Bahrain Grand Prix – Race notes

It’s been a really busy couple of weeks for me so I haven’t had a chance to post some of the latest F1 news or even to watch Practice or Qualifying for this race, but I wasn’t going to miss the first race of the 2010 season!

As usual, my notes are after this cut…

The grid: Vettel (SV), Massa (FM), Alonso (FA), Hamilton (LH), Rossberg (NR), Webber (MW), Schumacher (MS), Button (JB), Kubica (RK), Sutil (AS), Barrichello (RB), Liuzzi (VL), Hulkenberg (NH), De la Rosa (PdR), Buemi (SB), Kobayashi (KK), Petrov (VP), Alguesuari (JA), Glock (TG), Trulli (JT), Kovalainen (HK), Di Grassi (LdG), Senna (BS), Chandhok (KC).
*BS & KC are starting from the pit lane

Remember there are new teams (Virgin, Lotus & HRT), new drivers (24 cars on the grid for the first time in years) and new rules for this season (e.g. no refuelling), so there’s lots to learn today!

SV leads everyone away on the formation lap
AS is the only one of the top 10 drivers who’s starting on the medium tyre compound – the others are on the super-softs.
The grid starts to re-form … it’s taking a long time, but there are more cars than last season
Is MW ahead of his grid box?

01/49: SV leads into Turn 1
Contact at the rear of the field
Smoke from a Red Bull
Official live timing data seems to be about half a lap behind what’s happening on track 🙁

02: SV, FA, FM, NR, LH, MS, MW, JB
KC is off

03: Fastest lap – SV 2:02.517
NH loses the tail under braking and spins off but gathers the car up and rejoins
LdG is off too

04: NH pits and switches to the medium compound tyres

05: SV, FA, FM, NR, LH, MS, MW, JB; retirements: LdG, KC
AS takes P17 from HK

06: LH is pushing NR for P4, and MW is closing on MS for P6

07: JA harrying PdlR for P13

08: How long before the front-runners pit to change tyres?

10: f/lap FA 2:02.823
f/lap FM 2:02.494
SV, FA, FM, NR, LH, MS, MW, JB; retirements: LdG, KC

11: PdlR passes KK for P12

12: f/lap SV 2:02.318 – he’s got a 3.5sec lead over FA
HRT pit crew get ready for the first scheduled pit stop of this season
BS pits – looks like a fairly slow stop – BS struggles to get the car moving after he’s given the OK to go

13: RK pits from P16 – switches to the medium compound
TG takes P17 from HK

14: NH passes JT
VP pits, as does JA
Problem with VP’s pit stop – front right? – wishbone problem?

15/49: SV, FA, FM, NR, LH, MS, MW, JB; retirements: LdG, KC, KK
SV’s lead now 5.1secs
VP’s pushed into the garage

16: LH pits, followed by MS – good clean stops for both

17: FA pits from P2, followed by NR, MW and JB
NR rejoins behind LH, losing P4

18: SV pits, as does FM – that’s all the top 10 drivers pitted now
LH f/lap 2:00.447

19: LH passes RB for P5 (RB yet to pit)
BS pulls the HRT off track

20/49: SV, FA, FM, VL*, LH, NR, RB*, MS; retirements: LdG, KC, KK, VP, TG, BS
*VL & RB yet to pit
f/lap FM 2:00.117
RB pits
FIA live timing chart is jumping all over the screen – it’s not just the teams that need to work out the bugs for the new season!

21: VL pits, so now we should see the real top 10 order = SV, FA, FM, LH, NR, MS, JB, MW

23: RB takes P10 from SB on the main straight

24: Pit car radio for JB tells him he’s catching MS but he needs to look after his tyres to the end of the race
MW’s closing on JB though, so he can’t stop pushing
RK passes PdlR in Turn 1 and takes back P12

25/49: SV, FA, FM, LH, NR, MS, JB, MW; retirements: LdG, KC, KK, VP, TG, BS
RK now takes P11 from SB

26: Pit-car radio for MS tells him only threat is from behind but JB is holding up MW
2nd pit stop for NH

27: 2nd stop for JA

28: SV’s lap time seems to be falling off – his lead is down to 2.4secs

29: Fastest Sector 1 time from SV … then FM goes faster is S1
PdlR is pushed into the garage
f/lap JA 1:59.964

30/49: SV, FA, FM, LH, NR, MS, JB, MW; retirements: LdG, KC, KK, VP, TG, BS, PdlR
f/lap FA 1:59.583 – he’s closed the gap to SV to 1.5s

32: Pit-car radio for SV encouraging him to maintain his lead over FA

33: SV’s lead now 2.2s over FA

34: FA closes right up on SV on the main straight – the Red Bull sounds sick
Pit-car radio from SV reports a loss of power
FA easily takes P1

35: FM cruises right up behind SV now … and takes P2
LH is 9secs behind SV but he’s more than 4secs/lap quicker

36: f/lap FA 1:59.477

37: f/lap FA 1:58.879
Pit-car radio from SV asking if there’s anything that can be done to fix it but he’s told negative – it’s mechanical
LH now has SV in his sights

38: LH passes SV on the main straight, pushing the Red Bull down to P4; NR is 17secs behind SV
JB is right on the tail of MS, chasing him for P6

40/49: FA, FM, LH, SV, NR, MS, JB, MW; retirements: LdG, KC, KK, VP, TG, BS, PdlR
Pit-car radio from LH as he reports vibration at the front of the McLaren
MW runs wide in the hairpin as he closes on JB

41: JB needs to attack MS before MW attacks him

43: MS – 1.1s – JB – 0.7s – MW

44: SV under 5secs ahead of NR but he might hold on to P5 as MS is a further 4secs down the road
MW has dropped back from JB – there’s now a 3sec gap between them

45/49: FA, FM, LH, SV, NR, MS, JB, MW, VL, RB; retirements: LdG, KC, KK, VP, TG, BS, PdlR

46: f/lap FA 1:58.287
Ferrari pit wall seem concerned about FM’s car – watching (listening?) closely as he passed the pit lane and looking at details on the screen
FM loses the tail briefly

47: NR under 3secs behind SV – he’s got almost 3 laps to take P4

48: NR doesn’t need to take any risks – he should slide past SV easily on the straight … but he’s leaving it a little late
SB is off – looks like he pulled off track

49/49 = final lap: FA has a comfortable lead over his team-mate
NR still hasn’t made a move on SV

FA takes the chequered flag and his maiden win for Ferrari
FM over the line for P2 – a great return to F1 for Filipe
LH home for P3
SV hangs on to P4 … and pulls off track
NR in P5 – not sure why he didn’t try to pass the stricken SV
P6=MS, 7=JB, 8=MW, 9=VL, 10=RB, 11=RK, 12=AS, 13=JA, 14=NH, 15=HK, 16=SB, 17=JT
DNF: PdlR, BS, TG, VP, KK, KC, LdG

With the new points scoring system, RB takes the final point.
Massa’s parents seem relieved to see their boy finish

One Reply to “Bahrain Grand Prix – Race notes”

  1. Drivers’ Championship:

    1. Alonso = 25
    2. Massa = 18
    3. Hamilton = 15
    4. Vettel = 12
    5. Rosberg = 10
    6. Schumacher = 8
    7. Button = 6
    8. Webber = 4
    9. Liuzzi = 2
    10. Barrichello = 1

    Constructors’ Championship:

    1. Ferrari = 43
    2. McLaren = 21
    3. Mercedes = 18
    4. Renault = 16
    5. Force India = 2
    6. Williams = 1

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