Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Bahrain International Circuit, 2017

Rate the race: 2017 Bahrain Grand Prix

2017 Bahrain Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

What did you think of today’s race? Share your verdict on the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Since 2008, F1 Fanatic has held polls on every F1 race to find out which fans thought of each round of the season.

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Rate the 2017 Bahrain Grand Prix out of ten

  • 1 (0%)
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  • 3 (0%)
  • 4 (0%)
  • 5 (1%)
  • 6 (4%)
  • 7 (20%)
  • 8 (45%)
  • 9 (21%)
  • 10 (7%)

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166 comments on “Rate the race: 2017 Bahrain Grand Prix”

  1. 9. Really good. Overtakes, battle for the lead, collisions and drama aplenty.

    1. Also 9. Fantastic race, who says you cannot overtake in 2017.

      Shame about the lack of a final showdown and about Verstappen, had quite a bit of pace at the beginning.

    2. Same for me. Dropped off a bit towards the end but only compared to the excellent start, had everything I wanted from a race.

    3. For me it was a little worst than China. Too much DRS power this one, overtaking wasn’t a challenge, it felt a bit like the motorway.

      Great race nevertheless

      1. Same here. I gave China an 8. This one a 7. Toomany DRS overtakes.

        1. Exactly my ratings

    4. I’m a fan of DRS. It helped overtakes into turn 1 and this bunching up created moves into turn 4 too. Bravo. 8/10.

      1. All the complaining on DRS. If any​ it was pretty nicely balanced, not an easy overtake at all..

    5. I agree, but the safety car again spoiled the race a bit, less so than in China, which is unlike the use of SC in the united states. After the safety car, Raikkonen’s race was ruined, he was almost getting back into the fight not to mention the biggest loss unrelated to the SC which was Max, he was looking good. Ricciardo falling out on the softs was also disappointing.

      @johnmilk There was no fight for the lead in china and even despite what should had been great conditions for racing the inters in china didn’t really allow the cars to run just as close to each other as today, shame about the SC.

    6. This was a great race with exciting fights throughout the field.
      Superb drives by many. As much as I liked Vettel, there were others who squeezed even more out of the machinery available to turn today.

  2. A 7 for me.

    Great start with some cars ahead fighting side by side with equal paces. Great restart aswell after the safety car and an interesting end with Hamilton chasing Vettel!

  3. The gap between Vettel and Hamilton 5 or so laps before the end was down to 5.6 seconds, I feel like we were robbed of a battle for the lead that would have gone right down to the last lap with that penalty

    1. Only Hamilton to blame.

      1. @ironcito Yeah I don’t know if that cost him the win but it sure felt like it cost us a closer finish.

        1. Not really, cause hamilton had to wait for bottas, so if he had entered at full speed, he would have lost about the same time.

          1. He would have spent the same time in the pits then, but wouldn’t have had a 5 second penalty on his second stop.

          2. Precisely! There were two options: entering slowly, like he did, or entering normally and waiting in line behind Bottas. Both would’ve taken the same amount of time. He went slowly only to hold back anyone behind him, a sort of “if I have to wait, everyone else will wait, too”. Hence the penalty.

          3. not quite @melvin @ironcito, because after HAmilton held up Ricciardo, the team then had to hold Bottas a second or so to let Ricciardo go past, so had Hamilton gone faster (i.e. not held up Ricciardo in the pitlane), Bottas would have also been allowed to drive off a tad earlier, and Hamilton would have not had to wait for that!

            I certainly think that without the needless penalty, it would have been closer and might have given us a bit of a fight for that win. Although it might also have meant a completely different race with Hamilton not pitting. They probably pitted him because he was both clearly going to be slow towards the end AND holding Vettel behind would not have been enough due to the penalty. Without the penalty, they could have tried to let Hamilton stay out and keep Vettel behind, not giving up track position.

      2. Hardly.
        Mercedes themselves failed both tactically and operationally today – ruined Bottas’ race with the tyre pressure thing on the grid; allowed the undercut by Vettel; took six seconds for both of the first tyre stops.
        It wasn’t Hamilton’s best race to say the least, but Mercedes were out-thought and outperformed by team Ferrari.

        1. The undercut worked due to the SC being just about at the best time for Vet. The issue with the stacked pitstops was unavoidable, and having the team scramble at the last second will always result in a slow stop. What Mercedes should have done, is what Redbull tried: split the strategy to cover Vettel. They got a bit greedy instead, and it backfired. While Lewis was flying at the end, I guess Vettel was being careful not to overtax his tires, which already had taken a beating to close in on Ham before Ham’s second stop. Without the SC, and Lewises penalty, it looked like it could’ve gone either way.

          1. The undercut worked because Bottas first stint was painfully slow – which is entirely down to the team. Even so, they could have played a similar game with Hamilton.
            Still, at least Bottas demonstrated he’s rather more adroit defensively than was Rosberg.

        2. Mercedes didn’t fail strategically, Ferrari failed they got lucky with Seb, and Raikkonen got the full brunt of the SC. On track Sebastian was always going to have the lead but with a time gap, because of the SC he didn’t get that gap he would have had. The only criticism I have on Mercedes strategy is that after the SC they put Bottas on the ss and Ham on softs, it should have been the other way round, as shown by the previous stint, Bottas was holding back the field, it was time to take advantage of track position and give him the better tyre, it was almost as if they had no faith in him. Mercedes had 2 cars at the front and they did not use differing strategies to force Ferrari into a corner.
          Ferrari were unlucky with the SC, in CHina it was their mistake not to realise a full SC was incoming, today they were unlucky but because of the pack’s track position it cost Vettel only about 5-10 secs and some more laps on the tyres than it’s rivals.
          Ferrari made a mistake on the first stop by not putting Raikkonen on the softs, in order to evaluate the pace and use a different strategy to perhaps at a certain stage hold one of the Mercs.

          1. Mercedes did fail strategically. They should have pulled in Bottas immediately when they saw Vettel went in. Instead they let Bottas struggle on with his over inflated tyres and in doing so held up Hamilton in the process as well.

    2. Pity Hamilton had to ruin it for us with anther display of unsportsmanlike driving.

    3. I think we were robbed of an exciting fight for 2nd by the (questionable) call by Mercedes.

      Bottas should grow some ;)

  4. Neil (@neilosjames)
    16th April 2017, 17:28

    Gave it an 8. Half-decent fight for the lead, some fun midfield action and a nice bit of all-important suspense. Shame about that five-second penalty for Hamilton, though – could have been a lot better at the end.

    1. Indeed – 8 for me too. Just a 5 second penalty away from being a 9.

    2. Yep, bout an 8. Such a shame about Verstappen or it could have been higher I feel with him doing some moves at the front.

  5. One stupid penalty away from being an absolute classic. Still pretty good but such a shame.

    1. Hate the player, not the game.

      1. Typical Hamilton really, was lucky not to get more of these (because of the title fight being good for “the show”) last year with track cutting and other shenanigans.

        1. If you want to see track cutting, then see how Vettel goes with four wheels off track almost every lap. How he keeps getting away with that is beyond me.

          1. You mean after the first turn into the braking zone? Because everyone was doing that.

          2. Or at the exit of T3, some questionable lines by everyone there.

          3. Uh-oh. Vettel is winning again. Here come the endless tirades from patrickl again on how poor of a driver Vettel is and how (insert main championship rival) deserves to win the title by default.

          4. Back in 2008 patrickl was suffering from similar tirades on how poor of a driver Massa was and how (simply insert his favorite driver Lewis Hamilton) deserved to win the title by default.

  6. 10/10 and enough for me to finally register an account. I don’t remember the last time I was this on edge in front of the TV.
    Fantastic!

    1. @highyena Welcome to the F1 Fanatic family then.

  7. Another good one, game afoot until the end, heck, I only checked out the United Chelsea game during commercials..9 :)

  8. So, another race that was absolutely wonderful, totally making a mockery of complaints after Australia, but weirdly, another race ruined by a safety car. The field was brilliantly close before, and started spreading out after. Great battles at the front, great battles in midfield. Spreading out at the front was to be expected I guess, but midfield battle was great to see. Wehrlein dragging that Sauber into 11th in his first race deserves some respect! Sainz T-boning Stroll on the other hand…
    Driver of the day? Sergio Perez. Wonderful performance that.

    Really only two things that could have made this race better, no team orders at Mercedes for one and Verstappen not encountering technical issues, he’d have been a nice cat amongst pigeons after his early stop. Red Bull started very well, wonder what led to them falling back so far… Going soft twice perhaps? Clear from Bahrain that SS not really as durable as in China. Interesting.

    Great race, loving this season. Field definitely getting closer, think we’ll see three teams going for victory come Spain.

    1. While I guess it was technically team orders, I really don’t think it’s a bad thing here. Hamilton was seconds quicker, so he would have made light work of Bottas on the straight soon no matter what, it was just a matter of not delaying the charge on Vettel.

      1. I totally get that. I just think all team orders are bad. Make him earn it. I’d rather see LH do a proper overtake on VB than a hypothetical one on SV.

        1. I’d rather see LH do a proper overtake on VB than a hypothetical one on SV.

          +1 @hahostolze

        2. Any team strategist/management has a goal of maximizing the team result, not maximizing viewer entertainment. When Hamilton was speeding past last time, I heard it just as a message to Bottas, that he was so much faster that it was useless to try to defend anyway. Had Hamilton caught Vettel with that much more speed Vettel would have been defenceless as well.

      2. Isn’t that exactly what team orders are all about?

        I don’t think I have ever seen team order where the quicker car was told to let the slower car past.

        I kept expecting Hamilton to deliver on his promise to give Bottas the place back just before the finish line. Mind you, I am not saying he should have, as he was clearly a lot quicker than Bott as, but I just wonder at which point a promise like that (Hamilton saying over team radio he will give the position back if he cant overtakd Vettel) stops counting.

        1. There’s a huge difference between just delaying a drive-past for a few corners, and having a genuine fight between them.

          The only thing gained from not moving over would have been to make the chase of Vettel completely impossible. Yes, it proved to be anyway, but they didn’t know that at the time.

          And no, it wouldn’t have made sense to give the position back. It is clear that Hamilton would have taken Bottas no matter what.

          1. Fair enough, but the why promise if it was so clear he would have taken the position either way?

        2. Austria 2002…

        3. Massa Brazil 2012

  9. 6/10, it was very close and tense at the start, however the Finns and the Red Bulls dropped off, and the 5s penalty for Hamilton meant it wasn’t a very exciting conclusion. Bottas shown that he isn’t ready to fight the big boys yet.

    1. Well apparently they messed up Bottas’ tyre pressures. Although he didn’t look too fast at then end either.

  10. 8/10 exciting til the end, especially in the midfield nice battles (three way alo pal kyt)

    1. thats actually at the backend

  11. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
    16th April 2017, 17:35

    The coverage has been appalling this year by FOM. Odd camera angles and random replays and cuts all over the place this year. And worst of all they have got rid of the time tracker from the bottom.

    On the race, was very interesting. Felt sorry for Bottas being relegated to a number 2 driver already.

    1. Agree the cars don’t look exciting at all, I don’t get it aren’t they supposed to be experts in this? And the graphics from Melbourne never appeared again. The tyre info is always wrong. The difference between drivers is constantly changing from difference to the car ahead and difference to the leader, what a mess

      1. Or showing a 30 second long replay of someone going wide in the midfield when there’s cars in DRS range up front.

        1. Or showing a change of position in the listing before it actually happens. But year, the wrong tyre is most baffling.

    2. The directing really has been dreadful. Then they upload loads of exciting bits on YouTube that we don’t see in the live feed. I’m all for YouTube videos of course, but show it on television too!

  12. 9/10. This is going to be a great year!

  13. 8/10, minus 1 for Hamilton’s silly penalty preventing what would have been a frantic last 5 laps. A shame Bottas didn’t have the pace today.

    1. @ju88sy It wasn’t silly, it was completely deserved

      1. I think you misunderstood the English, Hamilton was the Silly one not the stewards.

        1. You make it sound like the penalty was silly, not Hamilton’s actions.

          1. Disagree. I didn’t read it like that.

          2. The apostrophe is used to show possession, if I was criticising the decision it would be ‘the steward’s silly penalty’.

          3. That makes no sense. Hamilton got the penalty so it was “Hamilton’s penalty”. Awarded by the stewards. The stewards don’t usually get penalties.

          4. It’s not the apostrophe; it’s the sentence which is misleasing ;)
            If you want to stress that HAM was silly then you should have said Hamilton’s silly mistake.
            Now it reads like the penalty was ‘silly’ :p

        2. So you meant “Silly Hamilton’s penalty” ;)

  14. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    16th April 2017, 17:36

    Good race! Pretty tense in places with good fights throughout. Vettel and Hamilton showing they’re in a league of their own! Great performance from Vettel. Shame about the Red Bulls though. An 8 from me.

  15. 8/10. Very interesting race, with Hamilton chasing down Vettel.
    Poor Bottas though, after a great qualifying, he clearly had problems throughout the race, that got worse the longer it went on.
    And Renault… Seem to have pretty meh race pace, behind the Williams, Force India and even the Haas. Also the strategy was very questionably, pitting Hulk on the same lap as Perez, with the tyre strategies each driver was on, and pitting him so he came out right in the dirty air of Wehrlein. Come on Renault, give him a decent race car and strategy already…

  16. 6/10
    Imperious drive from Vettel, this stuff from 4-time world champion was a beauty to behold. Would have been at least 8/10, but had to take 2 points off for the Mercedes unsportsmanship. Bottas earned his 2nd place but has been completely kovalainened by Merc, ordered to let Lulu pass not once but twice. Hamilton, not surprisingly, at the sight of a real competition turned to his usual dirty tricks.
    Whenever Toto Wolff is going to spin his yarn about letting their drivers fight, massive booing is in order. Shame for the sport.

    1. Has something upset you?

      1. Nope, I’m pretty happy with the best driver to win. 2nd and 3rd place, that’s another story, but I’m sure that will happen again and again this season, like 2008.

        1. I have a feeling you don’t like Lewis Hamilton. You can’t even bring yourself to say his name properly. Oh it must be hard being a Ferrari fan, still distruaght​ at the thought of Brazil 2008.

          1. Have you any comment on what actually happened in the race, like Bottas letting Hamilton pass twice, despite the false pretense from Merc that they let their drivers fight? Had that been Ferrari, I can only imagine the outcry.
            And no, I am not a fan of Lulu, but I’m not his degrader either. But after 10 years and 4 titles in F1, I can’t help but wonder if it’s ok to spell Vettel as ‘Vettle’?

          2. If Bottas was anywhere near Hamilton’s pace it wouldn’t have happened. Merc didn’t tell Bottas to let Hamilton through after the second stops they told him not to hold Hamilton up. He could have done that by driving faster but he couldn’t. It’s nothing we haven’t seen before. Funny I don’t see you up in arms every time RAI jumps out of the way of VET which is the same thing.

          3. @Manule So you’re not his degrader, but you won’t spell his name out correctly. You’re belittling the man, it’s pretty obvious.

    2. Bottas was way wayyy off the pace at the end it was clear he was struggling..It would have been completely pointless for him to hold up his teammate, I don’t think any other driver would have fought his teammate when they’re that down on pace with that many laps to go it was obvious the pass was going to happen. It would make no sense at all to slow your teammate up in those circumstances when the result is going to be the same, all it would do is cost the team. Even if it’s a slight chance, it’s still a chance at winning the race.

      1. Raikkonen was way off the pace in China, yet Ferrari did not feel justified to designate No.1 and No.2 drivers that early in the season, so Vettel had to work for his overtake, which might have cost him.
        Bottas, on the other hand, only became slow when his race was sacrificed by the team by orderin him let Hamilton pass the first time. Hamilton had no way to pass him, he told that much on the radio, so, with his penalty for dirty driving, Bottas had 2nd place secured if he kept him behind. By following the team order, Bottas conceded 2nd place and did not have any reason to push, he was safe from even slower Raikkonen. Surprisingly though, it took 2 team orders, because even then he turned too fast for Hamilton to pass on merit.
        I really miss Nico in that second Merc seat, this would have been a completely different championship with him.

        1. You really think Ferrari would have let Raikkonen hold Vettel up? You’re literally just trying to bash Hamilton. Bottas’ lack of pace had nothing to do with him. I highly doubt Bottas would have held Hamilton back in his final stint, he was clearly much, much faster. You seem to forget that Vettel couldn’t overtake Bottas at the start of the race…

        2. Bottas was slow the whole race, not just after Hamilton passed the first time. Get your facts straight :)

    3. After the safety car it took Mercedes 10 laps to decide to let Hamilton past Bottas. They should have done that 8 laps earlier, since Bottas was clearly way too slow. It robbed the impartial viewer from a fight for victory.

      1. And they should have told Valtteri to let Lewis through as soon as they realised the tyre pressure botch was slowing Bottas. They’re called team orders for a reason.

  17. All these Lewis fans are getting triggered over nothing.

    1. Even he admits that it was his fault.

      1. @mashiat, as is evident by some of the above posts, we’re also predictably seeing those who are extremely anti-Hamilton lash out at him in just the same way that we are seeing the more extreme figures who support him complaining about what happened.

        1. Another day in “Comments Land”…

    2. As expected though.

  18. Miltiadis (@miltosgreekfan)
    16th April 2017, 17:41

    9/10,really enjoyable race!Especially in the start with 7 drivers covered in 6 seconds,it was like 2012!We had many overtakes,stretegy played a role but didn’t determined the race result.& my predictions were much better,4/5 drivers & 2 of them in exact position!

  19. I think it wasn’t as exciting as China but it was better than Melbourne. The battles between Alonso, Kyviat and Palmer were pretty decent, but the DRS overtakes were a yawn as they always have been.

    Plenty of drama with Verstappen losing the brakes, Sainz just ploughing into a unaware Stroll and strategic play from the teams from the pits.

    6.5/10

  20. Nice race. Clearly overtaking is still a big problem, if Vettel, who was at least 1 sec faster then bottas can’t do it here with long straights and DRS this season is going to be decided in the pit and not on the track. Too bad Bottas is demoted to nr 2 and not allowed to hinder Hamilton. Though it’s understandable. Hamilton wouldn’t have cought Vettel even if he didn’t got that 5 sec penalty I think. Ricciardo had a rare bad raceday.

    1. You do realise Hamilton had the gap down to 5.6 seconds with 5 laps to go right before he started backing off at the very end? Without the 5 seconds penalty we would have had a real battle at the end of the race. Since overtaking isn’t easy even if Hamilton didn’t pass Vettel it would have been a way better end to the race having two cars under a second apart fighting over the last 5 or so laps.

      1. You do tealise that the reason he pitted right after bottas so he would have lost time either way.

        1. Hmm an edit function would be nice.

          1. You don’t understand this do you. Hamilton lost those 5 seconds on his second stop, and JammyB is completely correct in his statement.

      2. For Hamilton to not have gotten a penalty would have not backed up Ricciardo in the pits. This in turn means he would have lost that position to Ricciardo, a position he would have had to make up for on track, which I think is safe to say would have cost Hamilton more than the 5 seconds we talk about.

        I think the 5 second penalty is a joke. I think it still made sense for Hamilton to do it and he would do it again and again. So would I knowing this. It should have been a drive through at least!

        The stewards are so inconsistent and their penalties often too soft (when time penalties) or too hard with places on the grid for changing engine parts in my opinion.

        1. He did lose the position to Ricciardo anyway and had to make it up on the track. In fact he lost even more time because when Ricciardo pulled into his box it delayed Bottas from leaving the box.

          Ultimately it didn’t matter for Ricciardo because he was so slow on the softs anyway but it definitely cost Hamilton. It could have been much much worse for Hamilton if Ricciardo could hold him up as well as the penalty.

    2. I think overtaking is in the best state it’s been in since I’ve started watching F1 (1999 season). The overtakes are all hard fought and well deserved, yet we still actually get overtakes. The last few years of just cars whizzing by each other constantly whenever they are behind somebody is a lot less interesting to me. Over the past few years there have hardly been any memorable overtaking manoeuvres as they’ve either been easily done by DRS or easily done due to massive differences in tyres. That seemed like an improvement when compared to the previous few years of it being almost impossible to overtake but it really wasn’t great. I don’t really understand what people want with regards to overtaking if this isn’t it?

      1. Hmm an edit function would be nice.

      2. Hmm an edit function would be nice.

      3. sorry about the previous comments. Something went wrong. It’s not the actual overtaking, but it looks like there is no chance to overtake. Vettel was clearly faster and within 0.5 sec for multiple laps. But he could never really even try an overtake. I never saw him even take a look. Of the top cars I only saw Kimi overtaking with DRS and everybody overtook ricciardo after the safety car, which was because of tyre temp I suspect. And the teamorders. The racing is certainly better, but isn’t the whole point that you can challenge the guy in front if you are faster?

        1. Hmm a delete function would be nice.

          1. nelson piquet
            16th April 2017, 19:01

            delete yourself please

  21. Very mediocre race. Predictable after the safety car. Not much going on, apart from the clash between Alonso, Kvyat and Palmer at the very back.

    1. Marc Saunders
      16th April 2017, 22:10

      That’s because you were looking at the race upside down or onboard Pascal.

      1. Well, what was so exciting then?

        The lap after the Safety Car restart was fun, with Ricciardo and Ericsson dropping down the order and Perez pulling a fast one over Hulkenberg. Then there was Massa a bit too high up the order. And there was the scrap at the back I already mentioned. Everything else was pit strategy without any surprises.

  22. Solid 8. If it hadn’t had that last yellow flag zone it could have gone to a 9.

  23. Had a good time watching it. 7/10 for me. RAI, BOT and RIC very underwhelming, too bad VER had bad luck otherwise it could’ve been more spectacular. Imo VER VET and HAM are clearly 1st driver in the top teams.

    1. Verstappen, Vettel and Lewis clearly the best drivers atm. They are in a league of their own

      Worst moments:
      Sainz going blind and Ricciardo going slow

  24. Solid 8 for me. Good action all through for the most.

    Perez for driver of the day?

    1. He really wants Kimi’s seat, doesn’t he?

      1. he really deserves Kimi’s seat, he clearly beat Hulk last year and kind of thrased Ocon every race this year.

        1. Perez fighting for the championship is the underdog story I want to see.

          1. I think he deserves the seat, but I really doubt he has the consistency to beat Vettel over the course of a season to become a champ. I would think that both the Hulk and Perez would make ideal #2 drivers at Ferrari. Both would be a better answer to Mercedes’ Bottas.

  25. A pretty decent race it started well then became a little quiet regarding on-track racing on the front, but overall a decent amount of battles for a position on the track.

  26. Great racing, Verstappen out, Alonso out. A shame I can’t give it more than 10.

  27. 7.5 for the race, but season shaping up to be nine.
    Extra half-point for the fun of listening to Alonso veer between being amusing and childlish.
    The Mercedes is still likely faster overall, but so far Ferrari (amazingly) winning out on strategy.

  28. 7. Not much excitement after the safety car period. The only enjoyable part was Vettel and Bottas doing a Hamilton/Rosberg Bahrain 2014 which didn’t turn into something epic.

  29. F1 has reallly taken back the initiative. Forgot there was a WEC race today with only 2 teams in the top class, same liveries and over 10 seconds a lap slower. To think some thought LMP1 was on it’s way to out F1 as the top motorsport aeries a few years back. All the races in f1 have been decent this year and timy things in the races going either way could of meant Ferrari or Merc winning all the of the opwning races.

  30. I usually give higher scores than the average, but I give this one only a 7.

    Not much happened in the latter stages of the race. Would have been a lot more enjoyable if Verstappen hadn’t retired and if Bottas didn’t get in the way of Hamilton.

  31. 10 points, cannot expect better race nowadays.
    Bad pitstop for Valtteri during SC robbed quite a lot of points from Mercedes. Costly 3 seconds.

  32. @keithcollantine can you please delete this guys comments, he is posting racist comments with no freaking idea of f1 rules

  33. Gotta I say I enjoyed this one too. Gave an 8 for the second week in a row.
    While maybe not quite as good as last week, that charge from Hamilton at the end was exciting to watch. Unfortunate about the time penalty, it might have produced some real nice wheel to wheel between him and Vettel.

    Does prove to me the difference between the top two and the others. As they can adjust their drives on the fly, to changing track conditions, better then the rest.

  34. 8. Really great race. Overtakes, strategy, chasing, suspense. Bahrain always delivers.

  35. 8/10 for me.

  36. An 8 from me…

    One of the best races I have seen for a long time, plenty of on track action and some decent edge of seat time too..

    Ferrari do appear to have half of their strategy sorted, but, feels like they are hanging Raikkonen out to dry on strategy, especially for the 2nd stop.

    Hamilton made his mistake and accepted the penalty, he also appears to be much more composed this year.

    Bad luck for Verstappen, I can’t help feeling he would have been in the mix with Hamilton and Bottas had he been around after the safety car. Stupid move by Sainz, no doubt about it, he took Stroll out of the race.

    Still early days, but, 2017 is starting to show it has good ingredients for a great season.

  37. I just wonder when Mercedes will realise that their car is always better on the soft tyre than the super soft…

  38. Great Race!
    When certain Ferrari passed the back markers, someone all of the sudden got the engine problem.
    Trashing the team in mid of the race!
    Feeling sorry for him though!
    Finns, what happened to them, both are gone quietly expected to shine! But failed.
    Silly mistake from Ham and failed car for Verstappan would have made much more interesting race.

    1. Silly mistake from Ham

      Mistake? what mistake?
      Blocking Ricc was quite deliberate, hence no mistake
      The only mistake he did was thinking he would get away with it
      Yes, and why is it no big surprise that he thought he would? Mexican cross-country races, anyone? German cranes?

  39. 8/10. The first part of the race was awesome, with five cars nose-to-tail for the lead. Then it all hell broke lose with accidents, ensuing tyre changes and restart battles. However after halfway it calmed down and Hamilton’s position was the only question mark. Overtaking is not as bad as critics say and the championship is looking very close.

  40. Only Lewis to blame on this one, he lost the pole to begin with and then shot himself in the leg by slowing down RIC in the pit entry, MERC must revise their pit strategy by adding more flexibility on “which driver should pit first”

    1. They didn’t really have the ability to alter their strategy. Hamilton was behind Bottas and the safety car had just come out. That was the only time to pit and they had to pit them in that order.

      1. @repete86 Lewis had the upper hand in term of pace but not in term of track position, they could have pitted him before and then making the most of the undercut, but no, their politic is the same, the best track position has the benefit of the best strategy which proved to be wrong, it was not the case when they one sec advantage over the rest of the field but now they racing the Ferraris, they have to rethink this.

  41. Last year i was marshalling there, was sad to see vettel’s outcome, but love the way it has turned out this time!
    I rated 10.

  42. Good race, 8 for me. The first part of the race was good with 5 cars battling for the lead, Ferrari’s undercut, safety car …. Then at the end Hamilton charging and pushing his car to the limit (his red hot brakes were visible from TV!) was quite amazing especially for die hard F1 fans.

  43. 7/10 again for me, some good moments, especially with Alonso and Kvyat at the back, but what happened at the front was fairly predictable. Hamilton’s charge at the end was great but I never felt the win was possible, unlike his engineer who seems to either willfully mislead his driver or have no comprehension of what’s happening in the race.

    1. I’m with you on the late charge. It always felt like Vettel so far out in front after the final stops that he was only going to drive as fast as he needed to to me and like catching him just wasn’t going to happen even if Hamilton didn’t have the five second penalty. Vettel would have just pushed a little harder and they seemed better on tires than Merc anyway.

  44. FIA: please don’t make overtaking easier. After three races I say racing is very good!

  45. Duncan Snowden
    16th April 2017, 18:43

    Fascinating tactical race. I was busy and thought I’d watch the first lap or two before leaving it on PVR; I ended up staying for 15. The Alonso/Kvyat/Palmer battle was great fun even if it wasn’t for points. If we could have that kind of thing right up and down the field all year we’d be in for a classic season. I still think they’ve gone in the wrong direction with these regs (which I expect to become more apparent as the season wears on) but credit where it’s due. I enjoyed it a lot.

    However… this has annoyed me for years, although I found it particularly frustrating today: why, in the name of all that is sane and rational, do FOM not keep the live timing on-screen permanently? I can understand flipping between the intervals, the total gap to P1, and actual laptimes for each car, but why on earth take them away completely, especially when there’s a tight chase going on at the front? I can’t understand the thinking.

    1. I was going to say the same thing. SKY KEEP THE TIMINGS ON SCREEN AT ALL TIMES!!! Why, why, why do you have periods with no timings on screen. Not nice at all, come on get your s… together.

  46. 8/10
    Great start (for some), good and bad strategic calls, some excellent overtakes (and a lot of rather clumsy ones), drama, penalties and a lot of wheelbanging; everything I wish for in a race.

  47. One of those where you watch the live timing more than the screen. Lovely late charge from Lewis, after his very silly mistake which was duly punished. I think Lewis from pole would have walked it, even assuming Seb taking 2nd at the start, then again Lewis didn’t have the wrong pressures…

    We were robbed of whatever Max was going to do.

    Great race, 7/10.

  48. 7. Would have been an 8 if Verstappen had been in the mix. Too many out of the race early, robbed us of some action. Enjoyable nonetheless.

  49. Better than Australia, but I still miss overtaking among the top guys. Another race decided by pit strategy, which is good, but not enough for me. It’s a pity VER was out so early, although it seems to me RB didn’t have the pace to follow Ferrari and Merc.

  50. Justin (@boombazookajd)
    16th April 2017, 19:18

    8. A solid race. Dramatic, unpredictable, and exciting. Overtaking wasn’t exactly common but when it happened it required some serious stones. Definitely a good race.

  51. 8/10. Shame Bottas is second driver at Mercedes. Great race from Perez, he deserves Kimi seat now.

  52. 8/10 – Good race again. Stand out performances from Vettel and Perez, and decent battles throughout. Did sort of fade a little towards the end but at least Lewis trying to catch Vettel at the end kept it interesting.

  53. Gave it a 7 but it felt more like a 6, but okay as a VER fan it was very disappointing to see him end this way so early. I was very surprised that the RB’s could follow the Mercs that easy. VER was even complaining that HAM was holding him up! Could have been so much more with a real fight of three different cars at the top. Shame RIC showed again that VER is no longer even but in front of him. RIC did a superb last qualifying lap but his race was dull and without anything special.

  54. 7 for me, Bottas put in a great lap Saturday but never had the pace today to challenge Vettel or Ham. Bad luck with the SC and Vettel’s stop but that how racing goes sometimes. It looks like Ferrari are definitely better in race pace, if they get it together on Saturday, Seb will be tough to beat at least until Catalunya with upgrades.

  55. Ferrari, Seb fan
    16th April 2017, 22:55

    I expect the average will be between 8 and 9. Don’t understand why people are giving less because Hamilton got a penalty. He deserved that penalty, he admits it himself. If Hamilton didn’t get a penalty then the same people would say that the stewards are too soft. All in all a great race.

    1. It’s good to know that you’re not so blinkered, Ferrari Seb fan. ;)

  56. Guys, I’ll say it again, this is much more like it.

  57. Another addition to the stupid backing up mistake by Hamilton.
    He lost more than the 5 second penalty, and I’m not talking about the 5.1s his crew actually waited at the 2nd stop.

    By backing up Ricciardo he forced Bottas to delay his pit exit by 1 sec (let RIC pass) which added to the wait time for Hamilton ;)

  58. The race started decently, but the SC and the repeated team orders ruined it for me. Could have been a 7-8 but came to a 4 for me. Would have been a 2 without the backmarkers battle near the end.

    1. totaly agree, apart from the start the front runners looked totally incapable of overtaking on track. I dont know how people are giving this an 8

  59. gave it a 6, some good moves at the start but from then on the front runners couldn’t overtake. botas slowed the front runners due to tyre pressures in the first stint and still no one could overtake the guy in front.
    vettel coudn’t touch bottas and hamilton couldn’t touch vettel. Ok ferarri aced the strategy but apart from that pretty dull. Botas yeilded to ham because of tech dificulties so no battle there. where was the actual racing up front? If ham had caught vettel he would have had to back off due to dirty air anyway. I hope this isn’t how the rest of the season is gonna be.

  60. 8. Good, more interesting three races so far…

  61. 8 from me. Even though i missed seeing the race live and was tracking to it via the F1 App, I enjoyed it much that I saw the reply after I came back home. To be honest, if not for the double team orders, I would have rated it 9.

    Perez! Woah man, he put the tractor of a car, that did not deserve, into points! His move up the ladder was insane by 11 places. If the car had some more potential, who knows where he would have ended up. Driver of the Race for me!

    Vettel won the battle today and decisively so – and forced Merc to do a lot more thinking.. so good job team Ferrari, because now we have a two way fight to the title across two teams! Vettel deserves the DOTW title.

  62. Fukobayashi (@offdutyrockstar)
    17th April 2017, 9:12

    It’s a 7 from me, good race.

    Quite amazing at how much better the Bahrain GP as a whole has become since turning into a night race, it used to consistantly be one of the most boring races of the season before.

    1. Actually since 12 till 2017 races were great in Bahrain,in addition to the 2006 GP when Alonso took away the win from Schumacher

  63. Did anyone else notice a light shining down from Kvyat’s Toro Rosso? Just under the nose between the wing and the car? It was shining down on the road. What is this for? @keithcollantine

  64. Antoon van Gemert
    17th April 2017, 9:41

    Good race that could have been much more exciting. The start of the race was great, in which Max Verstappen showed again his overtaking skills on Raikkonen and teammate Ricciardo. Then he copied the pitstop of Vettel, which was a very smart move from the youngster, that would have put him in second place for sure in some stage of the race. But then sadley had an break-pressure issue that caused his DNF, and that’s one exciting element eliminated! The other one where the two teamorders for poor Valtteri Bottas to let Lewis Hamilton by because he was quicker. Strange that Bottas was hampered with tyre-pressure issues. Nevertheless, I don’t like teamorders so early in te season and Mercedes should be ashamed doing so. Lewis Hamilton is a three-times Worldchampion capable of finding his own way pass Bottas. Bottas on his side was way to nice and played the role of the nr. 2 driver! The most wanted seat at the end of the 2016 season apparantly doesn’t sit that comfortable! The overtaking in this race was mainly being done under DRS, and that was not the case in China. The best overtake I guess was done by Daniel Ricciardo on Felipe Massa. Ricciardo, by the way, had a mediocre race and would have been beaten again by Verstappen. I really didn’t like the scene in which he let Raikkonen pass so easy, without any resistance. Great win again for Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari, they did everything right! Lewis Hamilton did the maximum, with help from his team, on damage-control. Sebastian Vettel deserved the ‘driver of the day’ award without a doubt, but Sergio Perez was a very good second choice, although he was almost invisible during the live-coverage. A good race, but the China Grand Prix for me is still the best of the season so far.

  65. 8 for me. Battles throughout the field, from the Mercedes fighting the Ferraris, with the Red Bull of Ricciardo joining in at times, to the great tight battle between the four midfield teams – Force India, Williams, Toro Rosso and Haas with Renault, Sauber and McLaren being an interesting scrap. I feel like we’ve come back to the 80s, with one of the best rule changes in F1 and a high attrition rate. Surprisingly for me, I didn’t find the extreme dearth of close racing that was feared. Loving this season so far :D

  66. 9/10. Could be better, but not by a lot. Kids brought me some salty snacks, girlfriend watched alongside(MotoGP fan) and said it was allright… So it must have been quite a race.

    Due to strategic considerations in my head, at no point I was bored. Bring on more of these.

  67. I thought it was another good race so I gave it the same rating as I gave the Chinese GP 7.5.

    In the opening laps, due to the problem Bottas had with his tyre pressures he was holding the others up, so the leaders were all close on track and it seemed like they were waiting to see who would blink first.

    As soon as there was a suitable gap for Vettel to re-join Ferrari brought him in to make his first stop and attempt the undercut to get past Bottas.

    The safety car could have cost Vettel for the second race in a row but the timing worked out and with Mercedes having problems with their stops Vettel took the lead.

    After Vettel pitted I was saying to myself that Mercedes had to split their strategy and bring in one of their drivers to react to Vettel or they were going to lose the race and that is what happened, although even if one of them had pitted the next lap Vettel probably still would have been in front. They were maybe hoping that Vettel would be held up in traffic as Hamilton was in Australia.

    For the past three years Mercedes have had such a pace advantage that they could get away with strategy errors because their speed would make up for any mistakes, however that is not the case now, if they make any miscalculations with the strategy or operational slip-ups Ferrari are there to capitalise.

    To try and be fair to both drivers Mercedes also liked to have both drivers use the same strategy in the race, but now with another team so close they should probably think about splitting strategy more often, obviously one strategy will be better than the other but if they want the best result for the team it is something they will have to do sometimes.

    While Mercedes have tried to let their drivers race each other they used team orders before when one driver is slow so as to get the best result for the team, Rosberg letting Hamilton through at Monaco in 2016 for example, so with Bottas still off the pace even after he changed his tyres it was no surprise to see them order him to let Hamilton through.

    If the battle between Mercedes and Ferrari this year is as tight as everyone hopes then we will probably see more team orders such as this from both sides.

    Once Vettel retained the lead at the restart I thought he would go on to take the victory barring any unforeseen problems.

    If Hamilton had not received his time penalty it would have been interesting to see if they would have risked a one stop strategy and hope that they could keep Vettel behind until the end. With the time penalty they knew that Vettel could just close up and follow Hamilton home without having to risk an overtake as long as he stayed within five seconds as the penalty would have been added to Hamilton’s time after the race, so they had to go with a two stop strategy and hope Hamilton could catch and pass Vettel on track.

    We heard a few radio messages to Hamilton telling him to keep pushing as he still had a chance at the victory, I know Mercedes have more information than the public but from the time gaps the commentators mentioned during the race I never thought it was realistic for Hamilton to even catch Vettel let alone overtake him unless there was a another safety car which would have closed the gap.

    So far the 2017 season has the potential of a great fight for the championship although we still have not had an on track battle between Hamilton and Vettel, I think they would have to be together on track in the latter stages of a race on an overtaking friendly circuit for this to happen.

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