Rosberg stymies Hamilton while Vettel saves fourth (Bahrain GP analysis)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Vettel coped admirably with his exhaust problem to salvage fourth
Vettel coped admirably with his exhaust problem to salvage fourth

The ban on refuelling gave the race a very different structure to what we saw in 2009, with almost every car one-stopping.

For several drivers that meant a frustrating day stuck behind rivals, unable to get close enough to try a pass.

The start

Lap 1 position change (Click to enlarge)
Lap 1 position change (Click to enlarge)

The oil-belching Mark Webber initially lost places to Jenson Button and Michael Schumacher – but a canny pass around the outside of turn nine got Webber ahead of Button again.

Robert Kubica and Adrian Sutil collided while distracted by Webber’s smoke, and fell behind all the other cars except the HRT duo who started their race in the pit lane.

The biggest benefact was Kubica’s team mate Vitaly Petrov, who made up six places with a clean start.

Hamilton stuck behind Rosberg

2010 Bahrain Grand Prix - Hamilton's pace (click to enlarge)
2010 Bahrain Grand Prix - Hamilton's pace (click to enlarge)

Lewis Hamilton’s attempt to pass Felipe Massa at the start ended up with him losing a place to Nico Rosberg. That cost him dearly, as the lap times above show.

Despite being able to lap 0.5-1 seconds faster than Rosberg, the aerodynamic wake from the Mercedes prevent Hamilton from getting close enough to try to pass.

After his pit stop, where he’d got ahead of Rosberg, Hamilton was more or less able to keep pace with the Ferraris. Towards the end of the race Fernando Alonso let rip and set a series of fast lap that neither Hamilton nor Felipe Massa, who seemed to have some kind of problem, could keep up with.

Vettel’s problem

2010 Bahrain Grand Prix - Vettel's problem (click to enlarge)
2010 Bahrain Grand Prix - Vettel's problem (click to enlarge)

I’d only just Tweeted that the race was “coming to the boil nicely” when it all fell apart. Alonso and Massa had been slowly catching Sebastian Vettel but suddenly his lap times increased and it became clear he had a problem.

As the graph shows Vettel coped admirably well with his exhaust fault and brought his lap times back down again. So much so that while it looked at first like he might drop out of the points completely he was able to stay ahead of Nico Rosberg for fourth.

It’s a long season and the points Vettel salvaged today could prove highly valuable later on.

New teams

2010 Bahrain Grand Prix - New teams (click to enlarge)
2010 Bahrain Grand Prix - New teams (click to enlarge)

As expected, new teams Lotus and Virgin were very closely matched for pace and we saw some good racing between them. But they were a couple of seconds off the pace of the slowest of the established runners.

They were not a close match on reliability, however. Both Virgins were gone within 16 laps, both Lotuses were classified, although Trulli experienced some hydraulic problems which ended his race early. They were lapped a lot, which is what the spikes towards the end of Kovalainen’s line are.

HRT F1 were further off Lotus and Virgin’s pace than these two were off the rest of the field, but that is to be expected when they’ve had no testing.

Pit stops

Bahrain Grand Prix pit stops (click to enlarge)
Bahrain Grand Prix pit stops (click to enlarge)

The standard strategy at Bahrain was a single pit stop around the lap 15 mark followed by a long 30-plus lap stint to the flag.

Generally it was the drivers who made their pit stops earliest who gained places – Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher for example. The crucial calculation being made on the pit wall is how early a driver can make his pit stop and come out in clean air without a slower car in front.

Race and lap charts

2010 Bahrain Grand Prix race chart (click to enlarge)
2010 Bahrain Grand Prix race chart (click to enlarge)
Drivers' gap to leaders' average lap time (click to enlarge)
Drivers' gap to leaders' average lap time (click to enlarge)

The Bahrain Grand Prix was a processional affair – more on that later.

Most of the pit stops happened on laps 15 and 16 as the field spread out and the front runners found themselves able to pit and resume racing in clean air. Given how most of the front runners were able to get to the end of the race without any obvious tyre problems we could see even early first stops in future races.

Unless the ‘option’ tyre has a significant performance advantage, one-stopping could be the way to go at many races this year.

2010 Bahrain Grand Prix lap chart (click to enlarge)
2010 Bahrain Grand Prix lap chart (click to enlarge)

2010 Bahrain Grand Prix

121 comments on “Rosberg stymies Hamilton while Vettel saves fourth (Bahrain GP analysis)”

  1. I think Vettel coped really well with his problem. Brundle criticised him for not having consistent lap times, but surely Seb had to learn how the car had started behaving differently once the problem arose. He did very well to salvage 4th.

    Really good to see Massa on the podium as well :) glad he got straight back into racing well again, you wouldn’t know he’d had any time out of racing at all.

    1. I think Brundle was criticising him for missing apexes when there was no reason to, rather than just his lap times.

      1. Agree. Vettel had to learn to manage the situation, but he lost his edge when the issue started. It took him too long to make the adjustment needed to hold off Rosberg, although I was very impressed that he did.

        Missing the apexes on corners was not helping his times. Rookie stuff we talking about here. When the sun is shining Vettel is brilliant, but toss in a couple of clouds and he loses focus. Brundle was right.

        1. Have in mind that the electronics has some clever engine breaking strategies that help with stability under breaking. Having a basically dead cylinder most certainly messes that up, affecting his breaking, hence missing the apex.

  2. Just 1 problem with the post – when you click the graphs they don’t enlarge :-)

    1. Sorry about that – fixed it now!

  3. Was a great day to be an Alonso fan, the way he cried havoc and let slip the dogs of war putting in brilliant laps in the tages makes me believe I’m going to quite enjoy the 2010 season.

    Brilliant job by Lotus to finish, although it was a bit desperate by Truli to stay out so they got a double finish the team has still done an amazing job.

    1. However much I’m gutted Vettel didn’t win Alonso did a fantastic job. He put a great move on Massa to put himself in a position to challenge Vettel and I think Alonso would have caught Vettel and tried something anyway. Once Alonso got into the lead he flew and showed why he is considered to be the best driver in F1.

      Also great analysis Vettel did a really good job despite his lack of power. Well done Seb.

  4. i just wondered why in a race with not a lot going on did we only see one replay of the force india collision and no re-play of hamilton running wide? weird. good opener though!

      1. yeah, still don’t know what he did… or even where Oo

        1. For me, TV race direction was pretty poor all weekend. Following the wrong cars at the climax of quali 3, missing every one of the nineteen overtake during the race (OK, so they were mostly at the back of the field), hardly saw Kubica or Sutil fighting their way back after their coming together (didn’t even see that properly!).
          I like the fact that they are giving a time for the entire pitstop, but it really should be ‘as well as’ rather than ‘instead of’ the stationary time. I really wanted to know how fast the teams were changing tyres.

  5. I bet if Vettel didn’t have a problem Alonso wouldn’t have overtook him even though he started to run faster times. The tyres hardly wore at all, which was something I though would be a big problem. So the drivers probably could’ve pushed more. Whitmarsh has already said the race was unexciting and Schumi said that overtaking anyone was pretty much impossible.

  6. Also, don’t think there will be much whining about the Mclaren’s wing-stalling-scoop-device after their performance in the race. The way Renault was making it out was like it was illegal but it ain’t Bob Bell was just acting like there was some sort of gentleman’s agreement about not stalling the rear wings. I give them credit it’s good to see new innovative aero components like that in f1.

    1. I think it will have quite an effect at Monza. But that’s quite a while off and I suspect the other teams will have their own snorkels, f-vents, stallers, etc anyway by then.

      1. why do some people call it the ‘F-vent’.
        Is it because its on the ‘F’ of Vodafone? It wouldn’t really be a f-vent on other teams then.

        1. maybe the shape of it in cross section looks like an f?

        2. People inside McLaren are supposed to call it an F-vent or F-duct, but I don’t know where the name came from originally.

      2. May not be that easy, the monocoque is now homoglated for the season and that will require a change (a hole) to it.

        1. There are plenty of access holes in a modern F1 chassis to route a duct through the car. I doubt a new monocoque would be needed.

  7. The graphics showing lap times, positions and the like on TV (I’m guessing supplied by FOM) are awful this year.

    1. yer quali was nearly impossible to follow as we couldn’t get live timing to work. Apparently though all the TV stations have had massive complaints so maybe they’ll improve it. I never knew what was wrong with the old Yellow blocks myself

    2. Oblique graphics look dated and are hard to read. Stick to a BBC like template and stop trying too hard FOM!

    3. Absolutely – qualifying was incomprehensible and the commentators were reduced to reading out lists of names.

      I think a lot of people wont bother next round if this isnt sorted

      1. I agree. SPEED only showed times as the cars went by the finish. At the end of each Quali session I didn’t feel the excitement of watching the times list and drivers getting bumped around. To be honest I didn’t even know the order or who was on the bubble until the full list was posted after the last car went by.

    4. yeah where were the pit stop times???!!! i wanted to see how quick the stops were.

    5. It seemed to me that they changed the graphics just for the sake of it to try to make them look new, there wasn’t anything wrong with the old format for me.

  8. I suspect Vettel’s falling laptimes towads the end were proportional to the size of hole he was burning though the car. Perhaps they should just leave the car like that now!

  9. same thing happened to kimi in france 2008, like today the true victor of the race didn’t make it to the top step, real shame for vettel, however he once again displayed he’s a world class talent.

    1. Vettel displayed that Adrian Newey is the best car designer in F1.

      1. Damon – Vettel showed why Newey is NOT the best car designer in F1, even if he can sometimes make the fastest.

        1. Out of interest, because I take your point, who would you say was the best?

  10. Click to enlarge doesn’t seem to be working for me.

  11. Does anyone know if the stewards are going to action against Mark Webber?

    1. it would have been mentioned during the race, and he would have served his penalty then, so the answer is no, they are not taking action aginst him.

  12. Keith – Could you download and use the Mclaren telemetry at the next race to compare Button/Hamilton’s racing style? I know you couldn’t reconstruct racing lines, but we could see entry/exit speeds of corners and where each driver’s style differs.

  13. Everyone seems to be getting bad vibes that the new regulations are going to lead to really boring races. The pattern of one early pit stop then a really long second stint spent looking after tyres certainly wasn’t thrilling in today’s race.

    Here’s hoping that the action really starts in Australia!

    1. Yea I thought the race was very boring. Even more processional than in previous years. I thought after Hamilton’s failed pass against Massa and getting stuck behind Rosberg, we’d see him lose his cool and torch his tires in the process of making a spectacular pass. Unfortunately he couldn’t get quite close enough…and maybe…just maybe he has matured a bit. Who knows…

      If today’s race is any indication of the rest of the season, get ready for boring processional racing. Only excitement and passing will be the one (or maybe two) pit stops per team and when the leaders come up on the new teams where there is actually a large enough difference in speed to facilitate a pass.

      1. All we have to do is compare today’s race with the last few seasons.

        In the opening lap of previous seasons we’ve become used to a hairy sprint to the first corner and very frequent pile-ups as they all jockey for position. Often mayhem, frequently exciting. Many drivers really going for it.

        And today’s prospect for the whole of the season ? A procession. Nobody wants to take any risks ( with the honourable exception of Snr Alonso ) Everybody ( at the front anyway ) driving like he was afraid something might break.

        Not a good preview of an exciting season IMO. Oh dear……..

        1. They have made a mess of f1 this year!

          Overtaking even harder, drivers just driving round to save tyres, boring!

          Why didn’t they just leave it as it finished last year then we would have had a better version of 2009!

  14. isn’t this the end of F1?
    Second year in a row where I feel cheated. Something felt wrong while I was watching, we’re used to little overtaking, but now we have to cope with drivers preserving their tires, their engine… Qualifying felt the same where they also have to preserve their tires (with Vettel going out once).
    Both Withmarsh and Schumacher told the press it was a rather dull spectacle.

    What’s left? The eventual shower at Monaco, and seven real F1 tracks with Spa, Suzuka, Monza, Silverstone, Brazil, Sepang and Turkey, but how will they look with drivers…. often going 6 to 7 seconds off their optimum pace. And with a even longer season when will they start racing their heart out… instead of playing the long term strategies. Thankfully moto gp will have started by Barcelona.

    dear Keith, please advise, as an “F1 Fanatic” myself, I feel rather sad today.

    1. “Thankfully moto gp will have started by Barcelona.”

      Agreed! Can’t wait for MotoGP to get started!

      1. I’d go along with that as well! Very disappointed today! :(

    2. Agreed vincent. And all down to the stupid ban on refuelling. I knew this would happen. Fat cars trundling around wondering how much rubber is on there tyres. I’m so gutted about it. I can’t see how it’s gonna get any different.

      1. “And all down to the stupid ban on refuelling.”

        At what point did the lack of overtaking prove it was down to the banning of refuelling?

        It was down the aerodynamics of the cars, and those flaming double diffusers.

        1. Before the ban cars were on different fuel strategies which meant they were different weights – An element in overtaking.

          Drivers could run the **** off their tyres in conjuction with their arranged pit stops.

          Seems its all about conservation rather than flat out racing. Watch the interview with Jenson and Shumi on the iplayer.

        2. The double diffs were there last year. But so were variable fuel loads. The drivers and team bosses are saying you can’t overtake with this format. Do I believe you or them?

          1. Lee. Watch the interview with JB and MS on bbcf1. They think the same.

          2. Yeah, the double diffusers were brought in fully around mid-season, in Australia when only 3 teams had double diffusers there was plenty of overtaking. Also, in Bahrain, Button was evne able to pass Hamilton who had KERS, Hamilton didn’t have a double diffuser then (I think, from memory).

          3. Presumably you remember in the off season the team bosses saying the real problem was the tracks? Saying today you can’t overtake with this format, does not mean the best solution lies in refuelling. Might it not just as easily lie in something else?
            And I wouldn’t simply swallow the first thing team bosses say after one race. Their track record of statements regarding refuelling and aero over the last 20 years has no consistency whatsoever, either over the years, or between teams. Just because they sing off one song sheet today, doesn’t mean they will tomorrow. I’m not saying they’re wrong, simply that I don’t easily except it until I see a lot more evidence. (Like more races, a tyre war and a change in aero regs…)

    3. The race was boring beyond belief.

      Alonso overtook Massa in the second corner.

      That was it.

      Upside is, I get my Sundays back.

  15. Great analysis.

    Very curious to see that Felipe and Fernando slowed down almost 2 laps during lap 35, when Vettel developed his problem.

    Although Vettel was close to 5 seconds slower, the times lost by Ferraris trying to vertake a slow Vettel was a penalty of almost 2 seconds. It just demonstrates how difficult it is to overtake.

    Keith, I am expecting an article on the new regulations as well. Many team principals are publicly admitting that there is something wrong with it. What is your take on it? Are you still as much in favor of the ban on refueling as before?

    1. Vettel’s problem probably didn’t cost him much time in the long twisty sector 2 – Alonso couldn’t pass until they got onto the back straight, and Massa did him on the main straight.

      Lewis lost a similar amount of time passing Vettel a few laps later.

  16. Remember that Bernie wants 20 races per year, and thats presumably stetching further still the 8 engines per season rule.

    Not sure i’d really like to see some issue with Ferarri/Renault engines costing ferarri/RBR the title if they deserve it – by late season penalty punishments. although to some extent, if it continues to be tight it could give Mclaren and Merc a better shout for a tight season.

  17. Thanks for the analysis…

    I can only assume that this season is going to show up the track differences… ie the difference between the circuits where nobody can overtake which will be boring processions, and the proper circuits (Spa, Monza) where there will be a lot of great action.

  18. Red Bull confirmed that it was not an exhaust failure, instead an engine failure.

    1. Do you have a Source?

  19. So is it to early to declare Button out of his league in the McLaren? ;) I’m sure Kovi was grinning under his helmet after Button’s lackluster finish…

  20. Great effort to analyse the race. A shame, there were not more interesting moments to analyse.

    The tyres are keeping up just way to good. Button sounded guttet, that he spared his so much and lost with that. Nobody had any problems with managing the tyres at all.

    I liked Hamilton commenting on Vettels engine not firing all valves. From the latest information (electrical problem with the engine) he was probably correct.

    1. YEAH…Hamilton may have been right.. the redbull have comfirmed that the engine suffered with electrical problems which implies that one or two cylinders were not firing properly after a cable or some other electrical component failed…hence the loss of power.This is somewhat like misfiring in an ormal street car when one or two spark plugs fails or the high tention spark cables burn out due to short ciruit or heat.NEVERtheless the main power plant in the car was not damaged.IT could be that duevtom limitations ofspace ADRIAN NEWY tried to parkege things too tightly as you can tell by the way he arranged the exhaust system which like the brawn mercedes is breathing hot gases onto the rear wishborne/suspention assembly systems.FINALY…i was monitering the race on tv and radio plus the mclaren live feed on laptop…and was amazed at one stage when the mclaren pit told Hamilton that his pace was laping fastwer than the three cars ahead of him just before he overtook VETTEL…the graph analisis does not seem to reflect this?

      1. please purdon my typographical errors in the above reply….i have not had much sleep as i left work and stayed awake to watch the start …and am still awake monnitering varoius blogs on todays race….

        1. sorry I wanted to include this link:

          (the other one is about Bridgestone being satisfied with their tyres)

  21. Alonso is toying w/ the rest of them, and most certainly Massa. I think only Vettel and perhaps Lewis might challenge FA on a few tracks, other than that it will be a run-away march to the WDC for the Spaniard.

  22. Good analysis as always sir. One thing that stood out for me today though, once we got down to the last 5 laps, I was expecting lap times to be nudging a lot closer to the 1:55’s we were seeing in quali. Low fuel, tyres in good nick, yet only 4 drivers (from memory, don’t flame) got under 2 minutes per lap. Yes, they were all nursing cars/tyre/engines/gearboxes, but 5 seconds? What changed?

    1. Maybe because modern aero makes it impossible to overtake a car in front of you unless its way more than 5 seconds off your own pace.

      So given the need to conserve fuel, engines, gearboxes, tires etc driving 5 seconds off is ‘good enough’ to defend your place.

      So we are going to see a season of ‘good enough’ where everyone is on the same fuel strategy and no one has the performance differential required to overtake.

      Have we just gone from overtaking in the pits to not overtaking at all ?

      1. Ah, a fellow cynic. Agree need 2-3 seconds per lap advantage to push for that overtake, but not 5 surely.

        And yes, believe we have gone to no overtaking at all. As do Alonso, Schumacher, Hamilton, Button and several team bosses.

    2. WidowFactory
      14th March 2010, 19:31

      The tyres weren’t in good nick, and the Ferrari’s (probably others too) were short shifting to conserve their engines.

      1. Ah, but the tyres were in good nick. They were expected to chunk, grain and go off, but they didn’t. Button was disappointed that he didn’t push his rubber harder and Whitmarsh confirmed that the Bridgestine Supersoft could have gone at least half race distance, the medium practically the whole race.

        Engines and short-shifting yes. But then if even a further 3 seconds a lap were possible with a ‘push’, then overtaking would have happened.

        What I really think is the teams en-masse went very skinny on fuel then turned down to conserve, killing the race. Maybe FiA needs to make all teams carry a full 160kg of fuel, thus taking that excuse away.

        1. “Button was disappointed that he didn’t push his rubber harder and Whitmarsh confirmed that the Bridgestine Supersoft could have gone at least half race distance, the medium practically the whole race.”

          The Virgins unfortunately couldn’t have pushed their rubber any harder if they’d wanted to.
          Sorry I couldn’t resist :)

          1. i personally think a tyre war is needed and very little regulation on tyres to spice up the racing, if the mandatory 2 pit stops is introduced the rubber will get very soft again.

          2. Naughty step for you Chimp :P

  23. Poor Vettel, but Ferrari is better than Red Bull all time.

  24. Been following F1 for 35 years, and I’d been trying to bury my doubts about expectation for this season. Testing was opaque as far as any insight into form was concerned, and depressingly practice and, to some extent, qualifying are also hard to read. Race strategies seem tough to follow, and maybe Bahrain will be an exception but all the drivers seemed to spend the whole race ‘saving themselves’ for some flourish at the end.

    The drivers seem glum, and constrained by handlers and PR. Schumacher shouldn’t have come back, and already looks haunted, and uncharacteristically making all sorts of excuses to explain his performance.

    Early days perhaps, and there’s still scope for some interesting Vettel/Alonso/Hamilton action, but for me today the most joy was to be found at the back of the grid amongst the new teams.

    Hoping I’ll be persuaded otherwise.

  25. The key to all this is the tyres – we need two tyre manufacturers and a tyre war – why on earth would Bridgestone elect to supply a tyre that although very quick would wear out very quickly as well when they don’t need to – think about it…. the commentators would spend their time saying “blah blah’s tyres are shot” or “Blah Blah’s tyres are worn out” why would any tyre manufacturer want that broadcast to the tens of millions of people watching / listening World Wide when there main business is to try and sell road tyres to those same people ? The message the public watching would receive is that Bridgestone tyres wear out quickly ! – seems obvious to me but am happy to be corrected if some one has a different angle on it.

  26. So Keith, where are those 14 reasons that refueling ban is good?

      1. Great article, spot on and really fast.
        A must read for the discussions on this season and the ban on refuelling.

  27. Agree, a poor race, ominous for all of us especially Massa who’s last tilt at a Championship is evaporating before his eyes.
    Hate to say it but come Vettel, don’t let the “F”-er get away with it this year!

    1. I think it’s too early to pass judgment on Massa’s chances, he was within throwing distance of Alonso until near the end when he was slowed by overheating problems.

  28. Well at least Bridgestone is happy about tyre performance.

  29. I’m sure Alonso would NOT of got pass Vettel if he’d not had a problem, he closed up with ease but there was not a big enough difference, if you are in front its just too easy to stay there.

    Look at Alonsos lap once he got within 1 second, he was a second slower the next lap, if it wasn’t for Vettels problem you would of seen him just follow 1 to 1.5 seconds behind every lap.

    Hamilton, Webber and Button all had the same problem, much faster no way past.

    Alonso did deserve to win IMO, but got some luck (a lot). Hamilton, Webber and Button could of finish higher or closer to the front but got badly pegged back for long periods. Button and Webber were the most effected by this.

  30. Nick Someone
    14th March 2010, 20:19


    This is a re-post of a message I left for you on the “Bahrain Grand Prix FP2 analysis” page. I had suggested some ways to improve the graphs, and you had written back saying the ideas were good, but you didn’t know how to do them. I apologise for reposting if you have already seen the message.


    I spent a little time looking into this for you. I have found a website which you can use to generate charts with several useful features. The website is:

    with it you can:

    -enter CSV data (which you can get out of any spreadsheet prog).
    -create a graph of any dimensions.
    -check and uncheck tick boxes to hide the line graph of a driver(s) times.
    -zoom in and out to sections of the graph.
    -enter times in seconds and have the graph display them in the HH:mm:ss format.

    It’s basically an online Flash application that gives you an XML/HTML file. You’ll be able to embed the charts in this site, and it’s free although there is a link to the site in the top left corner of the charts it generates.

    Here’s a direct link to the bit of the site you’ll want to use:

    Click on the CSV “Data tab” and enter your session data. If the driver is pitted, don’t enter a value and it will make a gap in the graph line.

    When you have finished click on the “HTML” tab, click “Copy to clipboard”. You can then paste in the code to this site or wherever you want.

    I hope you find this helpful. I found a lit of other similar sites here:

    1. Thanks for the tip – will try to have a play around with them before the next race.

  31. Where the hell was the overtaking?? All they were were saving there tyres!!! I dnt like the ban of re fueling.. jst wasnt the same :(

    1. Actually, there was more overtaking than last year. TV feed was pretty bad – they kept showing the front not battles at the back.

      There’s a great overtaking analysis:

  32. Yep. The ‘soft’ and ‘super soft’ tyres should have been brought to Barhain. That way holding on for 60% race distance on either compound is no option, and we get to see drivers ragging the snot out of cars to make 2-or 3-stops work.

    1. As per Whitmarsh – the supersoft could have gone 25 laps. The medium had no signicant wear at all. So a one stopper with any combo.

  33. Keith
    it was quite interesting to hear lewis telling dc today that the mclarens he has driven have really never had a great back end. I’m assuming he’s talking mechanical grip, but surprising he was so open.

  34. I expected the ban on refueling to dull the races, but I did not expect it to absolutely demolish the spirit of racing. Throughout the race the drivers weren’t going flat out and were more concerned about how long the soft tyres would last, and how they should be preserving the tires, turning down engine revs, blah .. blah.. blah.

    Bernie Ecclestone needs to scrape the rust and cobwebs of his brains..and realise how he managed to screw up such a potentially brilliant season with stupid and unnecessary regulations.

  35. Very nice race, good drive by Alonso, shame about Massa, a little bit too cautious under braking on the first corner, it cost him a race victory. New teams, really did what was expected, very happy that Lotus made it to the end though. I was watching the race and thinking that the new teams should be allowed testing. If its your first season in F1, and your team is starting from zero, you are allowed testing for the first season. At least it helps to bring them up to speed.

  36. Yes a boring race. Easy fix, Ban front wings.Make tham run a mini front wing instead for stability then the cars would follow each other. Also just bring super soft tires to each event, some drivers might make them last ,others will go faster but wear them out and have to change.

  37. Im with Todfod. Seriosuly, that was the most boring race I have ever watched, in my life. I cant believe just how much race spirit was lost.

    The new regs are useless for improving the excitment in Formula 1. Im sorry, but no refueling has made it even worse. One tyre change too – BORING.

    These guys arent going to push that hard if they are going to wear out tyres. They would rather the place. We saw that last night.

    Im not even that excite to go to the Melbourne GP now because its quiet clear, whoever gets pole, will win unless they have a mechanical failure.

    Again – Boring.

  38. Well if that is a sign of things to come we have a very boring season ahead. This was the sports one chance to impress who don’t follow the sport given the attention that was on this race and it did disappoint. After that race to say I’m an F1 fan is a tad embarrassing.

  39. Come on lads, it wasn’t that bad :) I quite enjoyed it actually. Maybe Bridgestone could have provided a softer tyre compounds so the cars would have to stop twice.

  40. Part 2 – get rid of these ultra efficient brakes. This will bring move overtaking and will bring increase an aspect of the sport which is missing, the human element.

  41. The problem is not with the difusers, fat fuel loads or aero alone, the biggest problem is track layout and design. The fact is, even with light race cars, the average speed is down on last year by 5mph. The circuit is longer, but sector two’s new design for me has killed this Bahrain racetrack. Slowing the course down does nothing to improve the show, and has just made overtaking all the more difficult.
    Take turn one for example, did it really need changing on exit. The only overtaking we saw today, despite Glock’s move on Kovalainen, occured at turn one.
    Too many of these new circuits are too mickey mouse for my taste. These cars need to be given more of a chance to slipstream each other, but cannot do that when there are too many corners all at once.
    Yet again I am baffled by Bahrain’s redesign, which has ‘slowed’ the cars down. When asked about a simular layout at last years Abu Dhabi Gp, the now absent Raikkonen hit the nail on the head! ‘The first corner is ok, after that it is abit s**t really!’ Enough said.

  42. Yup- boring, but then I expected it to be – I remember the last time there was no refuelling.
    But unlike some, I don’t look back through rose tinted glasses.

  43. I’ll be interested to read your initial thoughts on the refuelling ban Keith as you came out in favour of it. I’m generally in favour of refuelling but I can see the arguments against have logic and “for sure” this is just the first race so there is fair way to go yet before we can get a more representative view. Michael Schumacher was fairly candid but that should be expected from the prodigiously successful supreme strategic implementer.

  44. For those of us who like overtaking ,I would suggest the following extra points for the top 10 drivers and teams on the grid at the end of each race :

    – Drivers extra points
    +3 points per corner overtake!
    +2 points per straight line overtake !

    – Constructor extra points
    +2 points per corner overtake !
    +1 point per straight line overtake!

    This way both the driver and team are rewarded for the overtake.What do you think ? :)

    1. Bloody good call Serfio but it aint going to happen.

      I feel that there is simply too much technology in F1 now. There is nothing “raw” about this sport anymore. Like Soccer, one man can turn around a team in a minute, just by stepping up and taking ownership and running hard.

      You cant do that in F1 anymore. Everything is “the air is too turbulent behind this car” or “i dont have enough front end grip through this corner” or “Kobayashi is wandering in the breaking zone”. Shish. This is so frustrating.

      This season is going to be utterly boring. Like i said before – who ever qualys in the top 3 will be the only ones who can possibly win these races..

      …..and No. Im not an Aussie who is utterly dirty about webbers performance last night. =(

      I do have my fingers crossed for him when we go to Melbourne though. =)

      1. Yep, the drivers were so busy whining they missed a golden opportunity to ask all those old champions how to apply pressure to the driver in front…

        Alonso can do it, he was all over the back of Vettel, trying different lines and so on. I know Seb’s engine was sick but he’d have done it anyway in the end.

        Some of the new boys have a go too, like Kobayashi. Shame Petrov had to drop out, I’d have liked to see him get stuck into Liuzzi and Webber, on soft tyres, in his very first race.

    2. No, would make things too complicated. Plus, it’s not that the drivers don’t want to overtake, most of them just said there was no opportunities to overtake.

      I think having 2 manditory pit stops could make things more interesting, or as Whitmarsh said after the race – getting Bridgestone to produce “racier” tyres that last less laps.

  45. How about less rules that lead to conservative driving? All out low fuel quali with no park forme -sp? No mandatory use of two compunds. Engine limit that is really simple to keep. And then fuel or no fuel shouldnt matter too much

  46. mr zing zang
    15th March 2010, 0:14

    Keith can you please go back to using the same type of lines on the graphs that you used last year? These graphs don’t look as good and they are simply just harder to read. Thanks

    1. You want him to make you’re dinner, tidy you’re room and make you’re bed also?

  47. So, now you’ve quit your day job to make this F1 fanatism your day job, I’m guessing that you have even less of a life than you had previously?!??! Cuz nobody with any kind of a life could produce this quality of coverage! Loved the test coverage…. loving the this weekend’s coverage! Keep it up Keith!

    1. I appreciate you concern for my well being but I can tell you I’m enjoying a healthier social life now than I was before!

  48. How can I get a lap-by-lap comparison of Rosberg’s and Schumacher’s lap time for the Bahrain GP ? – does anyone know ?

    1. Maybe Schumacher isn’t sharing that information with anyone…

    2. The FIA F1 Media Centre has timing information such as each drivers lap times for each lap

      It can be best not to wait around too long as the data usually gets taken down before the next GP and if that is the next weekend then the files may only stay up for a few days.

      1. Brilliant, thanks for the link.

        So it looks like Rosberg did the job in the first 1-8 laps, in all of which he was quicker than schumi.

        Overall MS fastest in 22 laps, and Nico faster in 26 laps between them.

        Consistency wise MS seems to be a bit off, but never can be sure as he may just be saving the tyres and just managing the gap to the cars behind him and not trying to push – very clear of this if you look at timings of laps 44,45,46,47 – several tenths of difference there between each of the laps.

  49. Again, BS Keith! I never saw Hamilton close on Rosbergs tail. He was not quick enough in the first part of the race.

    1. That was because he couldn’t get close enough because of the aero. He said on the radio Rosberg was holding him up (see the transcript here:

  50. I feel Vettel did the right thing and not fight “OTT” and just took 4th place for the points. We all know what happened to Vettel last year when he tried to fight Kubica in Aus, 6 more points could of added more pressure to Button in 09 if he just let Kubica past. Vettel played safe and smart since he knows he will be a front runner all season.

    12 points is better then no points.

  51. After the fuel heavy slugslow start the race developed into the boreing precessional race i have ever seen. I have been a fan of F1 on TV from the start and these new rules and inputs from the dreaded health and safty have ruined what was an exciting and spellbinding sport have spoiled it completely. there was supposed to be more overtaking and closer racing – this will not happen with this full-tank rule, drivers will be saving their tyres. sorr F1 but you are now rubbish – please change.
    Mike Line

  52. I like the “pit stops” graphic – maybe the colours could be changed for future charts to reflect the type of tyre used in each stint?

    1. The first challenge with that is gathering the data on who used which tyre and when. If we can get that information reliably then it’s potentially something we can do.

      1. Thanks for the “comment of the day”!

        Pitpass always produces a “driver tyre strategy” report as part of its post-race analysis (example: Maybe this info comes via a Bridgestone press release?

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