Bahrain Grand Prix – Race

Rumours of a sandstorm seem to have been blown out of proportion, which is good. However it is still hot: air temperature 36°C, track 51°C.

If you’ve read my notes from yesterday’s Qualifying session, (a) thank you and (b) you’ll know that the grid looks like this: JT, TG, SV, JB, LH, RB, FA, FM, NR, KR, HK, KN, RK, NH, NP, SBu, GF, MW, AS*, SBo.
(*AS was given a 3-place penalty for blocking MW during Qualifying.)

My notes, as always, are after this cut…

JT leads everyone away on the formation lap – quite a slow lap, but then the problem is cooling the engine, not warming things up!
Looks like the front-runners are starting on the super-soft (option) tyre

01/57: Good start for LH – he’s up to P3 by Turn 1
Contact in T2 – HK?
LH takes P2 but jT takes it back
RB down the inside of KR

02: TG, JT, LH, JB, SV, RB, KR, FM
MW scything his way through the back of the field
JB passes LH in Turn 1
RK asserts his way past KN – contact

03: RK and KN both pit – new nose cones for each of them
Replay shows FM squeezed between RB and KR

04: FM pits – BBC think it may be a KERS problem – new nose & tyres

05/57: TG, JT, JB, LH, SV, RB, KR, FA
MW up to P11

07: MW closing on NP … but runs wide in the dirty air

09: Pit-car for RB – reminding him to use the overtaken button – he’s not using KERS so it must be a rev-boost
10/57: TG, JT, JB, LH, SV, RB, KR, FA

11: TG pits from P1

12: JT pits, handing P1 to JB

16: JB pits, as does KR
FM takes a look at passing for P15 but MW holds him off

17: FA pits
RB all over the rear wing of NP – RB waving his hand but it’s not going to help him pass – they’re racing for position because RB has pitted but NP hasn’t

18: Really good close racing between RB and NP as TSN goes to adverts – clearly the person with the “go to ads” button doesn’t watch/understand the race!
RB getting clearly frustrated behind NP – hope he doesn’t make a silly move

19: RB dive down the inside into Turn 1 – makes sure to push NP wide
Replay of RB passing TG quite easily – does TG have a problem?

20/57: KR, JB, JT, SV, NR, LH, RB, NP

21: KR pits – rejoins behind NP

23: JB, JT, SV, LH, RB, TG, NP, KR
JB has a 7.5sec lead

24: FM pit-car – KERS not working very well

26: Pit-car for RB encouraging him along

27: RB pits just as he’s closing on a pack – better than having them hold him up

28: JB leads JT by 11.8secs

(Half distance)

30/57: JB, JT, SV, LH, TG, KR, FA, RB; no retirements so far
Pit-car for LH tells him he’s got 2 laps’ more fuel than JT; LH asks about SV; team says he’s fighting JT for a podium position

32: NP slipsteams past a Force India but it suddenly reappears on his inside in Turn 1

33: On-car camera shows KR making an adjustment on the steering wheel as he’s about to enter a corner

34: TG pits from P5 – rejoins in P10

35: Pit-car for JT tells him to open a gap over SV in preparation for his pit stop

36: JB is closing in to lap FM – that’s a Brawn lapping a Ferrari – that’s got to hurt!
Blue flag waved at FM – a bit early, but FM eases off to let JB lap him on the main straight

37: Pit board for JB tells him to pit at the end of this lap

38: JB pits, as do LH & JT
JB took the prime tyre (medium compound), so presumably that was his last stop

39: RB tries to pass JT on the inside into T1 but outbrakes himself and JT retakes P5

40/57: SV, JB, KR, JT, RB, LH, NR, NP

41: SV pits from P1, handing the lead back to JB – rejoins ahead of JT – effectively P2 as KR has to pit again
HK runs a little wide and MW sneaks past to take P13

45: KR pits – TG alongside as they enter T1 – KR realised too late that they’re battling for position – TG goes through
KR uses KERS to pass TG and take P7

46: NR pits
JT chasing down SV for P2
Replay of RK trying to pass KN – contact – RK spins but recovers

47: RK lets SV lap him but had to turn in for the corner, so JT lost momentum

48: RB pits for his 3rd and final stop – rejoins ahead of KR and TG

49: TG almost rear-ends KR – has to run wide to avoid causing an accident

50/57: JB, SV, JT, LH, RB, KR, TG, FA
JB’s lead 12.6secs over SV
KN pits – parks in the Williams garage and he’s out of the car

51: FM makes a move on GF – contact in the corner – GF runs wide
Blue flags for GF as JB tries to lap him but GF fights him off!

52: JB pulls alongside GF on the main straight but still GF isn’t yielding willingly
Big lockup for FM in to Turn 1

54: Rob Smedley leaning over the pit wall, watching FM – is there a problem?
TG locks up in Turn 10 as he crawls all over the gearbox of KR

55/57: JB, SV, JT, LH, RB, KR, TG, FA; retirement: KN

Final lap: JB still lapping cleanly

JB takes the chequered flag – that’s the 3rd win for JB and Brawn GP
P2=SV, 3=JT, 4=LH, 5=RB, 6=KR, 7=TG, 8=FA
Pit-car for JB – he’s obviously very pleased with this win
KR give Ferrari their first points of the season

Provisional result: JB, SV, JT, LH, RB, KR, TG, FA, NR, NP, MW, HK, SBo, FM, GF, AS, SBu, RK, NH; KN was the only retirement.

Nice to hear my national anthem played again 🙂
Huge trophy for Jenson!
Ron Meadows on the podium representing Brawn GP
A quick spray of the rose water – no champagne in Bahrain

BBC interview LH: “delighted to be fourth”; hard to keep up with the guys in front

Interviews:
JB: knew first stop was important; touch race but very enjoyable
SV: good points; difficult race; stuck behind LH
JT: little bit disappointed because he wanted to get the first win for Toyota; we fight again in the next race
JB: describes his overtaking move on LH; that move made the race for us

Next race: Spain, May 8th-10th.

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