Archive for March, 2019

After a sour loss in Australia, Ferrari brought its A-game to Bahrain GP, the Italian team dominated all the qualification sessions with good margins. It was mostly Leclerc who was in the front, Vettel could only be first in the second free practice. Came the race, Ferrari had a front row lock-up, Mercedes was in the second raw, and Verstappen was fifth, his best Bahrain GP qualification.

Leclerc, scoring his first pole position in F1, had the right to dream of a first win. Things did not work well for him in the race start, being overtaken by Vettel, who squeezed him in the first turn, leaving the door open to Bottas to pass by and even at risk of being overtaken by Hamilton. Not a problem, he got his head down, and went for it. In the lap two, he got rid of Bottas, and left him for an easy prey to Hamilton who took the opportunity to get back to second, in the 5th lap, in the main DRS zone, he got back to first, and he dictated the pace since.

A bit in the back, things did not work well for Grosjean who was touched from the back by Stroll, causing damage to his car, and leading him to quit the race. Sainz who wanted to bully Verstappen out, got a taste from the anger of the dutchman, blocked, touched, damage to the car, pit stop, and last in the race. Ricciardo had an amazing start, he was easily 7th in the first laps, and even got to 6th. The stewards did not bother with all the touching, shoulder rubbing and squeezing, they decided that race incidents happen. However, Kvyat who was a victim of Giovanazzi small touch from behind, was awarded a 5 seconds penalty, for speeding in the pits.

Verstappen, suffering from a slow puncture, started the pitstop wars, in the 12th lap, just after him were Leclerc and Hamilton, and the biggest loser from all that was Vettel. Hamilton who kept a brand new soft tyre kit, thinking he could dominate in his second stint, found himself loosing pace to Leclerc flying to a certain win, and being chased by Vettel. Yet at the 23rd lap, and after overtaking the Brit, Vettel was +8.0 seconds from his teammate. Mercedes gamble paid off after getting the medium tyres on, Hamilton had a better race pace then Vettel, and went for him. First try was in the 37th lap, but Vettel kept his place, the old rivalry taught them both some tricks, and let them know each other move. In the 38th lap, Hamilton went for it again, and in the same turn 4, he left Vettel spinning, his new favourite sport since the Italian Gp in Monza. He should leave playing Mario Kart we all think. Getting back on his feet from the overtake, but damaging his wheels, he created vibration in his car, thing that made him loose his front wing in the back DRS straight, and getting back, after pitting to the 9th place.

Ferrari, did not lose hope, Leclerc was in the game yet, but in the 46th lap, things started to change. Leclerc declared a loss of power, and a loss of dreams. Some say it was because of ignition, and the cylinders are not working, some say he lost his turbo recycling valve and balance monitor. The result is, he was 5 second paced off to Hamilton. There a new chase started, Hamilton even grew wings, seeing the win being offered to him. Leclerc lost to Bottas, but the Renault team cars decided it is time to go home, and both Ricciardo and Hulkenburg quit the race, getting the safety car in, and saving Leclerc from finishing fourth. The race ended behind the safety car, and we all think it was damage limitation for all, Verstappen would have his teeth clinking until now from desire to overtake.

So Ferrari were the biggest loosers, Renault also, despite starting 7th, sainz ended up in the pits, this made Kubica end up winning 4 places and two laps behind the lead.

The biggest winner, besides Hamilton, who got the things offered to him, was the young Lando Norris, who finished 6th, proving once more that the Mclaren is winning in reliability and performance. Raikkonen finished 7th after starting 9th.

This is a bit from what the drivers said after the race :

LECLERC: “It happens. Unfortunately it was not our day. Of course I’m extremely disappointed. A very hard one to take but thanks to the team… Congratulations to Lewis and Valtteri

HAMILTON : “It was a really, really hard race today. Charles did such a great job so it must be devastating for him. The fight with Vettel was great fun for me

BOTTAS: “It was a difficult race for me, the balance of the car was everywhere – I was making a lot of mistakes

Two weeks from now, we will go to China, to see even more performance extracted from these cars, and maybe a change of winds of luck direction towards Ferrari. As the world champion is concerned, Mercedes is still keeping a comfortable one-two, Ferrari needs to re-read its paper, Verstappen is third.

This just in, Mercedes F1’s driver Lewis Hamilton won the Bahrain Grand prix with not a bit, but a lot of luck. The Brit who started third had the win offered to him by major luck forces due to a spin of Vettel, his favourite sport apparently, in the 37th lap turn 4 and Leclerc losing power.

The Monégasque who lost to his teammate in the start, and to Bottas in the first lap, recovered in the 5th lap to get back to first, he kept dominating the race up until the 46th lap, he declared that he had power problems, and that kept carrying on, until being overtaken by Hamilton, then Bottas, and was saved from offering the last step of the podium to Max Verstappen by the intervention of the Safety Car. This is the 8th Grand Prix to finish behind the safety car. Still, this is Leclerc first podium, and he got a well deserved extra point for the fastest lap of the race.

Mercedes, deserved a one-two win in Australia, Bottas had a stuggering pace, but in Bahrain, who was fully dominated by Ferrari, they had the win offered to them this time.

Will problems ever be over at Ferrari Side, or will this lack of luck be carried on up until the end of the season? this goes without saying, but From the second half of the 2018 season, and the start of the 2019 season, Ferrari wasn’t able to score enough points to put them in a good place for a fight.

Another big deception is for Renault, with both drivers out of the race, and the luck wasn’t in favour of Romain Grosjean. It was a good race overall for everyone, McLaren’s Lando Norris finished his race in 6th,

The Bahrain GP is upon us, the biggest surprise was the pole set by the young Monégasque Charles Leclerc, which is the first ever in his career, the first monégasque ever pole, the second youngest polesitter. Another fun fact, is that he is the 99th polesitter in F1 history, and since the clock is ticking, this is F1’s 999th race.

The question is, will Ferrari allow the two drivers to fight? since Vettel needs a win and a fastest lap of the race to get closer to the first steps in the driver’s championship being fourth, that the german didn’t have the pace for quali, but could get the pace for the race. Ferrari said that it will not push them to fight, but there is a championship at stake here. Vettel congratulated his teammate, this is what it needs be shown to the camera, but in his helmet, there was a war going.

McLaren is doing good, even better than the first race. In the Australian GP, only Lando norris could be present in Q3 for the fight over top ten, this time, Carlos Sainz came and joined him to the 7th place, but due to penalty for Romain Grosjean, the Spaniard will start 6th. Grosjean penalty was beneficial to many a driver, one of which is Daniel Ricciardo, who is having a rough start of season, DNF in his home circuit, hid third in Australia, being able to qualify only 11th +0.044 shy of the 10th time in Q2.

The mid-fight is being tough still, Red Bull being in the top 5 with Verstappen and all the way to the 13th place with Gasly, Alexander Albon will be breathing down Grosjean’s neck in 11th and 12th, Ricciardo will try and go past all of those before him, Raikkonnen did struggle with FP1, FP2, and FP3 yet he could score a 9th position and will start 8th with his Sauber, his team mate did not find his pace yet.

The race is yet to come, and it is full of surprises, the fight will be tougher than the australian GP, will Mercedes find other horses left and squeeze them into the engine? will Leclerc score his first win? Will the monster in Vettel wake up?

The bahrain qualification session was entirely dominated by the Rossi, Ferrari scored a one-two front row lockout, followed by the Mercedes Team, and Verstappen in fifth.

Cherles Leclerc was the biggest ish surprise for the Bahrain Grand Prix Qualification sessions, he beat the world record set by Sebastian Vettel last year, 1m27s958 to set a new one 1m27s866, to sit on the pole of the Bahrain Grand Prix, and the first time ever in his career. Having a troublesome Australian GP, not being able to score maximum points, Ferrari came to Bahrain with a new aero and power package, the team worked in Maranello to find answers to the failing of the Aussie GP, and came back stronger this time to look for a win, and maybe the extra point for the absolute track record.

Mercedes two, Hamilton and Bottas are just behind the two Ferrari’s, Bottas has amazing race starts, so, would the red’s be able to defend from behind. Hamilton is confident in his car, yet he admits that this year’s Ferrari is the team to beat, that emotional advantage that Mercedes had for the past 5 years is not the same. Another dangerous man from behind, is the young flying dutchman, Max Verstappen, he scored a fifth place yes, but you never know how he can manage his race, especially that this year’s RedBull is powered by the Honda engine, and that Max could take him to his maximum potential.

Another surprise is McLaren this year, being in the top ten, Carlos Sainz is 7th, Lando Norris closes the door of the top ten, there is a lot of work going on, Alonso made another appearance, and is said to have a seat back maybe.

There is nothing to be done to William’s pace, the mighty F1 team, that in the before time was dominant in F1, is still struggeling to get some power out of the car and the engine, and not finding the correct balance. The two williams, G. Russel and R. Kubica are plain last with 4 seconds off the pace.

The race is tomorrow, C. Leclerc hopes to finish the work, Vettel knows how to overtake and to take wins, there is a completely new attitude to Valteri Bottas, and Hamilton knows where to place his car, just in case.