First race of 2010. First win in the first race for Ferrari since 2007. Congratulations to Alonso even though he won by default. Its no secret that Sebastian Vettel deserved to win this. Especially after an amazing performance in qualifying which put him on pole. And it looked like he was going to win as well. He made a cracking start. All worries of the Red Bull being hard on the tires seemed to vanish as the race progressed. He always kept a good margin to the Ferraris. Never pushing, just controlling the race.
Yes. The Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel were indeed the stars of the Bahrain GP. Until a spark plug failure put a stop to that. He did incredibly well to hang on to 4th ahead of Rosberg in spite of being very down on power. This brings about flashbacks of France 2008 where Kimi finished in 2nd with a broken exhaust after dominating the race at first.
On top of that the Red Bull pit crew did a jaw-droppingly quick pit stop. Way faster than the competiton. Until his engine lost power he drove a very smart race. Whenever Alonso made a little push, Vettel answered accordingly. This bodes well for the season that there are at least one team that can challenge the Ferraris. The McLarens and the Mercedes still have some work to do. But they are not far behind. For all we know, McLaren could be fighting at the top for the next race in Melbourne.
The Ferrari engines may be a worry for the Scuderia. Both their engines were changed before the race and this leaves them with only 6 fresh engines and 1 used for all of the remaining races. A bit surprising since testing saw them running almost without problems. On top of that we heard Smedley on the team radio telling Massa to save the engine. Apparently a problem with overheating. Which must explain why he finished 16 seconds behind Alonso. So is there a worry there? Time will tell.
What about the new teams? The only driver from the newbies to finish the race was Kovalainen in the Lotus. The rest dropped out one by one due to various technical issues. Its going to be a long season for them. The Virgins never made it to the finish line, so it doesnt count. Cherry still intact
And Schumacher? I know Rosberg must be very pleased with finishing ahead of him. There has been plenty of predictions of the opposite. But give the “old” guy 2-3 races and Rosberg is going to have his hands full. I find the Mercedes teammate battle the most intriguing of the field. The McLaren battle I already know the outcome of. You may come back and taunt me if and when Button starts to beat Hamilton on a regular basis. But Im saying right now that it wont happen. And I actually like Jenson.
As for the Ferrari driver battle, the verdict is still out.
So what is the conclusion? Its a shame we didnt see two different teams challenge each other to the finish line. And its a serious worry for Red Bull that unreliability reared its ugly head in the first race. Lets hope the issue was a one-off, like it was with Kimis exhaust, and they will keep Ferrari from running away at the front for added excitement. Because they are clearly the team to beat.
The no-refuelling rule and the fact that the Bahrain track was made looong made the cars seem even slower than they actually were. Only very few racers ever got under the 2 minute lap time. Im gonna wait and see how it goes in Melbourne before passing judgment on the rule. Overtaking sure didnt look any easier with the cars brimming with fuel.
SORENS RACE RATING
I have decided to introduce this for the races this year. Its a totally unscientific and emotionally driven rating given by yours truly based on various factors. Excitement, drama, overtaking, crashes and so on. Just for fun
It had the makings of a great battle from lap 1 between Vettel and Alonso. With Massa lurking behind ready to strike. But it unravelled fast with Vettels problems. Massa seemed to back off a bit too and we were robbed of an exciting finish. Vettel still gave the most excitement in holding off Rosberg who was clearly faster.
Sorens race rating: 4 out of 10. And one of the points are given due to race starvation over the winter. And another for curiosity over the new teams.
Take care guys. Next F1 race is in 2 weeks time. And the week after that its time to crank up Rally Jordan. Good times ahead. Soren says: Stay out of trouble