April 24th, 2013 (F1plus/R. Baillie).- The Bahrain Grand Prix has often been regarded as a boring race, but Sunday’s race was anything but. We were treated to 57 laps of overtaking, impressive drives and tyre disasters.
It’s time to take a look at the Pluses and Minuses of Round 4: The Bahrain Grand Prix.
Vettel walks away with the win
Once Sebastian Vettel managed to pass Nico Rosberg on the third lap, he was able to pull out a huge gap gaining two free pit stops in the process, and strolled off to take the win.
Sunday’s race was reminiscent of the 2011 season where Vettel was often able to pull out a huge gap once in the lead leaving him completely untouchable, though the results may well have been very different had Alonso not been so unlucky.
Grosjean’s back on form
Despite numerous incidents Grosjean looked strong last year, however since the start of this year he hasn’t been the same driver we saw last year. Some, including Alain Prost, suspected that perhaps seeing a mind coach and calming his driving style down may well have resulted in a calmer and less aggressive Grosjean.
The Frenchman looked on top form in Bahrain, aided by a new chassis, which allowed him to be seriously competitive and finish in third place.
Kimi continues being consistent
Since his return to Formula 1 last year, Kimi was been consistently picking up points. In fact, Kimi has picked up points consistently for the past 21 races.
While we are only four races into the season, Raikkonen is currently 10 points behind Vettel which suggests we’re in for an exciting season as Kimi takes the fight to good friend and reigning World Champion Vettel.
Who said Bahrain was boring?
Anyone expecting another Bahrain snorefest will have been deeply surprised by the brilliant fights we were treated to.
The race was a truly inspiring and incredible example of just how skilled these drivers are; you really have to admire these men who are able to pass within inches or milimetres of each other and (usually) not make contact.
Some real standout fights and overtakes for me were between Button and Perez, Webber and Hamilton and who could forget Perez catching Alonso off guard.
McLaren allow their drivers to race
Though only a few races into the year we’ve unfortunately witnessed a fair amount of battles between teammates being ruined by team orders. Thankfully for us, McLaren are more than happy to allow their drivers to race each other without getting nervous and telling their drivers to back off.
Perez and Button put on a brilliant show as Perez tried to take 5th from the more experienced Button. Button didn’t seem too pleased with Perez trying to overtake him and was heard on team radio asking his team to tell the young Mexican to ‘calm it down’.
After the race McLaren Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh commented that he hadn’t got an issue with letting his drivers race each other, however making contact was unacceptable.
Paul di Resta shows his worth
The pressure looked on for di Resta at the beginning of the year as Adrian Sutil returned to Force India with a point to prove.
He was seriously quick and competitive throughout the race and spent the majority of it right at the front of the action, in 2nd and 3rd of course as Vettel was way ahead by that point, and for most of the race it was looking like he was on for his first podium.
Unfortunately it wasn’t to be as he was unable to defend from a very fast Grosjean on fresher tyres.
It wasn’t all disaster for the Scotsman though he finished an impressive fourth place, equalling his career best.
DRS disaster for Alonso
After a typically fantastic start to the race, disaster struck for Alonso on the 7th lap when his rear wing became stuck open, despite being well out of Vettel’s DRS zone at the time. He headed into the pits straight away where his mechanics were able to stick the wing back down.
Unaware that it was a long-term issue, Alonso opened his rear-wing on the next lap and again found it was stuck open. He had to pay a visit to the pits again and was forced to continue the race without using DRS to aid overtaking.