Bahrain Grand Prix – Race


No penalties after yesterday’s Quali session.
Provisional grid: LEC, VER, SAI, PER, HAM, BOT, MAG, ALO, RUS, GAS, OCO, SCH, NOR, ALB, ZHO, TSU, HUL, RIC, STR, LAT

So BOT, in an Alfa Romeo, is starting alongside ex-teammate HAM in the Mercedes
Reminder of a rule change: the top 10 grid places will not have to start the race on their Q2 tyres

Air temperature 99°C; track 99°C
LEC leads everyone away on the formation lap
Looks like everyone’s starting on soft tyre compounds except NOR and RIC medium

01/57: LEC leads VER into Turn 1
HAM has taken P4 from PER
MAG follows through, past the Red Bull

02: BOT has dropped down to P14
Incident involving SCH and OCO in Turn 6 has been noted

03: LEC fastest lap 1:37.863

04: Radio from VER reporting engine braking issues mid-corner

05/57: LEC, VER, SAI, HAM, PER, RUS, MAG, GAS, ALO, OCO, TSU, ALB, SCH, BOT, HUL, ZHO, STR, NOR, LAT, RIC
VER told to “lift and coast” to reduce brake temperature

06: SCH having a look at BOT
OCO given 5-sec penalty for causing the collision with SCH

07: RIC passed LAT for P19
ZHO has taken P14 from SCH

08: LAT reclaims P20 from RIC
BOT has a look at ALB
HUL locks up behind SCH
BOT takes P12

09: LEC has 2.5sec lead over VER
HUL locks up; teammate STR takes P16

10/57: LEC, VER, SAI, HAM, PER, RUS, MAG, GAS, OCO, ALO
PER has DRS to help him pass HAM for P4
ZHO inside ALB for P13

11: LEC’s lead now 3sec
Radio from VER complaining “I have zero traction”

12: HAM pits from P5; hard tyres go on; rejoins P11 but the Mercedes is squirming on new tyres and ZHO passes him
ALO pits too
Radio from HAM, “No grip on this tyre”

13: HAM past ZHO for P11, which means he’s now behind BOT

14: PER told “Plan B”

15/57: VER pits, followed by SAI
VER takes on soft tyres, as does SAI
Yellow flag in sector 1
A gaggle of midfielders pit

16: LEC pits from P1; rejoins just feet ahead of VER – that 3sec lead has disappeared
PER pits, followed by RUS and TSU

17: VER f/lap 1:36.905
VER dives inside LEC into Turn 1; steals P1
LEC fights back and reclaims the lead

18: PER f/lap 1:36.634
VER inside LEC into T1 again; takes P1
LEC fights back in T4 and retakes P1

19: VER dives inside again but locks up; LEC keeps P1

20/57: LEC, VER, SAI, PER, HAM, RUS, MAG, GAS, ALO, OCO, TSU, BOT, ZHO, NOR, SCH, HUL, ALB, LAT, STR, RIC
VER doesn’t have DRS this time, so LEC can focus on opening his lead
SCH takes P14 from NOR

23: Only the Mercedes pair on hard tyres; the midfield mostly on mediums

25/57: LEC, VER, SAI, PER, HAM, RUS, MAG, GAS, ALO, OCO, TSU, BOT, ZHO, SCH, ALB, STR, NOR, LAT, RIC, HUL

26: ALO pits; hard tyres go on; rejoins P15

27: ALO takes P14 from ALB

28: Radio from VER, reporting his tyres are “almost dead again”
HAM pits from P5; mediums go on; rejoins P8
Radio for HAM telling him not to push these tyres on the out lap

Half distance

29: RIC has a look at LAT; sneaks past for P17
Sky Sports point out the last 6 runners all have Mercedes engines
STR looking to pass ALB; touches ALB’s rear wheel but both continue

30/57: LEC, VER, SAI, PER, RUS, MAG, GAS, HAM, OCO, BOT
TSU pits
ALO takes P12 from SCH

31: VER pits from P2; mediums go on; rejoins P4

32: LEC pits from P1; mediums go on; rejoins still just ahead of VER
VER angry on the radio, tells his team he’s not going easy on the out lap “ever again”
HAM takes P7 from GAS

33: VER f/lap 1:36.527
HAM closing on MAG… and takes P6 before Turn 1
GAS pits

34: VER 1:36.347
SAI and PER pit, followed by RUS
SAI and RUS take on mediums; PER now on softs

35/57: LEC, VER, SAI, PER, HAM, MAG, RUS, BOT, ZHO, GAS
LEC’s lead ~2sec
MAG pits; rejoins P9 but GAS immediately passes him
Radio for HAM telling him they’ve been warned about exceeding track limits

36: PER f/lap 1:36.302

37: BOT pits
MAG takes P7 from ZHO

38: Radio from SAI, concerned ALB nearly hit him as the Williams left the pit lane
OCO takes P9 from teammate ALO

40/57: LEC, VER, SAI, PER, HAM, RUS, MAG, GAS, OCO, ALO
TSU closing on ALO, and slips inside the Alpine into Turn 1 to take P10

41: LEC 3.8sec ahead of VER, who in turn is nearly 18sec ahead of SAI
Radio for RUS giving him the ok to pick up his pace, which means he’ll close on HAM although they’re ~14sec apart

43: NOR pits with just 15 laps left; the car was rocking left & right as the mechanics put soft tyres on

44: Radio for LEC telling him “we have less deg than VER”
VER pits from P2; softs go on
PER pits too; softs too

45/57: SAI pits from P2; softs go on
Radio from VER, sounding panicked
HAM pits from P4; softs

46: VER f/lap 1:35.747
GAS loses power, pulls off-track and parks the AlphaTauri… which then bursts into flames!
VSC deployed
RUS pits
SC deployed

47[SC]: LEC pits; rejoins still P1 but all the gaps will disappear as they can close up a bit behind the SC
Radio from VER still concerned about something

48[SC]: SkySports commentators make a point that there’s SIX lapped cars that need to pass the SC before the restart… “if the Race Director needs any help” 🙂
Although GAS’ car is still at the side of the track, so they probably won’t be able to restart for a couple of laps

49[SC]: Marshals are now pushing GAS’ car behind the barriers
Race control: “Lapped cars may now pass the SC” and it correctly lists the 6 lapped cars

50[SC]: LEC, VER, SAI, PER, HAM, RUS, MAG, BOT, OCO, SCH, TSU, ALO, ZHO, STR, ALB, RIC, NOR, LAT, HUL; out: GAS
SC in at the end of this lap
LEC lets the SC pull away, causing the front-runners to bunch up

51: LEC bolts across the line
SAI alongside VER into Turn 1; VER stays P2
TSU takes P10 from SCH
SAI filling VER’s mirrors
ALO takes a look at SCH, and takes P11

52: LEC f/lap 1:34.570
ZHO attacks SCH but SCH hangs on to P12

53: DRS now available
LEC’s lead already 2sec
ZHO takes P12 from SCH
SAI has DRS behind VER, and HAM has DRS behind PER

54: SAI takes P2 from VER
PER, HAM and RUS all pass VER

55/57: LEC, SAI, PER, HAM, RUS, MAG, BOT, OCO, TSU, ALO
VER pits and retires
HAM still has DRS behind PER

56: PER reports he’s losing power; he’s told to get his elbows out
HAM closing but not close enough to attack PER

57 = final lap: PER spins coming out of Turn 1!
PER reports the engine locked up

LEC takes the chequered flag
Provisional result: LEC, SAI, HAM, RUS, MAG, BOT, OCO, TSU, ALO, ZHO; SCH, STR, ALB, RIC, NOR, LAT, HUL
DNF: PER, VER, GAS

So having previously pointed out the tail-end of the field were using Mercedes engines, SkySports just pointed out all 3 retirements were Red Bull engines

Interviews:
LEC: “So happy. We knew this was a big opportunity for the team and the guys have done an incredible job building an amazing car. One, two today with Carlos, we couldn’t hope for better. It’s incredible to be back at the top.”
SAI: “Ferrari’s back, and is properly back. The hard work is paying off and we are there. I didn’t have the pace today but I managed to hang in there and bring back the one-two for the team.”
HAM: “A big, big congratulations to Ferrari, so good to see them doing well again. Such a difficult race, we’ve struggled throughout practice and this was the best result we could. We’re grateful for these points, the guys are working really hard back at the factory, there’s a long way to go.”

Someone interview Horner ASAP, please 🙂

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