April 21, 2013

F1 Mullet: Business In Front, Party At The Back in Bahrain

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.


The Bahrain Grand Prix
Bahrain, Bahrain;
57 laps; 308.405km;
Weather: Dry.


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


  1. When Rosberg claimed pole I knew he had found himself some fools gold. Rosberg wouldn't even have made to F1 if he didn't have his old mans last name and connections. I knew Vettel was deliberately sandbagging in China to smooth things over from the Malaysia PR debacle. Its good to see that the top-brass at Red Bull have once again given him permission to continue winning.

  2. Hey, good job predicting things, Anonymous.

  3. Cry baby button.. Perez driver of the day

  4. My observations:

    1. I hope Vettel's run away win is a one off (for the sake of the sport)
    2. Button is back to moaning (it's going to be a long season for McLaren)
    3. Hamilton did a pretty good job considering
    4. Webber will be getting another grid penalty next race

  5. I think Jenson is already at his wits end regarding Checo. Even though he has Jessica, Jenson is having a difficult time turning Checo into his chica. For Jenson's sake, this is not good. If Checo continues to pop Jenson's chops ever so often, team politics could sway Checo's way. Remember, isn't it next year McLaren is going to start receiving those TELMEX pesos. Hopefully with Carlos Slim at the race, Ron was able to get lotsa TELMEX pesos locked on a solid five year deal. Good luck Jenson....you're gonna need it.

    1. He did not became the worlds richest man by throwing money in every direction...

  6. "Helmut Marko was caught on the grid walk saying to Niki Lauda he should not say nice things about Mark Webber."


    1. Lauda himself on the Brundle grid walk on Sky

    2. Thanks - found the vid on Youtube. Interesting.

  7. I think we're all watching Webber's last season in Formula 1. It's too bad things have to end this way because Vettel will ultimately leave Red Bull in the next couple of seasons for Ferrari.

    Perez's aggression today was purely a result of his financial enabler sitting in the paddock. I'm still not sold on him at McLaren and I think the team made a mistake hiring him. Whitmarsh needs to get his team sorted out or his days will be numbered.

    It'll be interesting to see if Lotus stays this dominant once the other teams have a chance to regroup over the next 3 weeks. McLaren will essentially be arriving in Spain with a brand new car. It should make things very interesting.

    Fun race today!

  8. Hammy must have smelled the rotting McLaren in the wind last year... They currently sit 6th in points with only 23, 41 points behind Mercedes after only 4 races. It's unreal.

    And poor Webber - he's fought tooth and nail for some respect at RBR and been shat on. If he hasn't been shopping around for a new contract outside F1 he's going to regret it. They SAY they've given him the same equipment and chances as Vettel, but it's hard to swallow when a veteran like Mark keeps getting such horrible starts, second-rate equipment, and the cold shoulder from an obstinate and petulant little...****** like Seb.

    Seems like Webber and Massa should start up another series where they can be the team leader - both of them soooo close to a title, both of them robbed by simple mistakes and team tomfoolery.


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