Sunday, March 14, 2010

2010 Bahrain GP Review: Normal Service Resumes with Ferrari One-Two

The 2010 season finally started off in what can turn out to be the most unpredictable season ever but though Alonso made his Ferrari debut in grand style by finishing 1st while Massa making a comeback after a very serious injury followed him to the 2nd place in what was a Ferrari one-two after nearly 2 years. The last time was during the now defunct 2008 French GP and though usually a Ferrari one-two means total domination by the team but this season there are 3 other teams which could be challenging it and these includes Red Bull, McLaren and Mercedes.

Sebastian Vettel will be the most disappointed man on the grid and though he was set to win the race after a stunning qualifying pace but the RBR turned out to be fragile with Vettel just managing 4th place. His teammate Mark Webber after a first corner error managed to finish only 8th and RBR will be disappointed with these results but RBR has proved that it is really a top team and they will be a major threat throughout the season.

Hamilton and McLaren will be happy with their lucky 3rd position which was largely thanks to Vettel’s mechanical issues while Button managed only a 7th place on his McLaren debut and already Hamilton is proving that he is way ahead of Button. McLaren will be happy to score more points than Mercedes their former owners but they need to have a significant updates in order to match the pace of Ferrari and Red Bull.

Mercedes went into the race saying that they are still slightly off pace and they should be very happy with the way things have turned out for them. Michael Schumacher making his comeback after 3 years showed no sign of rust as he managed a 6th place and crucially finished ahead of the reigning World Champion Button but he still needs to up his pace during qualifying as Rosberg though may have finished ahead of Schumacher it was still not a convincing performance but it is still early days and the fight between these 2 should be interesting.

Force India proved that their days as back markers are over and they could be well be the surprise team among the mid-field teams and could bring back the team to its past heights when it was Jordan Racing. Vitantonio Liuzzi managed a well deserved 9th place while Sutil managed to finish 12th. Williams unless they become a works team once again should be getting used to its status as a mid-field team and though Rubens Barrichello did score the final points for the team, if they managed to finish ahead of Renault, Force India, Sauber and Toro Rosso then they should be very happy with the results and Nico Hulkenberg making his F1 debut did nothing wrong and managed to finish the race 14th.

Renault though did seem to have the pace early on but after Kubica’s spin they lost the plot and they just did nothing significance during the race while they did have a very shoddy pit-stop for Vitaly Petrov which was not the perfect start for Russia’s 1st F1 driver. Sauber said to be the dark horses for the season had to retire both the cars with hydraulics issues while Toro Rosso looked decent and they should only improve as the season goes on.

The historic name Lotus was back in F1 and they proved to the best among the 3 new teams which was making its debut and it was an impressive effort by the team which had just 4 months to build the car and its experienced drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli though were way off the pace still managed to finish the race distance. Virgin cars were plagued by gear box problems with Glock lasting 17 laps while di Grassi managed only 2 laps. Hispanic Racing were the worst of the lot with their car running for the 1st time ended up having one of the worst debuts ever with Bruno Senna managing 18 laps while Karun Chandhok who had no business on being in the grid managing to crash out at the first lap itself.

The Bahrain GP may not have been the most exciting grand prix but it did show signs of a very unpredictable season which is what 2010 is going to be all about. In the end though Ferrari won, there were 3 teams behind it while the middle pack looks unpredictable. The next race is at Melbourne in 2 weeks time and it should once again throw in a lot of surprises.

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