Battling in the Bahrain sun

Battling in the Bahrain sun

Postby meteorite » Sat Apr 02, 2016 6:14 pm

First, let's get the specifications of what happened:

Championship / Results / 2016 Race Results / 2016 FORMULA 1 GULF AIR BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX


Pos. No. Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Laps
1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:31.391 1:30.039 1:29.493 14
2 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:31.325 1:30.535 1:29.570 13
3 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:31.636 1:30.409 1:30.012 14
4 7 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:31.685 1:30.559 1:30.244 14
5 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 1:31.403 1:31.122 1:30.854 12
6 77 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:31.672 1:30.931 1:31.153 12
7 19 Felipe Massa Williams 1:32.045 1:31.374 1:31.155 10
8 27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:31.987 1:31.604 1:31.620 15
9 8 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:32.005 1:31.756 9
10 33 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:31.888 1:31.772 9
11 55 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:31.716 1:31.816 9
12 47 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1:32.472 1:31.934 9
13 21 Esteban Gutierrez Haas 1:32.118 1:31.945 9
14 22 Jenson Button McLaren 1:31.976 1:31.998 9
15 26 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull Racing 1:32.559 1:32.241 9
16 94 Pascal Wehrlein Manor 1:32.806 6
17 9 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:32.840 6
18 11 Sergio Perez Force India 1:32.911 7
19 20 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1:33.181 3
20 30 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1:33.438 6
21 88 Rio Haryanto Manor 1:34.190 3
22 12 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:34.388 4

Q1 107% time - 1:37.717

Note - Magnussen will start the race from the pit lane as penalty for failing to stop for a mandatory weight check during FP2.

This qualifying was competitive. Somewhat weird, with results that may be don't reflect the entry's racing potential, which in some cases can be attributed to the continuation of the new qualifying format from Melbourne. There were other factors, including less than stellar time management in some team pits (especially in Q1), simple bad luck that nearly dumped Massa from Q1 as a new front wing didn't work as expected, and the pre-race disqualification of Fernando Alonso as insufficiently healed from his injuries in Australia - a decision with which Alonso and Ron Dennis vehemently disagreed.

But note in the times - the difference between third and 18th starting positions was less than two seconds. Team Haas, though in only their second race, made it into Q2 in close company with Toro Rosso and McLaren, and with no apologetics about having a substitute driver in Alonso's car, because he actually placed higher then Jenson Button. Even struggling Manor, the perennial back markers, got a (for them) sterling showing from Pascal Wehrlein when he came within 3/10th second of making the first cut. And Daniel Ricciardo wedged his Red Bull into fifth ahead of the two Williams, a neat piece of work.

But the big show was up front, where the two Ferraris swapped provisional pole with the two Mercedes cars to the final run. In the showdown, Nico Rosberg put in a titanic lap to finally edge Vettel by half a second. Then Hamilton, who always seems to have an extra tenth up his sleeve, set a new all-time absolute fastest ever lap for the track and squeezed onto the pole with a meager 7/100ths of a second in hand. Tomorrow night as the sun dips and the lights go out, a very great deal is likely to depend on who gets into turn one first, and in what is expected to be a three-stop race whose strategy is best. Be prepared to hold your breath.
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Re: Battling in the Bahrain sun

Postby meteorite » Sun Apr 03, 2016 7:29 pm

The came the morning after:

1 Nico Rosberg GER Mercedes 1:33:34.696 25
2 Kimi Räikkönen FIN Ferrari +10.282s 18
3 Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes +30.148s 15
4 Daniel Ricciardo AUS Red Bull Racing +62.494s 12
5 Romain Grosjean FRA Haas +78.299s 10
6 Max Verstappen NED Toro Rosso +80.929s 8
7 Daniil Kvyat RUS Red Bull Racing +1 lap 6
8 Felipe Massa BRA Williams +1 lap 4
9 Valtteri Bottas FIN Williams +1 lap 2
10 Stoffel Vandoorne BEL McLaren +1 lap 1
11 Kevin Magnussen DEN Renault +1 lap 0
12 Marcus Ericsson SWE Sauber +1 lap 0
13 Pascal Wehrlein GER Manor +1 lap 0
14 Felipe Nasr BRA Sauber +1 lap 0
15 Nico Hulkenberg GER Force India +1 lap 0
16 Sergio Perez MEX Force India +1 lap 0
17 Rio Haryanto INA Manor +1 lap 0
NC Carlos Sainz ESP Toro Rosso DNF 0
NC Esteban Gutierrez MEX Haas DNF 0
NC Jenson Button GBR McLaren DNF 0
NC Sebastian Vettel GER Ferrari DNS 0
NC Jolyon Palmer GBR Renault DNS 0

Fastest lap - Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 1:34.482 (L41)

Note - Vettel and Palmer did not start following technical problems on the formation lap. Magnussen started the race from the pit lane as penalty for failing to stop for a mandatory weight check during FP2.

03 Apr 2016

AT first glance, it looks so simple. Rosberg got the jump at the start and - oops! where's Vettel? Actually, he's sitting behind a barrier around turn 11, where he took refuge when his Ferrari engine died in a huge cloud of smoke on the formation lap. That left Hamilton to tuck in behind on the racing line into turn 1 pressed by Raikkonen on his tail. Meanwhile with Vettel's abandoned space ahead, Valterri Bottas saw a gap down the inside lane and made a gangbusters dive through it, only to outbrake himself at the turn and reduce speed by T-boning Hamilton. Kimi made a phenomenal avoidance and became Rosberg's trailer, where he would effectively remain for the balance of the race. Changing the Renault engine name to TAG Heuer when fitted in the Red Bull seemed to add speed, as while the cheerful Aussie Ricciardo gradually steadily lost distance to the top cars (Hamilton came back late on) he soldiered on, towards the end in lonesome splendour to take fourth as clearly best of the rest.

Hamilton, who had lost part of his front wing and had undertray damage that was costing him about a second a lap, and fallen behind in the encounter, needed to assess the damage as well. Still, fitted with a car that yesterday was the fastest ever to circle the course he set about it and methodically regained the lost ground. Mirroring the tire strategies of the lead pair he gradually climbed his way up the lap charts, finally making his way past Ricciardo to claim the final podium spot, though Raikkonen remained far beyond his reach. Given the circumstances, he was quite happy to salvage the fairly generous points that he did.

Behind, everyone was swapping positions as varying tire strategies gave first one the advantage, then the other. Romain Grosjean, in the knowledge that his teammate had dropped out early with mechanical issues, drove on deftly and undaunted to deliver the novice Haas team its second points position in its second race. And that was with a hard-charging Max Verstappen (Toro Rosso) and resurgent Danny Kyvat (Red Bull) hot on his tail. Behind the two Williams cars didn't seem to much like whichever tire grade they were on at any given moment, with Bottas given a drive-through penalty for hitting Hamilton which lost him 23 seconds more he couldn't afford, especially as Stoffel Vandoorne filling if for the injured Alonso in the McLaren Honda earned his temporary team a finishing point, encouraging given their last two seasons. The scramble behind was a mix of positions hotly contested by both Force India, both Saubers, Pascal Wehrlein doing well for Manor and Magnussen working his way through half the field after his penalty
last-place start from the pit lane.

True that accidents eliminated a couple of favourites, and the demanding course imposed a high level of attrition, nevertheless at no time were the tv cameras at a loss for a choice of rousing battles to tittilate the viewers and keep the announces amused, which is really the recipe for an enjoyable and successful race.

And so on to Shanghai.
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