If there ever was an argument that low grip makes for good racing, the 2013 Bahrain GP has to be it.
"Crap" tires make for good action, maybe artificial action but it sure looked good on TV (OK maybe not as good on US TV since they managed to miss much of it).
It was a race of "what ifs"...what if Hamilton did not have that five spot penalty? What if Alonso's DRS had not failed? What if Massa did not have a tire fall apart and another go flat? What if Raikkonen had woken up in qualifying?
But what ifs count for nothing and Vettel's Red Bull certainly had the pace, made no mistakes and dominated.
Behind the leader, all hell broke loose and at times it looked more like a MotoGP race than a Formula 1 race. Memorable battles between Button and Perez who no doubt wanted to put on an extra special show for his main sponsor, the world's richest man Carlos Slim who was in attendance. Perez badgered Button making the Mclaren leader call for the same team orders Button criticized just last week. At the end of the race he had a no holds barred scrap with Alonso.
|Alonso's DRS flap broke and was disabled after the first few laps.|
Alonso, salvaged a P8 despite an extra trip down pit lane to fix a failed DRS which left him at the back of the field without the possibility to pass on the straights. He fought back finishing the race with chorded rear tires but he's now a rather massive 30 points out of the lead in the championship. Must be especially frustrating for Fernando to finally have a competitive car only to run into a bad patch of luck as he has in the first four races.
Raikkonen and Grosjean showed how fast Lotus is, I'm sure all other teams will be busy in the next three weeks figuring out what the deal is with Lotus's "active" suspension and how it looks after tires. Also, it must be noted, Kimi's been hitting the ice cream fridge and is looking almost Montoya-ish for an F1 driver.
Di Resta, almost.
Rosberg was a bulldog but in the end, just fell off the pace. Webber, another difficult race and a questionable move on Rosberg. Webber should have left Red Bull this year where team management is now openly hostile to him. Helmut Marko was caught on the grid walk saying to Niki Lauda he should not say nice things about Mark Webber. Neither he nor Vettel showed up for the team's "celebration" of Webber's 200th GP. As Dr Marko said, only points count in F1, not friends.
Red Bull is so much fun...
Now a three weeks to Barcelona.
Race results after the break, check later for Executive Summary.
PROVISIONAL RACE RESULTS The Bahrain Grand Prix Bahrain, Bahrain; 57 laps; 308.405km; Weather: Dry. Classified: Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 57 laps 2. Raikkonen Lotus-Renault + 9.1s 3. Grosjean Lotus-Renault + 19.5s 4. Di Resta Force India-Mercedes + 21.7s 5. Hamilton Mercedes + 35.2s 6. Perez McLaren-Mercedes + 35.9s 7. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 37.2s 8. Alonso Ferrari + 37.5s 9. Rosberg Mercedes + 41.1s 10. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 46.6s 11. Maldonado Williams-Renault + 1m06.4s 12. Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari + 1m12.9s 13. Sutil Force India-Mercedes + 1m16.7s 14. Bottas Williams-Renault + 1m21.5s 15. Massa Ferrari + 1m26.3s 16. Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1 lap 17. Pic Caterham-Renault + 1 lap 18. Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari + 1 lap 19. Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth + 1 lap 20. Chilton Marussia-Cosworth + 1 lap 21. van der Garde Caterham-Renault + 2 laps Not classified/retirements: Driver Team On lap Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 16 Fastest lap: Vettel, 1m36.961s World Championship standings, round 4: Drivers: Constructors: 1. Vettel 77 1. Red Bull-Renault 109 2. Raikkonen 67 2. Lotus-Renault 93 3. Hamilton 50 3. Ferrari 77 4. Alonso 47 4. Mercedes 64 5. Webber 32 5. Force India-Mercedes 26 6. Massa 30 6. McLaren-Mercedes 23 7. Grosjean 26 7. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 7 8. Di Resta 20 8. Sauber-Ferrari 5 9. Rosberg 14 10. Button 13 11. Perez 10 12. Ricciardo 6 13. Sutil 6 14. Hulkenberg 5 15. Vergne 1 All timing unofficial