Sunday, 21 April 2013

Bahrain GP

Is Formula 1 immoral?
On Saturday 20th April 2013 it was the qualifying session for the Bahrain Grand Prix however before any cars had even started moving there was problems. Riots and protests outside the track made Bernie Ecclestone think that the Bahrain government shouldn’t have let the Grand Prix take place. Luckily over the course of the weekend no protests came inside the track.

Anyway, it was a pretty normal qualifying session apart from the fact that Nico Rosberg came out on top! Lewis Hamilton got a 5 place grid penalty in the 3rd practise for needing to change his gear box and Webber and Gutierrez also got a grid penalty for contact during qualifying. Vettel qualified second followed by Alonso.

Bahrain has a 2 DRS zones and the actual race is 57 laps long.

First corner of the Bahrain Grand Prix
The race was at 1PM GMT on Sunday 21st April 2013. All the cars got off to a clean start and Nico Rosberg maintained the lead for the first two laps however with Vettel and Alonso close behind him desperate to take first place. On lap 2, Vettel cleanly took over Rosberg and then on a DRS zone on lap 3 Alonso took over Rosberg too. He did put up a decent fight though and gave both Vettel and Rosberg a tough job.

There was slight contact between Sutil and Massa in the first few laps; both cars got minor damage.

Scottish Force India driver, Paul Di Resta, also managed to squeeze past Rosberg. On lap 7, even with a damaged front wing, Massa managed to take over Rosberg too. Despite an amazing qualifying session on Saturday it seems Rosberg isn't fast enough or aggressive enough to content with the likes of Vettel and Alonso.

Unfortunately, Alonso needed to pit from second position because his DRS wing got stuck open. He was the first driver to pit on lap 8. The Ferrari team pushed his wing back down however it got stuck open again on the following lap. The team were forced to make Alonso pit again and then tell him that he couldn't risk using DRS for the rest of the race!

Webber took the first planned pit stop on lap 9 and most other drivers pitted also before lap 15. Vettel pitted leaving the lead to Di Resta. Most drivers were on a 3 stop strategy as they thought that would be more beneficial through the race.

On lap 16, Sebastian Vettel had retaken the lead followed by Raikkonen and Webber.

Massa pitted on lap 18 as his rear tyres were flicking up loads of rubber not only causing problems for other drivers but also slowing him down. Ferrari changed his tyres however didn't change his damaged front wing as it didn't seem to be effecting his lap times that much.

Everyone’s tires seemed to be struggling. Fast corners and red hot weather obviously wasn't ideal.

Button, Grosjean, Rosberg and Perez were battling for 3rd place on lap 21 – all four cars were less than one second apart.

Race leader Sebastian Vettel pitted on lap 26, he came out still in first place. Paul Di Resta who seemed to be having a brilliant day followed Vettel in second position.

A Lotus' wheels burning away
Team mates, Button and Perez were being risky and battling each other for 6th place. On lap 28 both McLaren cars were unfortunately told to save fuel. The squabble between Button and Perez continued for many more laps until on lap 30, the fight came to a climax and Perez lost part of his front wing when getting too close to Button.
After that both drivers were told to ‘look after the car’ which is pit radio talk for ‘don’t crash!’

Despite that message, Perez continued to fight Button. On an intense attempt to take over Button, Perez ran out of road and went off the track into the dusty run off area. He didn't lose his position though. Button was clearly hating the situation; on lap 35 he took, what he planned to be, his final pit stop and came out in 12th place where he wouldn't be intimidated by his team mate.

Meanwhile, Raikkonen and Di Resta had also been battling but for 2nd position. Raikkonen had managed to take 2nd however Di Resta didn't give up and continued to tailgate Raikkonen.

Because of debris, Ferrari driver, Felipe Massa got a puncture on his rear right wheel. He pitted however spent the rest of the race at the back of the field.

There was huge contact between Webber and Rosberg around 20 laps before the end of the race. It was highly controversial because it is unclear whether Webber turned in to the corner too early and cut of Rosberg or if Rosberg was being too ambitious and trying to find space that clearly wasn't there.

7 laps before the end of the race Vettel was still leading the race followed by Raikkonen, Di Resta and Grosjean. Lewis Hamilton had amazingly got up to 6th place and was stalking Webber up to lap 51 when he took over him in the DRS zone.

Vettel on his own out in front
3 laps before the end of the race most cars were still racing. Webber and Hamilton were still racing hard and so were Alonso and Perez.

Sebastian Vettel won the Bahrain Grand Prix followed by Raikkonen and Grosjean. I think it was obvious that Vettel was going to win the race from when he first took first place on lap 2. Nico Rosberg who started on pole position finished in 9th. It is actually the exact same top 3 from the Bahrain race last year.

Vergne was the only car that didn't finish. He had a collision with a Caterham early on in the race.

This means that Vettel now leads the drivers’ championship followed by Raikkonen who is 10 points behind him with 67 points. Hamilton is coming 3rd in the championship with 50 points.

RedBull continues to lead the constructor’s championship with 109 points. Ferrari is second and Mercedes is 3rd.

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