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 😉
Excellent review Soren. Vettel did drive a superb race. It is unfortunate that he could not win for all his fans and RBR fans. But for me, it’s good as I am a Ferrari fan.
I was actually very much surprised at RBR race pace. I thought they are just fast for qualy. However, not quite reliable, so it seemed (don’t forget with Webber’s white smoke coming out of the exhaust pipe in the beginning of the race.)
And as for Ferrari, we knew that the Ferraris have been very consistent over the long run during the tests. Their cars have always been gentle with the tires so that should be good, and was not surprised they could not get the pole as they might have problems over 1 lap only. They always put reliability first. Based on those, 1-2 was very realistic and I bet on this before the racing began.
For the other 2 top teams, I agree with you Merc and Macca need some catching up to do.
Force India did quite well, though I expected better. Otherwise, my bad that I did not really pay attention to the others or the new teams.
And as you also said that the race was boring, I could say that it would be boring the whole season. Drivers will be, as Vettel said, worrying more about the package and heavy load than being agressive attacking at every lap. If there would be action, it might be so during the last 1/3 of the race, when the car is lighter and they are sure their tires would last them till the end. Even when being aggressive.
So maybe pray for wet races? 🙂
Red Bull need to get their shit together concerning reliability. And Ferrari can thank their lucky stars RBR dont have the Merc engine or it would be game over.
I think we need to look out for the Williams too. They had good pace even though they reported several problems with the car. And they have updates coming. Get that in order and it could be fighting with the McLaren and the Mercedes.
And yes. The first corner and the last part of the race is our best hope for some action. When tires start to give out and cars become lighter. Wet races are always fun 😀
I don’t think Williams would be fighting with the front runners. They will fight in midfield with Renault and FI. I think Merc and Macca would improve somehow, but once they will get back to Europe on the 5th race, then everything can change from there.
Suggestion for those watching the races alive, book the seats close to the 1st corner and wear helmet just in case 🙂