Alonso heads one-two on Ferrari debut

2010 Bahrain Grand Prix reviewPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Fernando Alonso got his Ferrari career off to the perfect start
Fernando Alonso got his Ferrari career off to the perfect start

Fernando Alonso won the Bahrain Grand Prix on his first appearance for Ferrari.

He took the lead from pole sitter Sebastian Vettel, who was struck by an exhaust failure while leading.

Felipe Massa followed his team mate home in second place giving Ferrari a one-two finish in the first race of the season.

Alonso began the race behind his team mate but passed him on the run to the first corner, leaving him perfectly placed to profit from Vettel’s problem.

Lewis Hamilton completed the podium for McLaren after losing time behind Nico Rosberg early in the race. An early pit stop allowed him to easily jump the Mercedes for fourth before taking third from Vettel.

Vettel slipped back into the clutches of Rosberg in the dying laps of the race but managed to get his car home in fourth before pulling to a halt.

Michael Schumacher’s comeback drive was a quiet run to sixth behind his team mate. Jenson Button and Mark Webber caught him towards the end of the race but neither were able to pass.

Vitantonio Liuzzi and Rubens Barrichello became the first drivers in F1 history to score points for ninth and tenth.

Of the new runners, neither of the HRT or Virgin cars finished their first race. Lotus got both of their cars home in the last two places, though Trulli was coping with an hydraulic problem.

2010 Bahrain Grand Prix

156 comments on “Alonso heads one-two on Ferrari debut”

  1. Congratulations to the red car brigade …… :( At least, JB did not drop from his quali-pos. like Kova normally does. Though JB is a defending Champion.

    And I almost slept off …. Now, I must consider if Aussie will be worth waking up earlier.

  2. :(

    That is all.

    1. You pretty much summed up my entire feelings about the race.

  3. the-muffin-man
    14th March 2010, 15:11

    God, that was dull.

  4. the-muffin-man
    14th March 2010, 15:12

    But seriously – I believe the engineers know far too much about their cars during a race and some sort of telemetry ban should be imposed.

    Let things fail, let engines blow up – make the drivers manage their cars, not the engineers in the pits. Fair enough let the car collect the data so they can examine it after the race, but not during.

    And as for the eight engines and gear boxes made to last four races rules – FFS – this is F1 not LeMans.

    1. interesting idea but then a gain do we want cars stopin all over the place and only 10 or so cars finishing?

      1. the-muffin-man
        14th March 2010, 16:21

        I’d rather have the lottery of that scenario than what we have now.

  5. I feel so bad for Vettel…..I hope its not the end for vettel as its the guy who wins the 1st race goes on to win the championship so i hope its not the case this time…..

    Go VETTEL……U r the one i’ll be supporting the whole season….Cant believe its gonna be a gr8 battle between Force India and Williams

  6. The most exciting part was laps 17 to 19 when pit-stops were happening and there was a chance that some drivers might jump others.

    It might be too soon to pass a judgement on ban on re-fuelling. But advocates of this ban will find precious few points in favor of the ban.

    Aerodynamics has improved to an abnormally high level now. Vettel could stave off Rosberg and Schumacher even with a broken exhaust. That says it all.

    Look at how quick Vettel was at the start of the race when he was in free air. Look at how quick Fernando was when he got into the lead. Look at how quick Fernando was once he was about 4 seconds behind Vettel. There was no way he could have passed Vettel in the dirty air.

    Purists might argue the merits of ‘passing on track’ to ‘passing in pits’ but honestly, ‘passing on track’ is going to be insanely tough unless the car to be overtaken is a Lotus, HRT or Virgin.

    1. I couldn’t agree more. Overtaking on track will be for the backmarkers only.

      Best season in years….all our hopes are dashed


  7. do we think it is a coincidence that the v-nosed cars were the fastest? if not, do mclaren have something to learn?

    1. yes i totally agree, with most other teams copying the red bull nose design, mclaren seem to have forgotten who was quickest last year

  8. I’m over the moon.
    Fernando was just stunning today and showed that not only does he still have the speed but he’s a very clever racer.
    Felipe didn’t get trashed though, they were pretty close and Felipe had a few problems at the end (as well as racing driver’s excuse of flu ;) ) so it’ll still be a close figtht between those two and eys I’m biased but I know Alonso is the better racer.

    1. I could not agree more with you!!! :)

  9. my predictions remain perfect – unblemished by a single point

  10. It was unfortunate that the race was effectively decided because of the technical problem on Vettel’s car. The fact that he had a hard struggle to, eventually, take home P4 was, however, something that provided a bit of interest in the later part of the race. In the top ten, there didn’t seem to be much of any overtaking going on (besides the podium guys overtaking Vettel, obviously), but it was a similar thing at this race in recent years. I’m hoping for Melbourne to be a bit more interesting in that regard. There were some nice little skirmishes in the midfield, though.

  11. Formula ZzzZZzZz

    to all those who supported refueling ban – LMAO @ you

    Formula 1 is dead

    1. Way to make all of these statements after ONE RACE, so I LMAO @ you.

      1. so things will magically change in Oz in two weeks, eh?

        1. Not magically, but you can’t write off a 19 race season based on the first weekend. For all you know, Albert Park, Montreal, Interlagos or others could be classics this year.

          1. HAHAAH even drivers bash the refuel ban.. read post race comments by Schumi for example

            this season is gonna be crap because of the ban!! processions all way long!

            man, f*** interlagos or montreal, i dont care about the sights or “history” factors. i wanna see racing not parades!!!

          2. Mid way through last year, everyone was like “This season’s gunna be crap because Button will win every race because theres no testing”, and yet look how things tightened up in the second half of the season.

            We have only seen ONE FLIPPING RACE, so trust me, there will be much better races this season.

        2. How long have you been following F1, since LH? this is F1 not the NASCAR, overtaking is and has been always difficult.

        3. Actually, Australia is usually a much better race than Bahrain.

          I expect tyre wear to be a more significant factor, perhaps allowing a little bit of overtaking. Chance of a safety car too.

    2. The issue is not refueling, it’s in aero. Or did that pass you by? Perhaps we should just have 20 compulsory fuel stops a race if that’s the bit you enjoy…

  12. Bad luck Vettel looks like the reliability issues might crop up again this season and hamper his chances.Im glad to see Mclarens race pace looked more handy than there qualy pace.. all credit to hamilton for salvaging a good position from what seems like an average car. hopefully they can sort out there downforce problem.

  13. Unlike Alonso’s Ferrari debut, Kimi won convincingly. If it wasn’t for Vettel’s exhaust failure, I highly doubt a Ferrari win.

    1. I could not agree more with you!!!

    2. Well, you guys better get ready for some more Alonso’s unconvincing wins this season.

    3. Kimi had the benefit of starting on pole. Alonso admitted that he would have had a hard time passing Vettel but that he was preparing his car to blitz the last ten laps and try to grab p1 that’s probably part of the reason why he was also doing such stunning times at the end.

    4. Yes of course, anything that Alonso does is not convincing or worth…bla, bla, bla…. ah, are you a Hamilton supporter by any chance or a Kimi one?

  14. This is going to be the dullest F1 season ever , with little or no overtaking : (

    All the great driver pairings and close competition between teams gone to waste with no refueling .

    I’m sorry to say this but HRT sucked like s**t , they’re a disgrace .

  15. Pretty much a perfect weekend for Ferrari. Red Bull have the gremlins back that gave them so much trouble last year. Many people here like me think that Newey is one of the best designers out there but every now and again he tries too hard and the very unusal exaust design may be one of them.Time will tell.

    1. Yep, congrats on the 1-2. Got to feel for Red Bull, Vettel seemed to have it in the bag. Agree about the Newey exhaust backfiring on them.

      Hugely concerned that nursing tyres to allow 1 stopping is going to limit racing. And now we have all front running teams on same tyres, there is not enough difference in car performance to allow overtaking – not an issue when teams were carrying variable fuel levels. Suspect we will see a lot less overtaking this year.

  16. This season will soon turn sour if we begin to see ferrari dominance.

  17. Would the idea of two mandatory pit stops evoke the same fervent outbursts from the community now as it did 2 months ago?

    The drivers are not willing to race under the current conditions. Alonso being told to back off and cool tyres instead of going for gold? Says a lot about the effectiveness of the points incentive too.

    1. bigger differential between 1st and 2nd i agree wit but poins down to tenth i do not like there is no need for it. now 5th to 10th are happy with where they sit points in the bag, no scramble for 8th and one point ( or sixth in the good old days)

      1. My point was that everyone seemed to be happy wherever they were. Cuz slipstreaming, pushing harder destroyed their tyres they had to conserve soo much.

        Aggressive strategies will not be an option either, because it takes way too much time to get past even by someone who may be seconds slower. They can’t extract the 20 seconds from the extra set of tyres for the pit stop, although the tyres themselves easily have this potential.

        Two mandatory pit stops would at least allow the drivers to engage in battles without having to worry about needing an unplanned stop.

  18. I’ve been a Ferrari fan for over ten years, and while this was a good start for us, the race as the beginning of the season was terrible. I was never really in favour of the refuelling ban, and despite Keith’s earlier predictions, I see my expectations coming true.

    Seriously, refuelling and the two pit-stop phases it entailed made even the most boring races (such as this one) watchable. Without refuelling there was technically no action after the first pitstop rush (after lap 20 approx.). In fact, if Vettel did not slow down with his exhaust problem, we would have seen simply a succession of 50 parade laps. That was how bad it was.

    The starts and the opening 10-lap rush was nowhere to be seen. Cars are heavy, and what is worse, they are equally heavy. In previous years, “race-fuel qualifying” for all its vices, ensured that we get some decent action in the opening laps when lighter cars got stuck up behind the heavy ones.

    What’s more, the all-anticipated diversity in strategy did not materialize and while Renault and Williams experimented a tiny bit, we’ve seen an identical strategy from the first eight. This only entailed minor changes to the order, while in the past years we have seen how a successful fuel strategy can decide the outcome of a race.

    I consider myself an f1 purist, and was never in favor of artificial rules such as “race-fuel qualifying” on mandatory pit-stops. But let us face it, if the drivers are made to preserve their destroyed tyres for most of the race, we wouldn’t see any natural changes to the order i.e. overtaking. What’s worse, the significance of pit-stops also dropped.

    What this leaves us with a situation where the best qualifiers finish first with those behind having little opportunity to change anything. Hence, the best cars will always win (at every race possibly) and that was not the case a year ago. So I’m not really surprised at having witnessed an altogether dull non-race and see the red cars finish first.

    I’d give the refuelling ban a few more races but not much more than that. Bahrain does not typically produce thrilling races, but if this farce continues in Melbourne I will not for certain that formula 1 is heading in the wrong direction. I normally hate knee-jerk reactionary rule changes, but if this continues,I say bring back 2009 rules by Monaco so we don’t screw up the season completely.

    1. Some good points. I find I have similar fears to you overall. But am optimistic that we may see this pan out a little bit better than you expect. I don’t see the rules being changed mid-season though – whatever happens.

      Having said that I 100% agree that the refuelling ban is a bad move.
      I, like you, have not been happy about this since it was first announced, and hope that this is changed back in the future.

      Oh, and bring back turbos! ;-)

    2. “bring back 2009 rules by monaco”

      But then wouldn’t that force all the teams to redesign their refueling systems to accomodate that change? Not gonna happen IMO.

      Personally I think the only sure remedy to the overtaking problem is to ban wings entirely. :(

      1. Even though I’m less than happy with the refuelling ban and the new kind of races we get, of course I don’t see refuelling coming back in Monaco. But unfortunately, I can only expect a very boring season ahead with mostly processional races. Of course refuelling was not really a solution to the overtaking problem, but it did encourage it. After all, different cars had different fuel weight in the car and thus some cars held significant advantage over the others as I explained above.

        I’m not alone with this opinion. Just had a look at what some top drivers have to say:

        Schumacher: “That is the action we are going to have with this kind of environment of race strategy.”

        Alonso: “With no refuelling, it will be difficult to see any overtaking, so after the first lap the positions will be set”

        Hamilton: “You start with fuel, you do one stop and it’s pretty much a train all the way”

        If these drivers believe that Bahrain 2010 was a perfect example of no-refuelling-style races, then I have nothing to add.

      2. You are right rfs, but that means F1 becomes one of the slowest racing categories.

        If we take the aero off, they need more power to make it interesting.

        This season is not looking good. These cars could overtake last season on different fuel loads, but only really consistently if the fuel load was different. The current cars are not ready for no refueling. They need much less aero to enable them to pass but then we’ll find the GP2 cars will be quicker around the same circut.

        Anyone got the answer cause I sure don’t.

        Last year was a fantastic season. Overtaking, multiple position changes. It seems that teams are going to try and pass through the pit stops even this year because they’ve got no show on the track.

        Very happy to be proved wrong.

        1. The answer is for Bridgestone to bring tyre compounds that degrade quickly and dramatically.

          This will force teams to stop more than once, and lead to overtaking in situations where a car on old tyres is desperately hanging on for track position.

    3. Totally agree and I was also against the refuelling ban for all the reasons you gave above. But they can’t re-introduce refuelling mid-season, as rfs points out, you would have to entirely redesign the cars.

      Martin Whitmarsh suggested an enforced 2 pitstop minimum, but although removing the need to protect tyres, the strategies will be too similiar across the teams, so it will not dramatically improve overtaking possibilities.

      The proposed diffuser ban next year will reduce the turbulent air, but I would go further and suggest they also bring back refuelling.

      Suspect this year we will be stuffed on the overtaking front.

      1. If you want, you can easily switch back to refuelling. Just don’t fill the cars up before the start.

        – though I think the rules deserve some more races.

  19. The car aerodynamics still makes racing impossible so when will we finally see a set of regulations that takes care of this.
    I think tyres should be free to choose as teams se fit for both qualifing and race and with 3 rather than 2 different compounds available. The teams must have the chance to run as many different strategies as possible.
    The only strategy no looks like being to start the race on the soft tyre and make it last as long as possible.

    1. I agree, in fact I think that they should bring all compounds to all races and give total freedom to teams to choose how to run them. The only way to counteract aerodynamic grip issues is to give them maximum strategic options and mechanical grip and more chance of two cars together on track being further apart on strategy (e.g. last minute pit stop for very fragile but super fast tyres and a sprint to the finish).

      The other problem which we have since no refuelling was last in F1 is the pit-lane speed limit. If there was some way to reduce the penalty of taking a stop the strategy variation would be greater (e.g. new venues could accommodate much wider safer pit lanes and cope with a faster speed limit.

  20. All that these clever so called “advocates”, managed to do over the years was turning the most illustrious event in motorsport into something I cant even describe! If this is the future of F1 then… Congratulations to FIA for their fine achievement! Let’s hope that there is more to come, cause all that we need is watching cars going round the circuit in perfect “qualifying order”! It’s a shame realy…

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