Bahrain F1 Grand Prix 2015

Another poor race in China dampened my hopes that the season was just picking up after a poor opener in Australia but a terrific race in Malaysia.

For all the moaning about the “desert” races I wonder what kind of race we’ll get here in Bahrain?

1st : Lewis Hamilton
2nd : Kimi Raikkonen
3rd : Nico Rosberg

Who would have thought it? A race long battle for the win?

OK maybe a little over the top there! Hamilton had it in the bag most of the race but Vettel, Rosberg and Raikkonen all got up in his face a few times and then there was last lap drama where Hamiltons luck shone through as he started losing time dramatically to Raikkonen but thankfully was on the last lap, I’m now being hyperbolic because he could have had a small problem and just been going slower because he knew it was the last lap but it sounds more dramatic this way!

After the snorefest of China though this was what I wished for. Some interesting racing from the likes of Vettel, Rosberg and Raikkonen who all look like they are going to start a gang to get at Hamilton.

It was lovely to see Raikkonen getting on the podium, he seems to be less happy with the Ferrari then Vettel but he was much cleaner and cooler headed this race and deserved the second place purely for his clean and calculated win.

Rosberg. Well I’ll talk about Rosberg down below but the thing with Rosberg is that he looks hungry again but he’s missing race craft that I personally thought he WASN’T lacking last year. He doesn’t seem to be as confident or determined as last year. More on that later!

4th : Valtteri Bottas

A quiet race for the driver I’m determined to call the Shadow Driver.

Honestly I hardly ever see him in a race weekend, he’ll pick up great results (4th is nothing to be sniffed at honestly!) but he never seems to be in any of the action or on TV or anything! His first season and I’m sure the first time I heard his name spoken on TV was nearer the end of the season! He just doesn’t seem to be there until the end and you see where he’s finished!

Shadow Driver Bottas!

5th : Sebastian Vettel

The result doesn’t tell you of his epic battle with Rosberg all race long. He seemed to keep losing it in corners and letting Rosberg through, don’t worry Rosberg was just as bad this race as Vettel. Vettel would get the undercut easy as he just seemed to be faster then Rosberg but he just couldn’t keep him behind him.

In the end he went off the track and then pitted for a new nose ending up the race behind Bottas and nearly taking both him and Bottas out before coming home behind the Shadow Man in 5th.

Possibly one of the most fun races I’ve seen with Vettel for a while!

6th : Daniel Ricciardo
7th : Romain Grosjean
8th : Sergio Perez
9th : Daniil Kvyat

All having good results, didn’t see much of all of them and they seemed to have pretty quiet races. A nice little group of drivers though and one group I can see bringing us fireworks for the rest of the season. Headed home by last years star I’m a little upset that he isn’t as on fire as last year but nice to see him crawling back up to where he belongs.

Would love some Dan on the podium later in the season.

10th : Felipe Massa
11th : Fernando Alonso
12th : Felipe Nasr
13th : Nico Hulkenberg

Now these lot had lots of TV time and some great racing.

First off it is lovely to see Alonso in 11th. Sad to see him have to give up quite as often as he was but nevertheless still nice to see him fighting a little. Only a position off of a point and I thought he wouldn’t finish any races any time soon! More on him later too!

Felipe Massa and Nasr had some extremely amazing battles coming up the grid including my favourite moment of the race with Pastor Maldonado. After a really lovely move to overtake Massa we saw Nasr enter the pits followed by Massa followed by Maldonado.

They nearly exited the pit lane three abreast, Nasr giving the other two the space and thus ending up at the back of them and Massa and Maldonado fighting it out.

They went in Nasr, Massa, Maldonado and came out Maldonado, Massa, Nasr.

It was brilliant!

Most importantly though it was clean, there was no mistakes, no collisions just nice clean racing.

Hulkenberg joined them not long after and all of these lot had a great race. Shame it was for 10th!

ALSO good to see Massa in front as he had to start from the pit lane after his car wouldn’t start on the parade lap. Good work from the little Brazilian!

14th : Marcus Ericsson

Race was ruined by a bad pit stop. Shame really.

15th : Pastor Maldonado

Pretty much the same! He had a impressive race, a little drama with him not getting into the right starting position at the beginning and a few “problems” here and there but all in all he was running quite well before his bad pit stop and actually deserved to be where he was. Shame for him but at least he finished the race.

16th : Will Stevens
17th : Roberto Merhi

At least they finished. But please PLEASE Manor start making some progress. I wanted this team to stay around, I really did, but I want to see them progressing!

DNFs

Max Verstappen

So sad. Apparently he had problems with his electrics and had to pull his car into the garage. To be honest he’d had a quiet race but I really do like seeing him go out there and do well. That sounds so patronizing but it isn’t meant to, I’m just fed up of people even mentioning his age and he’s had such a stellar start to his F1 career and I just want him to get decent results and shut everyone up.

Shame.

Carlos Sainz Jr

He was penalized before the race for exceeding the maximum time for the reconnaissance lap and then stopped the car after a pit stop. The BBC said it was possibly because of a wheel nut but Wiki says it was engine problems. I haven’t looked online to see what has been said but either way again its sad.

DNS

Jenson Button

I cried. I cried and cried and cried. Poor Jenson.

The Race

Well me and Anna were going to talk about it over on the forum, half way through Anna texted me to apologise for not posting but it was just too much fun and I realised I hadn’t posted anything since the start of the race either!

To be honest even though we had the choice of watching the race in full or on highlight we still decided on the highlights. So we’re probably missing a lot out from not watching the full race but to be fair I’d rather at the moment watch the highlights and be able to bring you a decent blog then watch a full race and either be too exhausted after watching it to write anything then have nothing to say or else find it extremely boring and never write about it anyway!

I couldn’t take a breath without getting extremely over excited about it in every single way. It was such a fun race. So much happening.

Most importantly it was all going on at the front of the field. Even though thinking back it always looked like Lewis had it in the bag it didn’t feel that way the whole race long and with Rosberg and Vettel and Raikkonen all breathing down each others necks we got to see a lot more mistakes and some really close but fair racing.

That is what I want to see every week!

I know that every track is different and I was moaning about Bahrain in the preview but this will be the race that I remember forever. It was just fun. Clean racing, mistakes that actually cost the drivers places, fighting in the pit lane (safely), drama, excitement and Fernando Alonso being brilliant in a crap car!

Kimi deserved his podium, I said it above and I’ll say it again, he was the driver behind Hamilton that kept his head. Its easier for Hamilton because even though he was challenged more he wasn’t under that much pressure, Kimi was behind everyone and had to keep his cool and did so. I think Kimi is a contender for the driver of the race along with Massa.

It was nice having the option to carry on watching the top of the grid FIGHT or the midfield FIGHT and not having to switch from one coasting car to the next.

Exciting stuff which ends with quite a good podium!

Random Ponderings

Ferrari Positivity

So there has been a lot of talk about Ferrari’s new improved positive attitude and I just wanted to talk a little about it.

For a start I do agree that they seem to have been given a new breath of life. I also think people forget Ferrari from before 2014. Last year was a hard one for them and they had a lot of problems, a lot of team changes and they’ve come back with a vastly different driver in their lead driver position and a very different team boss.

I don’t think, like some say, that Alonso was the root cause for everything. Alonso has had some GREAT years for Ferrari and to be fair his first year in Ferrari wasn’t exactly that much different to Vettel’s so far. Everyone was excited about Alonso and Ferrari and there were so many positive vibes and then they stagnated. Now that could have been Alonso’s fault, Massa’s fault or anyone’s fault but is there really a need to point fingers? Especially seeing that this is only Vettel’s first year in Ferrari and Alonso left Ferrari saying that the team would be even stronger in 2015 (something he’d have helped just a little bit before he left) somewhere down the line Vettel could face the same problems of Alonso and is it fair that either of them would be remembered for their poor years and not everything else?

Personally I think Maurizio Arrivabene is the man behind the big change in feel at Ferrari.

He just seems like a daddy looking over his family. Its a strange thing to be saying about F1 but its how I see him. He seems to have a wonderful relationship with Raikkonen and Vettel as well as being a wonderful personality in the pit lane. I love when the camera goes to him and he’s either celebrating passionately or letting his anger out. He’s a wonderful person. Seeing actual passion from someone in charge of the team is what was missing. This is a Italian team with Italian blood and passion in it and so often in recent years everything has been so clinical and dispassionate. I love when the team really get into the race, its their races too! Without that team the drivers wouldn’t be here so I want to see them be allowed to be happy and sad. The sea of red look rejuvenated and I put it down to Arrivabene, the man I think F1 needs right now.

Nico Rosberg

Yes I want to talk about Rosberg in a little more depth.

Last year I think Rosberg really shone. I know a lot of people disagree with me on that one and trust me I understand why.

I’ve always felt with a push Rosberg could be a great champion, I think he’s a better driver then his father ever was and I think he has been a little under rated in recent year.

Last year ended with a blow to his confidence. Things were going well until they weren’t and then the mind games and the pressure got to him and it was unfair mind games and pressure. OK he isn’t squeaky clean himself but I always feel a little like Rosberg doesn’t have a “home” crowd to support him. Whilst English commentators and press were sticking the needle in (and still are) whilst support Hamilton I never got the feeling that anywhere is fully behind Rosberg. Everywhere I go I see fans falling over themselves to either support or hate Hamilton but ask them about Rosberg and they think he’s a stuck up little Princess and racing wise are indifferent to him.

I really feel like he needs a result before the British GP. If he doesn’t get some results he’s going to become a second driver for good.

Why?

Because as long as he’s in a team with Hamilton he’s going to suffer from the shadow of what could have been. I don’t know anything about Rosberg’s train of thought but everything he does is always turned negatively online for some reason and the press and the commentators and the people in the sport not having any faith in him WILL get to him. Regardless of whether or not I’m just saying it it will. Who could ignore even the people in your own team who think you can’t beat your team mate?

THIS is the time for him to prove them wrong and he HASN’T done it.

In fact whereas Hamilton seems comfortable in front of the Ferrari’s I’d say at least Vettel will best Rosberg at at least 50% of the races.

I think this is his last few races with Mercedes where he can really pull his chances around. If we get further then Silverstone and he’s still way behind Hamilton and fighting Ferrari’s and not his team mate and ESPECIALLY if Vettel starts winning against Hamilton and Raikkonen gets more podiums I think we’ll see the end of Rosberg as a threat to Hamilton. Period.

And as much as I hate to say it if he doesn’t have a strong season this year, challenging Hamilton (even if he doesn’t win just challenge your team mate) then I think for the better of the team they’d want to think of changing the team line up.

 

 

The race was great and gave me a lot to think about before Spain.

I can’t wait and I’m hoping neither can you!

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