By Tamhas Woods at Motorsport24.com On Sunday afternoon in Shanghai, reigning F1 champion Lewis Hamilton quickly silenced his critics (not to mention Team Ferrari!) with a resounding victory over rival Sebastian Vettel. In the...
Fernando Alonso took a comfortable victory on his Ferrari debut in Bahrain this afternoon, winning by 16 seconds after initial race leader Sebastian Vettel fell behind with mechanical problems just after half distance. Second place for Felipe Massa secured the Italian marque a one-two finish, while McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton completed the podium in third.
From the start pole-sitter Vettel romped clear at the front, opening a two-second lead by the end of the first lap. In what turned out to be a crucial move for his race win, Fernando Alonso squeezed by team-mate Massa at the second corner, with Massa just managing to keep third from Hamilton thanks to the Briton running wide at turn 4.
Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel resumed the 2010 where he left off in 2009 by scoring an impressive pole position for the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix this afternoon in Sakhir. The German went almost one and a half tenths quicker than his nearest rival in the decisive Q3 part of qualifying, but was the first front-runner to set his benchmark, a 1m54.101s, at the end of Q3, forcing a nervous wait to see if could hold onto the position.
In the end, Ferrari’s Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso were unable to keep pace with the youngster with Massa taking a front row slot on his return from injury. He set a time of 1m54.242s to go three tenths quicker than Alonso’s 1m54.608s, but crucially lost out to Vettel in the fight for pole. Fourth place went to McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton, who set a time of 1m55.217s to go over a second slower than Vettel. However the Briton was considerably quicker than team-mate Button who managed just eighth place on a 1m55.672s after a disappointing qualifying for him.
After months of preparation and weeks of testing, it is almost time for the 12 teams and 24 drivers that make up the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship to finally put their cards on the table and show just what they can do. For the teams it will be their first real chance to see if they can really challenge for the title, while for the drivers the joy of racing again will be just as potent.
Jenson Button once again got pole position this season at Monaco Grand Prix. Despite his struggle in early stages of Qualify today he did an exceptional lap at dying moments of Q3 and secured pole position. Raikkonen was second just 0.025 seconds behind Button despite he was the fastest man in Q2 with almost six tenths quicker than last years best Q2 time. Barrichello from Brawn was third ahead of Vettel in fourth who didn’t seem to be on pace this week. Massa was fifth who crashed his car at the beginning of Q1 but was lucky enough to continue. Rosberg was sixth, Kovalainen seventh and Webber was eight before tomorrow’s race.
The real drama was Hamilton’s crash at first session after posting the best first sector time. Hamilton seemed very strong all week here and he could deliver a very strong performance today if he didn’t crash. Another big surprise was seeing both cars of teams BMW and Toyota to be knocked out in Q1 while Force India and Torro Rosso drivers were in top 15. Car weights are yet to be published by FIA, but most of the time strategy is more important at this circuit than the raw speed.
Jenson Button claimed his third win of the year in front of Sebastian Vettel in the Bahrain Grand Prix. Pole-sitter Jarno Truli finished third after they changed to prime tires at first pit stop which clearly didn’t pay-off. Last year’s world champion Lewis Hamilton became forth after a successful start thanks to the KERS, whereas Rubens Barrichello could only finish fifth after the team switched him to a three stop strategy.
Kimi Raikkonen finished sixth and scored Ferrari’s first points of this year. Timo Glock was seventh after a very early first pit stop and switch to the harder tyre compound. The last point scorer was Fernando Alonso from Renault.
Jarno Truli led Toyota’s first ever front row lock-out in qualifying. He set the benchmark at Q3 with 1m33.431s and comfortably beat his team-mate Timo Glock who suffered from a mechanical failure during morning’s practice session. Vettel who was the fastest at Q2 with only one flying lap secured 3rd position for tomorrow’s race.
Button from Brawn GP was fourth fastest who admitted they are no longer ahead. He closely followed by Lewis Hamiton who is hopeful for a podium finish for tomorrow’s race thanks to their updates. Rubens Barrichello was sixth ahead of Fernando Alonso who is seventh. Felipe Massa set the eight fastest time in Q3 with a last minute attempt. Nico Rosberg was ninth and Kimi Raikkonen was 10th after and encouraging fifth position at Q2 session.
First practice sessions for the fourth race of the season has been completed today. Nico Rosberg topped the time sheets at second practice while Lewis Hamilton was fastest at first session. Conditions very were hot and windy. Track was very dusty at the beginnings of both sessions. As this circuit is the first hard braking circuit of the year, teams worked mainly on the brakes and we have seen many lockouts from drivers especially at turn 1 and turn 10. Teams evaluated the available tyre compounds for the race as usual on a Friday. Most of the teams struggled to heat their prime tires while the option tires seemed better.
Teams will study the data that they have collected today and will be ready for tomorrow’s free practice session. As the competition is very close it will be interesting to see who will make it to Q3 tomorrow.
After such a tremendous race at China only one week later we are already counting back for Bahrain Grand Prix. Most of the drivers arrived Bahrain early on to get used to the time difference and hot weather conditions.
Toyota, BMW and Ferrari have already tested their 2009 contenders here during winter testing and collected valuable data for the race. Other teams will start their preparations at Friday’s first practice session. Brawn, Toyota and Red Bull teams come here as favorites, whereas Ferrari, McLaren and Renault will try to show catch up. With only one week break after China, big updates are not expected. It will be interesting to see who will use KERS here, after we saw only three cars used KERS at Chinese Grand Prix.