Alonso heads one-two on Ferrari debut

2010 Bahrain Grand Prix review

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

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156 comments on Alonso heads one-two on Ferrari debut

  1. David A said on 14th March 2010, 16:45

    I am delighted with the result and so glad that the Prancing Horse is back after last year! Fernando showed us all that he is a class act, and Felipe made a very solid return from injury, too.

  2. Ryan F said on 14th March 2010, 16:50

    It wouldn’t be so bad if they had a bit more horsepower, at present they’re all down on power and carrying a load of fuel. I might as well watch buses go up and down a street.

  3. John Edwards said on 14th March 2010, 16:56

    The worst start to a season I remember. If the rest of the season is like this I don’t think may people will have any interest left by mid season.

    Until they limit the cars reliance on aero these are the kind of races we’ll get.

    That said the poor circuit layout didn’t help, that wiggly section seems to have done it about as much good as another tequila does a drunk.

  4. newnhamlea1 said on 14th March 2010, 17:07

    that race has proved to me that a tyre war is needed to soften up the rubber, and closen up the cars.

  5. Monaco73 said on 14th March 2010, 17:28

    First off, thanks Keith and everyone.. it’s good to be back.

    First the good stuff. F1 in 2010 is exciting in that there’s new teams on the grid, some new talent and four world champions on track. The most exciting things about today’s racing were seeing Fernando in a Ferrari, how the new teams would cope, wondering if anyone would get into a scrap with Schumacher and seeing that Senna-yellow helmet in a car once again.

    Otherwise it was a procession. The cars are starting on equal weights, the tyre technology means we’ll mostly get one-stops, and as a consequence, the drivers will be nursing their tyres in the last third of a grand prix. We’ve also got engines having to last 3 races and gearboxes for 5, so with turned down revs and short-shifting, I fear it’s going to be a conservative management excercise, rather than overtaking and “to the limit” racing.

    I hope the drivers will get used to their tyres and know when they can push and be more aggressive – but that settling in will take a good few races, something that Martin Brundle mentioned after the race today.

    Opening the Championship at Bahrain is also a poor decision, it’s such a bland setting, and that silly new mid-section didn’t do anyone any favours.

    Having said all that, it was great to see the Ferrari 1-2, such a shame for Red Bull, Webber needs to raise his game and watch out for Force India, they’ll be on the podium soon!

  6. johnno said on 14th March 2010, 17:30


  7. statix said on 14th March 2010, 17:33

    nice race!

    1) poor vettel
    2) great time for ferrari!
    3) stupid sutil (mr crash!)
    4) naughty oil tricks from webber haha, did he want to crash sutil and kubica in the smoke?
    5) superb kubica going from 23 to 11
    6) hulkenberg – big big disap.

  8. Daffid said on 14th March 2010, 17:51

    That was a bit of a snooze and all very predictible. Looks as if overtaking will be as hard as ever (which we all expected) then they should soften the tyres, they have too much longevity. The super short stops are quite exciting, but we need the decision between number of stops to be a greyer area, today a 1 stop was a no-brainer and easily done, if the tyres had gone off more, might have seen some interesting calls.

    Congrats to Lotus – Kovi was my driver of the day, managing a proper fight against a much faster car and bringing it all the way home ahead of an STR. Good to see.

  9. Formula 1 is not about racing anymore, it is about who is the best at nursing their car around to the finish.

    This race today just proved it, with an uniteresting pointless procession, with drivers either unable or unwilling to really go for it.

    Give them as many tires/engines/gear bozes/fuel as they want or do not want in each race.

    We went in the right direction in getting rid of driver assisting technology. But now with all these silly tire, fuel and engine regulations the drivers are concentrating more on nursing their cars around the track and not crashing into one another, than they are in winning in fighting for position.

    We saw the start of this a couple of seasons ago, when the passing in the pitstop routine began to be played out, with teams not risking any passing manouvres on the track so they can pass in the pits.

    Now we have this crazy 55 metre rule in the pits as well, so there were passes actually in the pitlane due to over the top safety rules.


    I am sick of all this, just give the teams all they need and lets go RACING! Let the drivers fight tooth and nail! They are supposed to be racing drivers, not train drivers!

    This is Formula 1! Things are supposed to be expensive, cost cutting shouldn’t be an issue.

  10. verstappen said on 14th March 2010, 18:03

    Alonso did well, today in driving, and also in the build up to the season and in the press conferences: he really really is doing everything he can to make sure his is the biggest fanbase in the Ferrari factory, ‘the guys in Maranello’.

    And I credit him for both – just as I creditted Kimi for just sticking to the driving

  11. sumedh said on 14th March 2010, 18:20

    Martin Whitmarsh says that they could have gone on the supersofts till lap 25. They only decided to bring the drivers early since the first guy made his pitstop on lap 17.

    The pit-stop window is now even smaller, as teams waste no time in mimicking their opponents’ actions.

    Martin goes on to say that they would have gone on and on on the medium tyres. He sais that if there were to be a safety car on lap 5, then everyone would have dived, changed tyres and finished the race, 44 laps (close to 1.5 hours) on the same set.

    Lewis said that managing tyres wasn’t a problem.

    The only one genuine problem which pundits said would occur and upset the drivers was the issue of heating of the fuel. And even that happened only to Felipe.

    Where are all the advocates of refueling ban. Please come out and defend your preferred format.

    Some changes must be done. Soon. The no refueling format was designed to work only on the early 1990s cars, when aerodynamics wasn’t as developed, and teams performance was almost solely decided by the tyres.

    Sadly, we are 20 years ahead of the regulations. Tyres aren’t the sole decider of the performance anymore. Aerodynamics has hurt overtaking. And to counter that is to either reduce the influence by making the aerodynamic rules stricter or allowing more room for different strategies.

    2009 rules did the former. But 2010 rules are in a totally tangential direction.

    Re-introduce re-fueling and get rid of pit-lane speed limits (or increase them). That will a world of good for Formula 1

    • Daffid said on 14th March 2010, 23:41

      I happily defend the refuelling ban. The refuelling ban has simply further highlighted the real issue which is aero. But if you want to change the rules again (from as they stand today), then that would be where to look, not lamely bring back refuelling. Besides, there are plenty of other ways. As you rightly highlight, the tyres are far too strong and not so quick. If they were using last years compounds, or if there was a tyre war (which I think there should be) this would not be the case. The problem is not the refuelling ban, it’s that it was brought in without correct attention to tyres and aero. As double diffusers will be banned next year, maybe that’s when they should have brought the refuelling ban in (plus stripped more aero off), but the ban per se is still a good idea. And at least it means races will tend to become more interesting towards the end, not less, as was the case today, and unlike most of the last 10 years.

      You’ll never get pit lane limits raised again, so no point even thinking about it. But I think the no release rule they’ve brought in is far too strict.

  12. Mash25 said on 14th March 2010, 18:32

    *sigh*. I am so disappointed; it couldn’t possibly get worse. Like someone said earlier, we might as well watch buses on a circuit. I was actually enjoyng it until team radio told somebody(jenson?) to go easy on the tyres coz they have to finish the race. At half distance!! So what do we have: slow heavy cars, soulless modern circuits (abu dhabi!) that just get slower(Bahrain ‘upgrade’), technological regression and no pitwall strategy. I mean ONE tyre for 2/3 of the race(an oxymoron really)!! And they call this racing. Total inaptittude. I’ve just stopped caring.

  13. Catalina ;) said on 14th March 2010, 19:08

    so..the first gp is history and all people going nuts with the refueling. I much prefer to wait until Melbourne to make a comment on that matter.

  14. jindobra said on 14th March 2010, 19:49

    Better bet your money on Alonso, than bet it on Vettel. Alonso – Hamilton, two drivers, two top teams, two enemies on track…………..One destiny: F1 History.
    I can´t wait¡¡¡¡
    Welcome everyone, sit, relax and watch what we have been waiting for¡¡

  15. curedcat said on 14th March 2010, 20:16


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