand prix has failed to secure the driver’s championship. Though, those were the days before 20 or 21 race seasons. A lot can happen between now and November.
That being said, the Bahrain Grand Prix was exceptional. Here’s the run down:
About the only significant thing missing this race was Red Bull. Max Verstappen got a bit big in his britches and tried to get
round through Hamilton. The contact caused a puncture from which the imbalance caused his rear differential to get wrecked. This found him rocked up at the side of the track, unable to continue. Danny Ric inexplicably suffered a shutdown of his car. All of this happened within the first 2 laps and resulted in no points for the outfit from Milton Keynes.
The Hulk with a good solid drive for this race. Surely Sainz will be annoyed having ended up one place outside the points. While a move to Renault seems smart, my worry is that Hulkenberg just will never find room on a top tier team. He’ll forever be remembered as a reliable mid-field driver that should have been more.
If you’d have told me that FI ran this race, I wouldn’t have believed you. It seems to me that Renault is their main competition right now and if they don’t get some good development work in, that 4th place finish they’ve had the last couple seasons isn’t theirs any longer.
Well look at that – the wheels stayed on! Great race from Magnussen. K-Mag is definitely showing he’s got the fight should he find himself in a reliable car. Though full props on Grosjean for showing some muscle to his team mate during that scrap early on in the race as well. Unfortunately for RoGro, it would appear that K-Mag is emerging as the #1 driver, complete with an untimely pitstop that compromises your strategy. Though, from the team’s point of view, I could see wanting to split them up before it all ended in tears and a second race with no points.
Ho-lee-shit. From out of (basically) nowhere here comes Pierre Gasly. We knew he had some skill coming in, but nobody expects a 7th F1 race driver to score mega points. His drive could go down as heroic as Jules Bianchi’s finish at Monaco. I’m positive that Honda is going to get good and drunk to celebrate a race that their engine did not fuck up a good result for. Hartley also drove well though his 17th place doesn’t say so.
Oddly enough, McLaren did quite well. Their qualifying session was basically awful but both Alonso and Vandoorne managed a great haul of points. I truly want to see McLaren keep going forward.
Well fuck. I guess having scored points now for the first time in 50 races means that we keep seeing Eriksson around the paddock. Nice enough guy, shit driver. Fat wallets must be amazing – I wouldn’t know.
Seriously, all Valtteri Bottas needed was 1 more lap. One. More. Lap. and he’d have had that red Ferrari. It’s hard to remember that Bottas is still relatively new to the team. Mercedes has put in such dominant performances over the past few years that you just expect them to win with Hamilton at the front. Having Bottas bring home more points is a nice change of scenery and I rather enjoy it. Frankly, I want to see Lewis bin it into the wall at Turn 1 every damn race, but that’s just because I want to see something exciting vs him winning every damn Sunday. But, I’ll settle for Lewis in third.
Jesus Christ do the Italians have a flair for the drama. Ferrari starting on pole and second? Drama and injury in the pit lane causing the retirement of a world champion driver? 10 laps to go, holding the lead, and tires just might fail? Coming up!
Wow, just wow. If these were the Pirelli tires of 2013 Vettel’s tires would have exploded with 15 laps to go and Bottas and Hamilton would have gone on to a 1-2 finish, potentially with Bottas letting Hamilton by at the end. More durable tires that can go 40 laps? Yes, please! Who says that’s not exciting – Ferrari and Pirelli just proved it to be so.
In sadder news, a failure of the pit release system caused Kimi Raikonnen to be prematurely released and drive into a mechanic who hadn’t finished changing tires. Mechanic Francesco Cigarini has had surgery to repair two broken bones in his leg and is on the mend. Looks like he’s out for the season, though. Best wishes that he recovers well.
If half the races to come are half as exciting as this one, we’re in for a great race season. See you in Shanghai.