Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Bahrain, 2012

Vettel leads home Raikkonen to take first win of 2012

2012 Bahrain Grand Prix reviewPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Bahrain, 2012Sebastian Vettel claimed his first victory of 2012 in the Bahrain Grand Prix.

He came under brief pressure from Kimi Raikkonen in the middle part of the race, but eased ahead in the final stint to win by 3.3 seconds.

Romain Grosjean made it two Lotuses on the podium, taking third place.

Vettel pulls ahead

Vettel’s start looked much like one of his 2011 getaways – he pulled effortlessly clear of the pack on the first lap.

Behind him Hamilton and Webber held their positions at the start, but Grosjean made a superb getaway to take up fourth behind the Red Bull.

It quickly became clear the Lotuses had strong pace. Grosjean passed Webber for third place then caught and passed Hamilton for second. But he couldn’t make much impression on Vettel, who was already almost five seconds ahead.

Meanwhile Raikkonen, who had slipped behind Felipe Massa at the start, re-passed the Ferrari and started to make progress of his own. He took a second per lap off the other Ferrari of Fernando Alonso, and passed him easily in the DRS zone.

Early pit stops

Despite the cooler temperatures on race day, drivers found their tyres dropping off quickly. On lap eight Button radioed his pits and warned them his tyres had gone off – he came in at the end of the lap, accompanied by Massa and Rosberg.

Next time by the pits were packed with Hamilton, Webber, Alonso, Perez, Senna, Schumacher and Hulkenberg all making stops. Hamilton fell behind many of them as he suffered the first of two slow pit stops due to a problem at the left-rear of the car.

He emerged behind Rosberg’s Mercedes and tried to go up the inside of him heading to turn four. Despite being squeezed off the track, Hamilton kept his foot in and took the place.

Meanwhile Vettel was in the happy position of being able to pit after most of his pursuers – with one exception. Paul di Resta stayed out and led a lap before Vettel took the lead back.

Grosjean also passed the Force India shortly before Di Resta headed for the pits. The gap between him and Vettel remained little changed after the first pit stops, Grosjean now 5.2s behind Vettel.

Raikkonen emerges from the midfield

But Raikkonen was coming on strong. On lap 13 he got down the inside of Mark Webber at turn 11 for third place.

He now set about reducing the gap to his team mate, who was 2.9s up the road. By lap 21 the gap was down to a second and Raikkonen prepared to attack his team mate using DRS.

Grosjean held on for a couple of laps while Raikkonen urged his team to take action, telling them “I have to get past”. By lap 24 he was through, Grosjean not fighting him for the place at turn one.

The next time by Vettel came into the pits. Grosjean came in on the same lap but Red Bull’s turnaround was quick enough to have Vettel on his way again before the Lotus had come to a stop.

Raikkonen began making inroads on Vettel’s lead after he pitted. Over the course of the third stint he edged a tenth here, a tenth there, and cut Vettel’s lead from 2.2s on lap 27 to just a few tenths by lap 34.

On the next two laps Raikkonen attacked the Red Bull driver using DRS, but couldn’t get by. At the second time of asking Vettel made a late move to cover the inside of turn one, obliging Raikkonen to switch to the outside, from where he couldn’t make a move stick.

That was the closest Raikkonen came to wresting the lead from Vettel. From then on he slipped back slowly.

Hamilton hits trouble again

Hamilton’s second pit stop went more or less as badly as his first and left him outside of the top ten for several laps.

Meanwhile Alonso was the latest driver to come up against Rosberg, who repeated his robust defensive move on the approach to turn four. A furious Alonso criticised Rosberg on the radio afterwards, and the stewards declared they would investigate Rosberg’s driving against Hamilton and Alonso after the race.

He wasn’t the only frustrated driver. Di Resta had criticised Pastor Maldonado’s defensive moves earlier on, before taking advantage of the scrap between the Williams driver and Sergio Perez to pass the pair of them at turn four.

As di Resta gambled on making two pit stops while others preferred three, he came under pressure from those who had just pitted. Webber passed him easily for fourth place.

Maldonado, however, picked up a puncture and suffered a violent spin at the exit of turn three. He later retired.

Vettel pulls clear to win

Vettel and Raikkonen came in together on lap 40 for their final pit stop. They left in the same order.

As they returned to the track Vettel reeled off a new fastest lap and began to edge away. Raikkonen, perhaps remembering the degradation that dropped him from second to 14th in China, saw the RB8 draw further ahead with each passing lap.

Raikkonen’s engineer told him Vettel would have worse tyre degradation but it didn’t come to pass. However, Red Bull were cutting it fine on fuel.

As Vettel crossed the line to win, he was instructed to pull over and stop immediately. He won by 3.3 seconds, Raikkonen followed home by team mate Grosjean.

In the points

Webber continued his run of finishing fourth in every race this year. Rosberg made a late pass on di Resta to claim fifth.

As di Resta coaxed his tyres to the end he came under pressure from Alonso – which he resisted. “The tyres were gone at the end” he told his team after finishing sixth.

He might have had a more difficult time had Jenson Button not hit trouble late in the race. He had to make a pit stop with a puncture and shortly afterwards an apparent engine problem forced his retirement.

That left Alonso seventh ahead of Hamilton, who was left to rue McLaren’s disastrous performance in the pits.

Massa picked up his first points of the season with ninth place, while Michael Schumacher took a single point for tenth.

Final finishers

Sauber failed to score points as Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi came home 11th and 13th – the latter abandoning his attempt to finish the race with two pit stops. Nico Hulkenberg finished between the pair.

Daniel Ricciardo plummeted down the order after starting sixth. He ended the first lap behind team mate Jean-Eric Vergne – who had lined up 17th – and concerned about front wing damage.

The Toro Rosso pair finished in that order, Vergne 14th ahead of Ricciardo.

Vitaly Petrov led home team mate Heikki Kovalainen who picked up a puncture on the first lap. Glock, de la Rosa and Karthikeyan were the remaining finishers, with Button and Senna classified despite having stopped.

A race to forget

The Bahrain Grand Prix is history for this year. The annals of motor racing will remember Sebastian Vettel as its winner.

But this weekend the sport was a sideshow. Formula 1 allowed those with a political agenda to exploit it, and brought shame on itself by holding this race.

2012 Bahrain Grand Prix

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127 comments on “Vettel leads home Raikkonen to take first win of 2012”

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  1. Lotus’s great performance and Mclaren’s underperforming were my biggest surprise but I alao have to say Di Resta and Massa did very good race as well. I know Massa is known as Bahrain specialist and it wasn’t top notch drive but surely good.

    Now Ferrari would bring huge update in Spain, hopefully it would boost both driver massively. They still have title chance yet and 5 way battle is better than 4 way!

    1. Alonso only expects a 0.6 second increase. He goes on to say most the teams will bring 0.4 second increases, which means Ferrari only gains a net 0.2.

      1. I think 0.6sex is quite conservative view comsidering the car has some serious problems. Only if they can fix those flaw I think it would be worth of 0.5sec. of course it could be very successful or, simply don’t work as well. We will see it in Mugello soon…

        1. Eh… conservative means “safe” estimate – ie “less than estimated.” If 0.6 is conservative then that means the upgrade is worth at least 0.6.

          1. sorry, what I supposed to mean was 1) fixing flaws = 0.5 sec 2) plus more sec from aero development 3) so I think 0.6 is fairly easy target. that was it.

      2. Alonso responded to the decision via Twitter: “I think you are going to have fun in future races! You can defend position as you want and you can overtake outside the track! Enjoy! ;)))”

        1. haha..Fernando trying to be cheeky, but clearly ******.

          I think Rosberg’s move aggressive, but then again, Nico has always been tough to get past. Alonso didnt back off either, so it was like fighting fire with fire, either one wasnt willing to lift.

          The stewards have been at it again, not consistent. I dont know what it would take for them to get their acts together!

  2. OK, done with Barhein. Now, bring on Europe !

    1. Great summary of race as always from Keith. ALSO fantastic handling of the whole sad and sorry weekend by this site.

      For those who have critcised the Keith’s stance on the Bahreini situation, a Nobel Peace Prize winner makes clear his views…

      “If you are a neutral in situations of injustice, then you have sided with the oppressor”, D Tutu.

      1. Really??? A little harsh….

        1. probably borne out of suffering at the hands of a pretty harsh regime

      2. Wonderful citation. Greatly summarizes my feelings about this weekend.

        1. Agreed, well put.

          1. I just don’t get it thought. What kind of cell phone do you use? Computer? Most likely made by underpaid people in an somewhat oppressive country. I understand this regime is punishing people. But they are rebeling. Not supportive of violence against peaceful protests. But don’t boycott a race bc of circumstances that somewhat mirror those of other
            countries/regimes/ideals of which products you support. F1 is a product. Use it. Just like I use toothpaste. And toilet paper. You are no better then I for watching or not watching. Boycotting only robs yourself of the enjoyment of the entertainment you’ve surely paid for in the past. I don’t support Bahrain and the regime but no one is better than anyone else morally for watching or not watching.

      3. Just think how disorganized and messed up the world would be if EVERYONE who felt injustice rebelled against it. I mean, seriously, it’s an injustice that I spent money on doughnuts this week that tasted horribly but last week tasted great. (Example, because I don’t like doughnuts that often).

  3. Am happy for Grosjean, nice to see him so joyful, doing so well… but too bad Eric maybe let his French bias get the better of him? (Anyone recall Eric and Kimi at odds last year as well…) The team probably would have won (maybe even 1-2) if Kimi had been let by immediately, for pushing Seb we see now would have had him coming up short of fuel. They were on different strategies after all.

    1. yea i agree. Kimi would of have more than enough rubber to push past Vettel had he not used it up stuck behind Romain and gap Vettel enough to win the race.

    2. I think Lotus allowed both their drivers to race fair. They allowed to race fair and they get critisised for being bias towards the French and if they tell the French to allow the Finn, they are also crtisised for being bias.

      In other words, they get critisised either way, right?

      1. @neelv27, you are right! People say that the team favoured the driver in front by not telling him to give a free pass to the driver behind? Crazy…
        Had it been ALO, HAM or VET behind it’s team-mate and the call to let them pass done by the team, loads of people would be criticizing hard, but now Lotus that did not make any call, is criticized for favouring the French driver! Ridiculous!

    3. Kimmi was amazing.

      The big question is where will he drive next year?

      Every major team will want Kimmi for sure. Kimmi will have his pick of teams. I wonder which apple cart he will upset. Some number 1 driver is in for a shock when Kimi arrives at their team.

      1. I hope Lotus improve on their critical decision making during the race. They seems to have good financial back up in form of Unilever, that will gladly give them more money for development if Lotus constantly show up on podium. With all that I don’t see any reason for Kimi leaving even for more money.

      2. Ever since his comeback, he’s been amazing. Thank you Kimi for coming back.
        Alonso is wishing to buy his contract out of Ferrari:)

        1. Kimi wins this year Championship with Lotus.
          Somehow Alonso forces his way into Lotus for 2013 and pushes Kimi to Ferrari.
          Kimi wins 2013 with Ferrari.
          Alonso: doh….

          ps. funny highly unlikely :)

          1. lol, you never know though, it is F1.

      3. I really want to see Kimi at Mclaren again. So.. I’m hoping either Lewis and Mclaren part ways, or Jenson gets back to his mediocre ways. I know it’s only wishful thinking, but stranger things have happened.

        If not Mclaren then Kimi should replace Schumacher at Mercedes

        1. Why does he even have to be in a different team? Lotus is quickly improving the car and they seem to be making less mistakes than the big guys, save maybe Red Bull.

          It is fantastic to have Kimi back and some of his overtakes were absolutely amazing. I think it was Brundle that called it “controlled aggression” and Bahrain was a prefect display of that.

          During Vettel’s dominance he’s been under less pressure from the normal pursuers than than he came yesterday from Kimi – though he came from 11th.

          Bahrain 2012 was totally Kimi’s race – just like it was in 2006. Well done, and welcome back, whichever car you drive!!

          1. The reason I wouldn’t want him to stay at Lotus is because of their uncertain future. Genii capital seem like they would plan an exit as soon as some good results would pump up the team’s monetary worth. Right now the Lotus group’s interests seem elsewhere.

            At Mercedes, they seem to have a bright future, and I think Kimi would be the right man to deliver.

          2. @ Todfod That’s a fair point but I’m not sure the future is safer at Merc. They have good backing right now but it could be cut again if they don’t improve and their performance seems very unstable.

            Maybe Kimi wouldn’t even dare to drive another Merc. engine :-)

          3. Merc is also under a lot of pressure from their shareholders who would like to close down the team. That Mercedes win couldn’t come at the better moment.

            Best place for Kimi is RedBull. Especially if you look at Kimi’s rally pictures and videos you’ll see that no one else in F1 right now can sell Red Bull brand better than Kimi :))))

          4. I agree with Todfod. The reason Kimmi shoudl move to one of the other major teams is they are consistently better. Lotus future is a little uncertain at present.

            Still stunned by Kimmis performance.

          5. @narazdache . That’s right, I never thought about Red Bull.. who could find themselves to replace Webber with a more exciting prospect. And the fact that Seb and Kimi are buddies might help too.

            But if you honestly ask me, I could see Mercedes being stronger than Red Bull in a couple of years. I just think Red Bull’s era is coming to an end.

  4. A thorough recap of the race. And I’m glad a personal, subjective statement about the race was shared at the end of that piece.
    The race is now just a statistic, nothing more.

  5. What concerns me about McLaren is that it’s not just the last few races they’ve had pit troubles. As I recall they’ve consistently been slow in the pits even on good days. And the number of pit lane errors, strategy errors, etc over the past few years is incredible for such an experienced team. I don’t see how they can expect to win races, especially this year when everyone is so close, when even on a good day they’re losing 2+ seconds in a pit stop, let alone 10-20 with mistakes.

  6. Mclaren need to take a serious look at themselves after this weekend and really bounce back. The Drivers are doing their jobs perfectly and have had only one mistake between them (JB Malaysia). They started the season as fastest and have finished the flyaways with only one win, second in the driver’s championship, second in the constructor’s and they seemed to be about as fast as Ferrari in this race, which as we know is a dog of a car. The constant pit stop problems are ruining their chances and I’m now glad Lewis hasn’t re-signed, because if their form doesn’t improve, he should be looking elsewhere.
    Well done to Vettel, but I was hoping Kimi could win as I prefer him and it would mean minimal damage in the points for Lewis. Grosjean did a good job too. MW nice and consistent, but nothing to write home about. Nico deserves a penalty for his moves with FA and LH. We all know if it was Lewis, it wouldn’t have even been left till after the race, he would have been given one there and then. Can’t believe two things failed on JB’s car, exhaust and the diff. Ridiculous. Brilliant drive by Di Resta and Schuey aswell.

    1. I think (and I’m not sure) that Mclaren never did good in flyaways except Australia and china before…so I’m looking forward to see their development program take a serious step forward and bring them on top in spain…in this race they even lacked the pace needed to finish on podium and considering the characteristics of Barcelona I think it’ll be a test for them to see if they’ve quickest car or not.
      and pit stop errors…let’s not talk about those anymore…it’s just frustrating!
      they should really look into that rear left wheel nut!

      1. No they haven’t these past few years and Lewis normally gets in the groove abit more when the European season kicks off. I think it would have been close for a podium with LH, if they had got all three pit stops in the 3 sec window. Their fastest for him, 5.4 secs, which is ridiculous with the field as tight as it is. You just can’t afford to be throwing away that much time every race. In this one they cost him nearly 20 secs, unbelieveable. Their pace was the most shocking thing though, barely keeping touch with the Ferraris. You’re right, they really need to make their mark in Spain with updates, strategy and having a weekend with no pit stop problems. Let’s wait and see.

      2. in this race they even lacked the pace needed to finish on podium and considering the characteristics of Barcelona I think it’ll be a test for them to see if they’ve quickest car or not.

        Mclaren having the quickest car is already in the distant past, they might regret not scoring more points in the first few races.
        There race pace is poor (by their standards) even without the pitstop errors

        1. well at least this season they started with fastest car, so the car is good in it’s essentials…but I think they just dropped the ball in development area after Malaysia…maybe they want to bring their big guns in Mugello?? we have to wait and see…

    2. Good JOB McLaren! CONGRATS Sam Michael! i saw what’s the utility of your job did there…:-( :-( I’ve never been so deluded in all my f1 life. thank you for this poor show, for screwing Lewis HAMILTON for the 3rd time in the race and showing to the world your dedication to him, since he’s always lost position during a race, time in the pit-stops this season… keep it up! you’ll never win again! but i know karma is a bitch…TO BE CONTINUED!

      1. I have commented on the subject before this race, and the indications are even clearer now..

        I think McLaren made smaller changes to the car this year than the other teams. After all they allready had a nose that was low enough for the new regulations. that meant that McLaren was able to produce an evolution of last years car changing only the back of the car du to the new exhaust requirements. McLaren could actually revert to their car from pre-season testing in 2011 (before they startet copying Red Bull), fix the problems with that car and have a pretty known entity for the beginning of 2012. I was thus not surprised McLaren hit the ground running in 2012.

        The other teams had to make more fundamental changes to their cars. That meant their cars were more of an unknown entity when they started the season.

        What does this and the development during the first four races mean?

        In my opinion it might mean that the McLarens as an evolutionary car was closer to the car`s maximum potential when the season started than the other teams. That`s the reason we see the other teams closing up and even pass McLaren in terms of performance as these teams get to grip with their new designs. It might also mean that the configuration with a higher front end and a stepped nose has greater potential than McLarens low front end..

        I don`t know, but the fact that several teams have been able to beat McLaren in different conditions indicate that McLaren might struggle even more as more and more teams get to grips with the setup of their cars.
        McLaren better get their act together and score big points while they still have an advantage.

  7. The moment they stopped Button first, I knew Mclaren were taking themselves out of contention for a podium or 4th position.
    It was inconsequential that Hamilton had a slow pit stop, Mclaren had dropped back even further behind Webber.
    They were already failing on the strategy side, pit errors were for desert.
    The team is doing great at intreviews though.

    1. My moment of clarity came when grosjean blew by Hamilton like he was chained to a post. I had to rub my eyes and wonder if i just saw a lotus slash whatever dust a mclaren like it was a backmarker.

      1. you can thank Pirelli for that. Lotus were just ‘getting their tyres to work’

        No wonder Schumacher is disillusioned enough to speak his mind

  8. Amazing drive by Vettel, Kimi

    Very happy to see Grosjean on the podium. I hope to see him more often.

    McLaren (and Merc) need to stop making errors in the pitlane. They have two of the most talented drivers but the team mistakes cost them badly.
    Merc have a gem of a car compared to some of the teams and they can fight for podiums if they work on the reliability. It pains to see Schumi out of the race or having to switch gearboxes (same for McLaren / Ham) .

    I maybe a fan of Vettel / Alonso / Button (in that order) but i’d love to see these teams sort their issues so we can have even more cracking races in the future.

  9. I for one was really impressed by Di Resta’s drive. I think he had one race last year where in the wet he matched Webber or Button for pace. Apart from that Vettel deserved the win. The way he drove keeping Kimi behind him for those crucial 8-10 laps was really superb. At the same time Kimi drove like a champion, making places at the start, then overtaking everyone in front of him and most of them were un-assisted. Romain Grosjean had a beautiful drive as well matching Kimi on many occaisons, Lotus have a great team. Another off day for McLaren and Ferrari might be happy that they finished not too far away from McLaren.

    On a side note I hope we can leave the issues of Bahrain behind us now. I think all of us on this site had some opinion about the event and it has probably led to some really somber debates here. At the end F1 for me was about fun which this weekend clearly was not, with all the issues. I wish the next 3 weeks sees a return to normalcy for F1 as a sport and the fans as well.

  10. What a load of old tosh! That must qualify as one of the most boring races in Grand Prix history.
    No wonder Bernie Ecclestone doesnt even know the names of the UK’s political parties – he has lost the plot and his grip on reality.

    1. Are people meant to know that stuff? The only ones I know of are Democrats and Republicans? Have I lost my grip too or is the world more than just that one Island?

      1. Bernie Ecclestone is British…

    2. I beg to differ. The race was quite exciting. Just because the winner wasn’t who you wanted doesn’t make a race bad.

  11. Behind him Hamilton and Webber held their positions at the start, but Grosjean made a superb getaway to take up third behind the Red Bull.

    @keithcollantine Fourth?

    1. Thanks, changed it.

  12. 1. was vettel using the new spec or old.spec car today?
    2. who is the Mclaren built around this year? jenson or Lewis?

    1. 1. new
      2. none it seems

    2. 1. Vettel used the new spec. The same as Webber.

      2. Button and Hamilton say they pretty much enjoy the same type of car so I doubt the car is built around either of them.

  13. A few things stuck out about this race for me.

    Lotus’ great pace was quite a surprise and a pleasant one at that. Raikkonen really could have won had things gone a bit more his way.

    After Red Bull struggling with tyres earlier in the season, they seem to be managing them better than anybody els enow (well at this race anyway).

    McLaren have issue with their pitstops and really need to sort it out. They couldn’t win today but could have placed higher. Strange issue for Button too! They have had slow pitstops ever since refueling was banned, especially compared to ferrari and red bull.

    Webber had a rather quiet race.

    Paul di Resta had a fantastic race. He is a very intelligent racing driver with skills to match.

    Rosbergs defending was a disgrace today.

    1. Rosbergs defending was a disgrace today.

      I thought so too, wondering why he wasn’t black-flagged, but then I read this:

      It makes total sense and shows how amazingly well Rosberg defended. Just shows I know nothing about F1! :O)

  14. “The Bahrain Grand Prix is history for this year. The annals of motor racing will remember Sebastian Vettel as its winner.

    But this weekend the sport was a sideshow. Formula 1 allowed those with a political agenda to exploit it, and brought shame on itself by holding this race.”

    Speak for yourself…

    1. +1

      I didn’t see any propaganda, I didn’t see any political statements.
      I saw a race between 24 cars on a Tilke track. Just like we’ll see a few times more this season and have seen a lot in the past.

      In 3 weeks time nobody here will even mention Bahrein. So disappointing to see Keith join the hypocrisy and (ab)use the sport to make a political statement.

      1. Actually there’s a lot of propaganda that is centralising itself around f1 in Bahrain right now.

        Here is a very light example.

        1. But there’s nothing like that we see on screen during the race.

          It would have been an entirely different matter if there’d been propaganda or political statements in the FOM coverage.

          1. It might have been different, had it not been FOM that broadcast the race. Bernie was never much likely to allow any of that to get on screen, was he?

          2. Yes but Keith only said using the race for political agenda – not necessarily through the TV.

      2. sid_prasher (@)
        22nd April 2012, 20:01

        I agree…the world media has milked the story enough and will soon forget about it until something major happens there. The sad thing is pressure is being mounted on a sporting body instead of world governments to do something about the situation there.

        1. Exactly.

      3. If anything, I feel that with all the reports about protests and human rights violations, what Forumula 1 did was bringing those issues back into peoples minds.

        I’m sorry, but those protests run for over a year now. And apparently no one seemed to give a crap. Now when Formula 1 appears at the scene, suddenly everyone is a human rights activist. In my opinion, the race was good. And what it did as a positive side effect was exploit the government as the criminals they are, especially because they tried so hard to hide it.

        I can’t possibly be the only one who thinks it’s a good thing to have at least one way to remind people of the situation there, even if it is through F1, as opposed to bailing out and not going there for political correctness, so that everyone can go on living in bliss and not have to see people being oppressed by their government.

        1. “… so that everyone can go on living in bliss and not have to see people being oppressed by their government”.

          But that’s exactly the image promoted by the al Khalifa family, with the help of Bernie and FIA. “We are all big, happy, unif1ed country and no one is being oppressed here”.

          1. I agree, but boy has it worked!!

            There’s literally NOTHING in the press about people protesting and reporters getting sticks thrown between their legs. If anything, we were all witnesses of what a farce the government there tried to get through with. And it has not worked. And now that we’ve all seen this stuff, we might think of actual ways to help those people in Bahrain instead of trying to block Bernie’s interweb access…


  16. When was the last time we had 4 different winners in the first four races? I sat this one out however, Sounds like a great race. Hats off to Keith for mixing in the politics and sport in a very sensibly balanced way. We all need to be reminded that however great this great race, it should not have happened. F1 has few morals left now.

    1. 1983! If my memory is working.

      1. The correct answer is 2003.

        1. 4 different teams winning is correct though. And to think, even if Kimi had been successful in passing Vettel this stat would still be true. There’s an outside chance of it becoming 5 different teams (which I think might be the record).

        2. Darn I was wrong! Well the 4th winner back then was a German, and he went on to dominate the season… if history follows that pattern I wouldn’t mind :P

  17. Vettel might just win a third championship simply by participating.
    No doubt he has the skill, and the Redbulls have been the most consistent team by law of averages. Mclaren seem to be trying to take themselves out of contention with their rotating car strategy and pitstops that are making HRT look very professional.
    The Ferraris are not yet fast enough to be a threat.
    Lotus-black are finding their true form, and may become serious challengers for podiums in Barcelona.
    Mercedes are still the big unknown in the equation.

  18. Consistent errors during pitstops and strategy by Mclaren are almost unacceptable considering they are such an experienced team. They are making these errors for 2 years in a row now, last year as well Redbull was much stronger in strategies and pitstops.
    The pit stop errors cannot continue especially when you are consistently doing 3 pitstops and the field is so close together. Every second lost or gained in pits will play a bigger role than ever in the outcome of the race. Also i think Mclaren are quick in qualifying but not the quickest in race trim. At best they are second quickest in race trim. Today they let down Lewis a lot and also JB was unfortunate.

    1. Problem is everyone now has acknowledged Lewis is being letting down in every race, bad strategy, awful pit-stop, they never gave him some help this season to gain position, avoid back-markers or pull a decent lead…like he’s getting the second driver service and always released in the traffic just to eat his tires after. I’m waiting for the press and people to start a serious talk about McLaren’s issues this year, i don’t understand how a team principal has the balls to defend the pit crew in these conditions. Both drivers have been perfect minus Jenson in Malaysia, since Australia things are only going backwards…Hope for a change , I’m so fed up!

      1. @ladyf1fanatic – Everyone has not now acknowledged that Lewis is being let down in every race – speak for yourself! You make it sound like McLaren are doing it all deliberately to hurt Hamilton’s chances, which is patent nonsense. And what’s this about “second driver service”? Didn’t Button have a poor pitstop last week?

        I thought Martin Whitmarsh dealt with questions about the pitstop blunders very well. What’s he meant to do – point the finger of blame at someone who’s probably beating himself up already? Blamestorming in public doesn’t take “balls”. It’s a sign of poor management.

        If anything your earlier comment about Sam Michael’s responsibility as head of trackside operations is more on the mark. If he was brought in to improve McLaren’s fortunes in this department, he doesn’t seem to be succeeding so far. I didn’t see him achieve much at Williams either. But that might have been budget related rather than his personal failings. Wait and see, I guess – it’s early in the season.

  19. I wonder what they will do with those repeated Rosberg’s blocks. They were almost worse than that of Schumi on Barrichello in Hungary.

    1. Exactly

      And in typical fashion, they do the unexpected and do not punish Rosberg for both inncodents

      1. sid_prasher (@)
        22nd April 2012, 20:08

        interesting tweet by Fernando –

        I think you are going to have fun in future races! You can defend position as you want and you can overtake outside the track! Enjoy! ;)))

  20. Strange that nothing has been heard from the stewards yet. With the Rosberg-Hamilton incident, my first reaction was: Ok, that’s the end of Hamilton’s race. The way I saw it, Rosberg was almost at the edge of the track already when Hamilton (no doubt with pent-up frustration of struggling for pace and having been stationary for 10 seconds too long in the pits) appeared from underneath his rear wing.

    The Rosberg-Alonso might prove to be a blessing for Hamilton, because it doesn’t put Rosberg in a good light (and Alonso already had a wheel alongside Rosberg when Rosberg kept moving right).

    I missed the post-race discussions on Sky, and haven’t seen many reports on Autosport yet. Have Hamilton, Button, Webber, etc. made any noteworthy comments?

    1. According to Lee Mckenzie on her twitter, and the BBC website there will be no penalties for the incidents regarding Rosberg, Alonso and Hamilton

    2. oh, and check out GP Update. they’re usually the quickest with driver quotes.

      1. @timi thanks for the tip, they did have some more driver quotes. As it turned out, Schumacher did have something interesting to say:

        I just question whether the tyres should play such a big importance, or whether they should last a bit longer – and that you can drive at normal racing car speed and not cruise around like we have a safety car.

        Wow. On the one hand, I agree with him; on the other hand, I have to acknowledge that the Pirelli tyres have significantly spiced up the racing.

        1. no worries @adrianmorse

          Yeah I read that as well, very interesting stuff there. I strongly agree with him. In my opinion there are 3 (maybe 4) key elements to exciting racing with overtakes;
          the track
          the regulations regarding car aerodynamics
          the tyres
          (and possibly engines, but there’s no way a limit on hp will be lifted especially with the 4cylinder turbos coming in)

          In my view the pirellis are just a tad extreme, add 5 or 6 laps to each compound, else every race will just be a standard 3 stopper. It’s pretty clear now that only a fool would do a 2 stopper, the tyres have gone off at the end of all 4 races now! It’s sort of like watching an adult take candy from a baby,- note Raikonnen at the end of the Chinese GP. Sure, there are increased overtakes but they’re pretty boring, with little defending. Same with DRS. The fundamentals of today’s age of F1 are flawed with regards to excitement and overtaking.

          So many tracks are just plain bad for a race to be held on, such as Bahrain. Change the tracks, simple. Monza always produces great races, as does silverstone. Tilke shouldn’t have a monopoly over the tracks being designed and used in F1.
          The other solution,- change the aero rules. I personally suggest any set of aero rules from 2000-2008. Obviously with tweaks to allow for the new longer chassis due to no refuelling. The problem with the current regs is the turbulent air left in the wake of a car, thus the following car has to be either very grippy or just substantially faster to get close enough to pass. That way we can eliminate DRS as well.

          So basically, my plan is to re-write the regs, get rid of tracks such as both Spanish GPs, Bahrain, Monaco, maybe Singapore. Add 5 or 6 laps to each tyre, and then boom get rid of DRS.

          Sorry for the rant haha!!

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