F1 Grand Prix Review: Bahrain, Round 4

F1 Grand Prix Review: Bahrain, Round 4

Qualifying

As the dessert sun sunk lazily behind the dusty horizon, the F1 paddock came to life. As the first engines revved up, we were on the brink of qualifying in the Middle East. Ferrari was the big talking point this weekend where Vettel aimed to get his first pole position for the red team, which would have been the Scuderia’s first in 52 races. Slightly further down the grid, Latin Pastor Maldonado was keen to get his Lotus upfront. Strangely, out of his 80 races thus far in his Formula One career, he has only finished in the points on eight occasions.

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Q1

Jenson Button hoped his Honda powered McLaren would be fit for a competitive effort this last weekend, but unfortunately his car stopped on his first outing, making it the third time he had pulled over during the weekend.  The Mercedes showed early signs of pressure as they started immediately on a set of soft tyres. With the disappointment of Daniil Kvyat, it was Alonso that lifted the spirits for F1 fans as he made his way into Q2 for the first time this season.

Drivers knocked out: Button, Stevens, Kvyat, Mehri and Maldonado.

Q2

Nico Hulkenberg diced his way into Q3, an achievement last had at Monza, ten races ago. Just as Romain Grosjean made a pleasant fight to get his Lotus into the final qualifying session as well.

Drivers knocked out: Perez, Nasr, Ericsson, Alonso and Verstappen.

Q3

Daniel Ricciardo got into the mix of things along with sister team driver Carlos Sainz Jnr.

Times

Pos No Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Laps
1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:33.928 1:32.669 1:32.571 16
2 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:34.919 1:33.623 1:32.982 12
3 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:34.398 1:33.878 1:33.129 16
4 7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:34.568 1:33.540 1:33.227 15
5 77 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:34.161 1:33.897 1:33.381 16
6 19 Felipe Massa Williams 1:34.488 1:33.551 1:33.744 16
7 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 1:34.691 1:34.403 1:33.832 15
8 27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:35.653 1:34.613 1:34.450 15
9 55 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:35.371 1:34.641 1:34.462 18
10 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:35.007 1:34.123 1:34.484 20
11 11 Sergio Perez Force India 1:35.451 1:34.704 12
12 12 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:35.310 1:34.737 9
13 9 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:35.438 1:35.034 9
14 14 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:35.205 1:35.039 10
15 33 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:35.611 1:35.103 14
16 13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:35.677 7
17 26 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull Racing 1:35.800 6
18 28 Will Stevens Marussia 1:38.713 6
19 98 Roberto Merhi Marussia 1:39.722 6
22 Jenson Button McLaren DNS 1

Race Day

Four hundred and ninety poles decorated in 5000 blinding lights illuminate the tarmac below. Lining up on the grid, for the 400m dash to the first turn, Lewis Hamilton was anxious to keep his German rivals, Sebastien Vettel and Nico Rosberg well behind him.

Button’s Honda recovery system had a glitch that the Woking boys weren’t happy with, which resulted in Jenson having to sit out of the race, not without fun though. The 2009 champ live-Tweeted the race from start to finish. Massa, with slightly more fortunate misfortunes started from the pits as he had a fault on the parade lap and could not pull off his Williams. The race started with sparks busily being spat out from the skid blocks underneath the cars.

It was the Ferrari’s and Mercedes fight that stole the show during the race with countless overtakes during the 57 laps. A switch in strategy put Kimi on quicker tyres which vaulted him into a strong position. It was the unusual mistake of Sebastien Vettel which sent the Red Barron back to the pits for a quick repair of the nose, leaving him to finish in fifth. Rosberg’s race was less than impressive as he finished in third, unable to challenge the pace of Ferrari. Hamilton’s victory was flawless. His confidence and ability to stay calm under pressure is a healthy asset for the Briton.

Massa’s start from the pits left him to finish in tenth to put one more point to his name. His flying-fin teammate, Bottas, finished an impressive and much needed fourth.

It was a fine day for the Red Bull squad as both drivers finished in the points. Kvyat secured ninth whilst his Australian partner secured sixth in spectacular fashion, blowing his engine on the final straight. Less spectacularly, he has now blown out his fourth engine for the season and faces an indefinite penalty for future races.

The Enstone team, Lotus, was happy for Grosjean to secure seventh whilst Maldonado finished in front of his own two rivals, Stevens and Merhi, 15th, 16th, 17th respectively. Behind them came the 2X DNF of both Toro Rosso boys and the DNS of Jenson Button.

Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson didn’t finish competitively, but still put on a fiery show for spectators.

Force India seemed to improve as Perez missed out on replicating his 2014 Sakhir podium to put his black and silver machine in eighth.

Alonso continues with no points. He finished 11th.

It was an entertaining race on Sunday. Sparks flew menacingly like a swarm of angry bees, drivers moves were made that much more extravagant. It was great to see the Iceman, Kimi Raikkonen end his 27 race podium drought whilst Hamilton has gone on to win yet another Grand Prix. The number 44 driver is well on his way to beating records of Prost and Senna.

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Results

1 LEWIS HAMILTON GBR MERCEDES 1:35:05.809 25
2 KIMI RÄIKKÖNEN FIN FERRARI +3.38s 18
3 NICO ROSBERG GER MERCEDES +6.033s 15
4 VALTTERI BOTTAS FIN WILLIAMS +42.957s 12
5 SEBASTIAN VETTEL GER FERRARI +43.989s 10
6 DANIEL RICCIARDO AUS RED BULL +61.751s 8
7 ROMAIN GROSJEAN FRA LOTUS +84.763s 6
8 SERGIO PEREZ MEX FORCE INDIA +1 lap 4
9 DANIIL KVYAT RUS RED BULL +1 lap 2
10 FELIPE MASSA BRA WILLIAMS +1 lap 1
11 FERNANDO ALONSO ESP MCLAREN +1 lap 0
12 FELIPE NASR BRA SAUBER +1 lap 0
13 NICO HULKENBERG GER FORCE INDIA +1 lap 0
14 MARCUS ERICSSON SWE SAUBER +1 lap 0
15 PASTOR MALDONADO VEN LOTUS +1 lap 0
16 WILL STEVENS GBR MARUSSIA +2 laps 0
17 ROBERTO MERHI ESP MARUSSIA +3 laps 0
RT MAX VERSTAPPEN NED TORO ROSSO DNF 0
RT CARLOS SAINZ ESP TORO ROSSO DNF 0
DNS JENSON BUTTON GBR MCLAREN DNS 0

Fastest lap – Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1m 36.311s (lap 42)

As writers and fans, we simply cannot wait for our favourite season. No, not just the Formula One season, but the start of the European season.

Revs for thought

Dane Hansen

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About dphansen24

I am an avid freelance Formula 1 writer and blogger. My writings are diverse and range from historical insights, to thorough and exciting analysis of the modern era and the topics that come with it. I am also able to take in requests from readers that wish to gain vision into particular stories. All are welcome. I encourage constructive criticism and conversation in comments or via email. My passion for the world’s fastest show consumes my daily efforts and I am always enthused to write about the sport I love most. Even as a pundit, I too have a curiosity and am always ready to learn more about an ever expanding sport.

Posted on April 20, 2015, in Grand Prix in Review and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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