It’s round three of the season and the last chance for several top drivers to score their first points of the year before the ‘European season’ kicks off.
First among these has to be Felipe Massa. He’s already pointed out this week that it’s a long championship and there’s 160 points still to be won. But if he wants to avoid being relegated to ‘number two’ at the end of the year he already needs to make up 11 points on his team mate.
Who else will score their first points of the year this weekend?
David Coulthard was a decent ninth at Sepang after his dramas in practice. But team mate Mark Webber has shown Red Bull can beat their engine suppliers Renault and if Coulthard can match his team mate he’s got a good chance of getting his first score of 2008.
He drove magnificently at Bahrain last year to rise from 21st to seventh before retiring with a broken driveshaft.
Sebastian Vettel has shown excellent pace but poor luck so far this year. He was bundled out at the first corner in Melbourne and his engine failed at Sepang. Meanwhile team mate Sebastien Bourdais has two points (which might very easily have been five but for another Ferrari engine going pop).
Nelson Piquet Jnr put the misery of Melbourne behind him at Sepang – but the race also showed how hard it will be for him to score points until he or Renault find some more performance. He was 22s behind Alonso in Sepang, or 0.39s over a 96s lap, which is not unreasonable for a rookie alongside a twice world champion, but a crucial three places further behind.
That said, his team mate might not be pleased with him being beaten by Hondas for much longer. And speaking of them, can Jenson Button sneak into the top eight this weekend?
Who are your tips to break their points ducks at Bahrain?