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Posted By: Matt Meadows  |  21 Apr 2013   |  4:11 pm GMT  |  436 comments

Sebastian Vettel pulled off two key overtakes and managed his tyres to perfection to get early control of the Bahrain Grand Prix and take an easy victory, ahead of impressive drives through the field from Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean.

It was the same podium as last year’s race, with Vettel again starting on the front row and the Lotus cars being forced to come through the field.

After losing his second place to Fernando Alonso at the start of the race, the World Championship leader scythed past the Ferrari in the midfield esses section and promptly set about taking the race lead from pole sitter, Nico Rosberg.

He was able to make the decisive move on the third lap and from that point was peerless, producing an excellent second stint to put himself out of reach of the competition. The 28th Grand Prix win of his career went largely neglected as a number of battles behind made for an exhilarating race.

The first talking point, and heavily significant in the Championship, came when Alonso over took Rosberg for second and suffered a stuck rear-wing upper plane as his DRS failed to return to its starting point. This necessitated an early stop for the Ferrari and after the same failure occurred the following lap a further pit stop put a halt to his hopes of the race victory. He eventually ended the race in 8th position and is now thirty points off the Championship lead.

At the heart of the battles was a race long scrap between the McLaren pairing of Jenson Button and Sergio Perez, who spent much of the race in a fight with Rosberg. As has been the case during this early part of the season McLaren had a much better race pace than what they have shown on a Saturday and were able to compete with Ferrari and Mercedes throughout the race.


Button complained to his engineer at two points, insisting that Perez was driving too aggressively and should be ‘calmed down’. However that didn’t deter the Mexican on a day when he had the edge over Button, and he had his best race with McLaren thus far in sixth place, whilst Button could only manage tenth. Afterwards he criticised his team mate for being too aggressive and said, “That’s not the way I want to go racing.”

Perez said that it was too aggressive, but that Button had been just as guilty as he. Team principal Martin Whitmarsh said that he felt the collision between them where Perez’ front wing tagged Button’s rear tyre was the only move he had been unhappy with.

Rosberg, meanwhile, could not replicate Hamilton’s podium from pole position last week and came under pressure for much of the race. He seemed to struggle massively with tyre degradation and was forced in to a fourth pit stop late in the race, putting him down to ninth.

As had been predicted before the race Raikkonen set out to complete the Grand Prix with only two stops. And due to his excellent ability to save his tyres he was able to jump from his eighth place starting position to secure a good haul of points for the Lotus team. The result sees him remain in second position in the Championship, now ten points off Vettel.

Lotus had also attempted to put Grosjean on a two-stop strategy, but the Frenchman made an extra stop and used his superior grip in the final laps to take the final podium spot from the two-stopping Paul Di Resta. Coincidentally the podium is a repeat of 2012.

Di Resta produced an excellent drive, particularly in his first stint to pass Rosberg and pile pressure on Alonso. It will be a shot in the arm for Force India who have had some difficulties in the first part of the season, however the second car of Adrian Sutil collided with Felipe Massa on the first lap and could not recover to score any points.

Massa had been picked amongst potential race winners after starting from fourth place in the hard tyre, but the collision with Sutil and two punctures made it a weekend to forget for Ferrari.

BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX, 57 Laps
1. Vettel Red Bull 57 laps
2. Raikkonen Lotus + 9.1s
3. Grosjean Lotus + 19.5s
4. Di Resta Force India + 21.7s
5. Hamilton Mercedes + 35.2s
6. Perez McLaren + 35.9s
7. Webber Red Bull + 37.2s
8. Alonso Ferrari + 37.5s
9. Rosberg Mercedes + 41.1s
10. Button McLaren + 46.6s
11. Maldonado Williams + 1m06.4s
12. Hulkenberg Sauber + 1m12.9s
13. Sutil Force India + 1m16.7s
14. Bottas Williams + 1m21.5s
15. Massa Ferrari + 1m26.3s
16. Ricciardo Toro Rosso + 1 lap
17. Pic Caterham + 1 lap
18. Gutierrez Sauber + 1 lap
19. Bianchi Marussia + 1 lap
20. Chilton Marussia + 1 lap
21. van der Garde Caterham + 2 laps

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  1. This is getting out of hand.

    Both Rosberg were severely penalised by Pirelli this race for defending positions. Button against Perez, and Rosberg against, well nearly everybody at the beginning of the race! Had Nico not bothered defending his tyres would have lasted and he wouldn’t have needed another stop. His overall pace would have been better too.

    This is just madness.

    1. Manished says:

      Merc focus too much on aero as always.

      Its always a compromise btw mechanical and aero.

      If RBR proved that they could be as durable and fast throughout the race, it just showed that Pirelli isnt to be blamed.

      Tyre is part of the performance. You either adapt to it or fell apart.

      1. Kay says:

        Actually, Lewis DID say Merc lacks aero, a LOT of it too, when he first tried the Merc earlier this year after a switch from McLaren. Having drove both machines I think he knows what he’s talking about.

    2. Quade says:

      In Pirelli’s favour, they brought better tyres and we had the seasons most exciting race by a country mile.

      Against Pirelli, the weekend was graced with weird tyre delamination. We had Lewis quietly driving in a straight and minding his own business, only for his tyre to suddenly delaminate; then was Massa, who suffered two similarly weird delaminations during the race too. In a previous practice session in Malaysia, all Jenson had to do to do for a tyre delamination, was brake hard.
      Clearly, this is becoming a dangerous situation and Pirelli had better start burning night oil to change more durable and sensible tyres, or we could be in for possible accidents due to F1′s inferior tyres.

    3. magic carpet says:

      I agree, tires that fall apart are a false economy. The fastest lap in Bahrain was set 8 years ago! If the tires were more durable speeds would be even less and people might think F1 is going backwards. Conservation of resources should include tires as well as fuel and drivetrains. We have mountainous tire dumps that burn out of control for days and days in Canada.

    4. Max says:

      Yeah it’s complete madness that F1 is about both driving fast and driving with your head.

      This is exactly why people like Raikkonen and Alonso are fairing well, cause they know how to do that.
      Nico was always going to be a sitting duck, and his defending is something no-one should be proud of, cause it’s a miracle that no-one has been seriously hurt by his weaving.

      Rosberg dug his own grave tonight by driving way too aggressively.

    5. Wanja says:

      This is also a technical issue. The Mercs are traditionally hard on tyres, the 4th year in a row. Something is systematically wrong there.

    6. Andy says:

      Mercedes is like golf, qualify for show, race for dough.

    7. Jeff says:

      Formula yawn

      I’m paying $10 extra per month solely to get NBC sports network. It’s not worth it for this tyre limited garbage. I can still get all the motoGP series at the next lowest package. The action on the track is real instead of artificially contrived, and passing is due to the skill of the racer.

      After 35 years of following F1 and working in F1, I’m voting with my wallet. I’m done.

      1. Andrew says:

        Goodbye then, one less moaner.

        Some of the battles were tremendous today. I can’t believe that there are people sitting there complaining at that.

        The pity is that Vettel ran away with it again.

      2. F12012 says:

        I know what you mean, I’m getting sick of hearing about Pirelli’s tyres every couple of weeks, F1 should be about going flatout from start to finish, this isn’t real racing

        I think Bernie’s only doing this to help sky get the viewers

        Plus something needs to be done with qualifying too

      3. Z says:

        I’ve been scrolling through the comments just on this particular article, and it’s the same moaners, moaning over and over again, all the way down the comments list.

        Seriously? Can you just stop watching F1 and leave it to those who are actually enjoying it? Watching real race drivers do their thing; the best in the world squeezing out all the talent they have to make it all work?

        I’d take this over the boring processions any day.

      4. Jeff says:

        “I’ve been scrolling through the comments just on this particular article, and it’s the same moaners, moaning over and over again, all the way down the comments list.”

        My previous posting was my only one on this thread until today. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and I won’t belittle yours as you are trying to belittle mine by dismissing me as a ‘moaner’.

        “Seriously? Can you just stop watching F1 and leave it to those who are actually enjoying it?”

        Perhaps you didn’t understand the point of my message? I have. I cancelled my Dish Network plan addition which I had to add at the beginning of this year when F1 moved to NBCSN over here. I will still be able to watch the three MotoGP classes and the Aussie V8 supercars, all of which are an order of magnitude more entertaining than F1 this year.

        “Watching real race drivers do their thing; the best in the world squeezing out all the talent they have to make it all work?”

        Yeah, running at 80%, lap after lap, with their pace determined by a computer simulation back at the factory. Then passing under DRS, only to be re-passed the next lap under DRS, then re-passing under DRS at the same place a couple of laps later. Woo Hoo! Pardon me if I don’t share your enthusiasm.

        Just to put in perspective the type of fans F1 are losing:

        The soundtrack of F1, to me, is Murray Walker and the late, great James Hunt saying things like ‘Actually Murray, that’s the tail light!’.

        I was cheering the TV as Villeneuve and Arnoux were banging tyres at Dijon in 1979 as the turbo and non-turbo cars battled it out.

        I watched Nigel Mansell’s entire career unfold, from the early years with Lotus, through his first stint with Williams, including the 1986 season where he narrowly missed out on the title due to an exploding tyre at the last round in Australia.

        I followed him through the two years at Ferrari, then finally the championship return to Williams, laughing at the signs draped over the armco by fans, pointing up the track with the words ‘Nigel went that way!’.

        I watched in horror as Gerhard Berger’s car burst into flames at Imola in 1989, and again as Senna tragically lost his life on the same weekend as Roland Ratzenberger.

        I designed the semi auto gearbox, traction control and ride height computer hardware (2 microcontrollers in one enclosure) for Jordan GP in the 1993 season, with the semi auto and traction control functions following through in a lighter enclosure for the 1994 season when active suspension was banned.

        I still have the anti-vibration mount from the Dural electronics enclosure after Ivan Capelli crashed it into the wall early in the South African GP at Kylami in its first racing run out. That enclosure survived intact, but there was nothing left of the lighter, carbon fiber box the following year when Rubens came scarily close to making it 3 deaths on that tragic weekend at Imola in 1994.

        I watched the 1993 European GP at Donington Park from Jordan’s pits and, after relocating to the USA, attended the first three US GPs at Indianapolis, riding my motorcycle the 1000 mile round trip from NC each year.

        My enthusiasm even lasted through the Schumacher years, which was the last time that tyres ruined F1 (in that case due to Bridgestone giving Michael special tyres that nobody else had a look at, thereby guaranteeing him some easy championships).

        I’m someone who’s followed F1 for decades, not a fly by night fan. This formula tyre race format where the drivers are tooling around to a target time instead of actually racing, with passing ensured only by artificial speed advantages on the straight, while one driver’s entry speed onto that straight is crippled by tyres which have ‘dropped off a cliff’ leaves me cold.

        I’m now $10 per month better off. I may look at a race next year to see whether the turbo format has improved things (though with cars predicted by some to be slower than this year’s GP2 machinery, with not enough fuel to take the event at racing speed, I don’t hold out much hope).

        Good bye. I hope things get better. I won’t be back until they do.

      5. James Allen says:

        How will you know..?

      6. Z says:

        I see exactly where you are coming from. You are always in the hope that F1 will return to the excitement of the 80s/90s era.

        Well, aerodynamics have made this physically impossible. Sorry. In the 2000s when aerodynamics really took over and the tyre ‘formula’ was the same, we had boring races.

        [mod]

      7. Z says:

        …aaand just one more. Please read this latest blog by Darren Heath (I think moderators should allow as his site is endorsed by JAonF1 anyway):
        http://www.darrenheath.com/season/2013/bahrain-2013/blog/good-old-days-now

        And then about your argument about drivers moping around the track at 80% (Alonso, China press conference):

        Q: We heard the team talking to you during the grand prix telling you not need to push. They were trying to slow you down in some respects and you were saying ‘I’m not pushing’.
        FA: Well, you always push. In a Formula One race it’s impossible not to push but it’s true that we had some pace, maybe, in the pocket.

    8. Craig D says:

      Oh come on, you’re the one getting ridiculous now! Firstly, the Mercedes simply wasn’t as a good a race car on its tyres compared to others. Blame Mercedes if you’re going to complain that Rosberg’s pace suffered. No one expected him not to go backwards as it was clear from practice they were struggling to make the rears last. That’s a problem for the team to solve. Plenty of others did amazingly well with their tyres.

      Secondly, defending in any form of motorsport is going to cause your tyres and lap times to suffer. You’re not taking the racing line. You’re having to make more acute turns when taking a tighter line to defend, which uses more tyre energy than taking an apex in a gradual sweeping apex. And this was especially the case in Bahrain which was rear tyre limited. In a front limited case, following a car is going to hurt you a lot too due to the greater lack of front grip. But that’s an important balance a driver needs to strike: to know when to not allow your own stint to suffer too much (the can be applied to you fuel too, choosing when it’s best to run lean or rich, high revs), and when it’s critical to keep a competitor at bay. Getting such a balance right so that you ultimately beat that competitor is always a part of racing in F1. It’s never simply been a sprint event and never will be.

      At the end of the day Button and Rosberg didn’t have as great a pace as those around them, period. Button admits he could have been cleverer and it may have been easier to follow Perez say, patiently, waiting to pounce as heavily defending damaged his overall stint performance (he was closing on Webber mid race before the McLaren argey-bargey)!

      I don’t think you like the fact that tyres wear at all as a matter of course. I think you’d be happier with tyres that perform identically lap after lap and we have just one (forced) pitstop. It’s an additional, important skill to master. Button acknowledged he didn’t do as well as Perez at this. To want to remove such skills is simplifying and dumbing down the racing. “Arcade” racing you could say.

      If you’re not happy with that as a race – which it was – then I don’t know what it’ll take. Maybe re-watch Bahrain 2010. If F1 isn’t for you there’s plenty of other types of racing.

      I think this was a perfect case of how the sport’s structure should be. Tyres that you could fight with but still faded in performance, igniting a mix of 2, 3 and even 4 pitstops. And a DRS that wasn’t too (well maybe a tad) easy, but which still allowed a ‘victim’ to fight back again next lap!

      I could understand and agree with criticism in China but not here.

      1. Spinodontosaurus says:

        Top marks for this comment.

        Webber responded with ‘good, a little bit artificial, but good’ when asked how the racing was from his perspective today.
        I think that sums up this era of F1 perfectly.

      2. Simon Donald says:

        +100!!

        This criticism of the tyres is getting out of hand!! Obviously people have short memories and have forgotten that every race in Bahrain up until last season was a total snooze fest! These tyres plus DRS plus KERS have breathed new life into a moribund racing series.

      3. altbridge says:

        +1

        Great post Craig. Your last paragraph summed up my feeling of how F1 races must be exactly :)

        What an exciting grand prix it was! Brilliant wheel-to-wheel action and mix of different strategy led to some great racing all round. Whoever said Bahrain is boring!

      4. Aliaksey says:

        Good stuff and agree in general.

        But there’s one additional point I’d like to highlight.

        There’s additional reason to race own team mate compared to racing others. Because leading car has pit-stop priority. You could see that today too. Perez dropped back additional places compared to Button after first stop. And exactly because he had to wait one additional lap.

      5. Jonno says:

        Completely agree, tyres were perfect this race – if you drove smart, you could do a competitive two stop, if you wanted to be racier you could attack on a three, but if you overdid it you mucked up and did a 4. That’s the right balance.

        DRS was also good today, as whilst a few passes were too easy, generally it just worked to keep similarly paced cars close enough that they could have a go if they wanted. I haven’t seen so much passing and repassing in a race in ages, it was great because it lead to battles around multiple across many laps, as similarly paced cars had proper duels, which made it a good watch.

        I’d say that that race was in fact the perfect example of how the current regulations should indeed work.

      6. Jonno says:

        *around multiple corners across many laps … (sorry, missed a word out)

      7. Phil says:

        Agreed. China for me was a tyre-spoilt race.

        Bahrain for once was much more exciting with plenty of great wheel to wheel action not dominated by DRS or tyre wear.

        Maybe it was the fact that I could only watch highlights on the BBC so the race seemed like there was more action but this was the stand out race for action and excitement so far this season.

      8. Random 79 says:

        No, there really was that much action :)

        In fact, if they could only select the very best highlights then I’d be willing to bet they probably had to leave out some good fights as there were plenty to choose from.

        Best racing I’ve seen in an F1 race for a while :)

      9. Sam says:

        i 2nd that Random. Right choice with medium and hard tyres for Bahrain. G8 racing.

        But Massa and Lewis’ incidents were alarming, tyres could be unsafe? Need to be thoroughly investigated and addressed.

      10. brad w says:

        What happened ?……Webber was racing, Seb was managing!

        Simple as that.

      11. “Firstly, the Mercedes simply wasn’t as a good a race car on its tyres compared to others. Blame Mercedes if you’re going to complain that Rosberg’s pace suffered.”

        Uhh tell that to Hamilton who didn’t spend the first half of the race defending so therefore made one less stop and finished ahead of his team mate, WHO STARTED 8 POSITIONS HIGHER ON THE GRID.

        “Secondly, defending in any form of motorsport is going to cause your tyres and lap times to suffer….But that’s an important balance a driver needs to strike…Getting such a balance right so that you ultimately beat that competitor is always a part of racing in F1…It’s never simply been a sprint event and never will be.”

        Absolute rubbish. F1 has NEVER penalised a driver so much for defending position. Yes, it went too far in the other direction… but I’d still rather have days of the “Truli Train” than see drivers forced to make additional pit stops for defending positions.

      12. Well if one misses the Trulli Train, there is no argument then

      13. Craig D says:

        1) The point is the Mercedes was weak on its rear tyres and Nico was never going to stay up front and of course it was going to suffer more whilst squabbling than others with cars who could cope better. And?! Other cars were able to battle but still keep good life but you pick on the 2 cases where the drivers didn’t race so cleverly. For example, Perez stayed out to ensure he could get to the end on 3 stops. Button was telling his engineer he wanted fresh grip earlier and was forced into a 4th stop too. It was more other drivers coped better since that whole pack was fighting.

        But ok, I’ll indulge you. You didn’t like the fact Rosberg had to pit again. Solution, more durable tyres. The case then would have been others would have been able to 2 stop but Rosberg 3. So carry that through to the required case where the Mercedes tyre wear becomes negligible to its rivals. Now for one that simplifies and dumbs down the engineering challenge, removing a key parameter for success – but maybe you don’t care for the engineering. Fine. Now of course we’re down to a 1 stop race to ensure Rosberg won’t suffer (of which the grid will pit in unison). Well, in this scenario you would not have had the same quality and exhilarating (as James put it) race. The evidence of that is covered in countless case races (when you don’t cherry pick your classics). You would view that as pure true racing though, but car management has always been a part of the sport. Drivers have always had to pace themselves.

        And why should you cater for the lowest common denominator? Mercedes have work to do as Ross says.

        You also forget that Rosberg excelled in qualifying and put his car in a position not reflective of its race pace.

        2) You’re exaggerating everything! So Perez and the others were heavily penalised for defending as well were they? ROS and BUT were not the only ones defending and overtaking. The fact is it’s more a case that cars can now overtake. You loved the Trulli train: that wasn’t so much Trulli being an amazing defender with his super tyres that didn’t suffer. His defending would still hurt his performance and make him slower (that’s physics) but the trains would simply struggle to get close enough to overtake, cooking their tyres in the wake, and resorting to waiting for the fuel stop to leap frog. A car used to need to be over 2 seconds a lap faster to attempt an overtake at many tracks and you guys claim that to be better, purer racing!

        Besides there was plenty of train action in Bahrain, it’s just that we got a different locomotive taking over every other lap!

        It’s fine to prefer a different type of racing, one which to me is more basic and requires less driver input and thought (I don’t hear Alonso and Kimi complaining, they just get on with it). But I’m sick of the constant negativity, especially after an event like that. You‘re just looking for holes in a fantastic event of drivers showing their battling prowess. Have you nothing positive to say about the race?

        I must say, in all these debates I can’t help but chuckle that while myself and others enjoy the majority of races on a regular basis (and appreciate the variability and competitiveness of the field now compared to the early 2000s), you and a few across the fence appear to undergo a miserable experience each time and get so angry.

    9. Bill Nuttall says:

      No-one seems to have told Renault, Ferrari or Red Bull of this ‘madness’. It’s almost as if they have designed their cars to deal with tyre degradation.

      1. None of them were driving particularly defensive races, though, were they.

        Sure it would have a been different story if Vettel had been hounded by somebody lap after lap and was forced to defend his line; he’s have either had to let them go, or take another set of tyres. Is that really what you want from motor racing?

        Also. Ferrari? 2 De-laminations?

      2. David says:

        Actually the delaminations at Ferrari were caused by cuts according to Pirelli and even Massa said at least the second wasa puncture. Bahrain has always being boring, and this one wasn’t so even if we don’t like the tyres for being too sensitive it certainly makes up for races where you could drop off to sleep and still wake up 1/2 hour later and nothing much had happened! Also do not forget that refueling was introduced to spice up the show which shows that not all was well in F1 at the time. Also everyone is forgetting that there used to be more than 1 tyre supplier in f1 which meant that depending upon which tyre you were on there were times you were boosted or handicapped depending upon how they performed. Watch the races in 2002/03 with Michelin and Bridgestone.

      3. Craig D says:

        So a driver attacks another and forces them into using up their tyres faster than they and the team would wish, comprising their strategy. What’s your problem? Fair game that.

        However it’s still a tenuous argument created to suit your unhappiness of this race. Normally the complaint is of cars not racing for fear of wearing their tyres in following someone closely. Now you’re unhappy they are racing and someone loses out. And of course you never got a chance of such racing in the past with the grass is greener rubber; certainly not at Bahrain!

    10. tarun says:

      rosberg didnt say since he was defending for positions he lost out his tyres…mercedes is eating up its tyres and it has been true for them since last season…
      dont start blaming pirelli’s for everything that you feel is wrong…the race was really entertaining..if you feel that is not the case watch any race from the bridgestone era, hardly any move used to take place…and we used to get dull boring races one after the other on tilke made tracks..
      pirelli’s and drs are the best thing to have happened to f1.

      1. Quade says:

        Tyres have never helped or hindered overtaking, whether in the Bridgestone era or in the present.

        Aerodynamics is what affects overtaking and thats been sorted with DRS. The tyres are only there to create artificial situations and thats why they are so hated by those who love pure, unihibited racing.

        F1 is the only race you can win by driving slowly and uneventfully, lest you wreck your putty tyres.

      2. Tim says:

        I remember watching an interview with Nigel Mansell after a race (many years ago). The interviewer queried why he had done his fastest lap just before pitting for new tyres. His answer was that he didn’t need to look after them , as he was pitting next lap, and could go flat out.
        Just saying :-)

      3. Stop telling people who dislike Pirelli to “go and watch races from the Bridgestone era”. I’ve recently rewatched seasons 1996-2003 (can’t find 2004 onwards online unfortunately) and they were a country mile ahead on the rubbish we have today. Moves *did* take place. And they were generally after a driver had chased down a competitor for lap after lap (something not possible on today’s tyres), and virtually *always* about one driver outsmarting another, not sailing past because his tyres were in better nik.

        I’ll grant you, the first five or 6 laps of the race were entertaining. When *everybody* had DRS because it was so close, and before the tyres took the control of the race away from the drivers.

      4. BW says:

        OK, so bring 2003 cars in.
        Or.. watch 2010 race?

      5. tarun says:

        why dont you stop watching the races now…if you hate it so much…watch some other series…
        I have seen it over the years..people have always been complaining about rule changes…when it was the refuelling era everyone hated it and use to say we only get overtakes during pitstops…then the same people use to say we need full tank cars on worn tyres and the racing will be better..and now the clamour for going back to refuelling…which is really insane…
        Kimi puts it perfectly that you can never satisfy everyone…and its true…I would rather take his word than yours when he says that racing has never been flat out in any era he has driven..
        this new formula has brought a lot new set of skills and the drivers find it harder nowadays than the lights to flag schumi era that your referring to ( he use to win by margins over 30 secs in those days)…
        f1 is really competitive today and its amazing to see the likes kimi alonso and vettel fight it out for the championship…and no race is a given that one team will totally dominate the other…its very good time to be watching f1…
        I would never want it to go back to what it was…
        pirelli and drs are the best thing to have happened to f1.

      6. Andrew says:

        I tell you what then James, just stop watching then and stop moaning on here. It’s not going to change however much you complain.

        Constant negativity is not a good thing, either at work or in ones personal life

      7. @BW – 2003 Cars any day

        @tarun – maybe you can give up easily on something that’s been part of life since childhood – I can’t. If somebody you love falls in with a bad crowd you don’t just let them go and say “fine screw you”. You do anything you reasonably can to distance them from that crown. As for Kimmi, he’s driving for a team that want to keep the tryes as soft as possible because they feel they have an advantage. Much more interesting is to listen to the pundits. It’s their JOB to make F1 sound interesting and not be too overly critical. Even they are starting to make noises, against the coroporate line, about the Pirellis and DRS having too much control over the race.

        @Andrew. Sorry, no can do.

    11. Grant says:

      It’s better to not qualify well…
      And then not to race at all…

      This will give you maximum chance at winning!
      Crazy…

      1. Sebee says:

        Is that how Vettel won?

      2. Grant says:

        Unless if you have the most dominant car in F1.

      3. Exactly. I just don’t see how anybody can enjoy a formula where:

        1) Drivers will sit out quali to preserve tyres
        2) Drivers who out perform their vehicles in quali, or any drivers finding themselves in a higher position than a faster car during the race, will then be forced into another pitstop if they defend their positions(s)
        3) Once a driver has caught up with a slower vehicle, overtaking is an inevitability – not simply an opportunity.

      4. 4) Drivers are told by a team of engineers what lap time they should be doing at every stage of the race (as in “you need to go this slow”, as opposed to “if we work at it you can go this much faster”)

      5. Me says:

        Christ!, give it up…

        Why bother watching it, if all you’re going to do is moan…

      6. Craig D says:

        4) Has always existed. Sam Michael said, pacing has always existed, especially before refuelling. But even during the refuelling era he said drivers still had to pace themselves to ensure the tyres would last the stint. Everything is just more accessible media-wise now.

        But yeah, I agree with “Me”, I think you should take a sabbatical. I can imagine you moaning about the aero in that era as well.

      7. @Craig D

        Pacing “Try and go easy on the breaks in turn 3″ is a lot different to pescribing lap times “Target laptime is 1:23.4″

        And, like many others you assume I was moaning about aero in “that” era. If that’s you’re only line of defence then you have no argument. I have watched every single race since 2000 bar one, where I was on a flight. And most of the races from 1994 – 2000. I have NEVER found F1 to be as dull as it is today.

    12. mhilgtx says:

      I for one am sorry to hear you and Jeff and others through up their hands over the tires.

      Force India, Lotus, Ferrari, Red Bull and Mclaren have all found ways to get pace out of the tires. Even Mercedes has been able to get a couple of poles.

      Each car has to use the same, and while there are rumors that Lotus and Ferrari might have been given a heads up on the tires it is about as fair as it can be.

      Last week many were saying that Renault was dead and Ferrari the new power engine, now we have a Renault powered podium. Next race it could be all Force India and Ferrari. We just don’t know and that is I think worth waking up early for on a Sunday.

    13. brad w says:

      Yep. Agree 100%

      Those in disagreement with the view that the tyres are a problem for F1 are not looking from a driver perspective, rather from a lounge with a computer analysing times. Etc etc.

      When racing results into rapid degradation, the sport has a problem.

      I’m sick of people defending the tyres when they clearly are not doing the job. I guess you’d be happy if your team was winning.

    14. Chris Tritabaugh says:

      I consider myself a returning F1 fan. As a kid I was a fan in the Senna/Prost days, up until about 2000, then the sport got too boring and I had other things to do.

      F1 is a sport, and right now it is fantastic sport. Tactics, skill, and some luck are helping to determine the winners; what the hell is wrong with that? It has been said by other, but look at the driver standings right now: Vettel, Kimi, Lewis and Alonso. Probably the four best drivers in the world. For too long F1 was about the best car, and the most money. Its still about those things, but it is also an awful lot about driver skill.

      A lot of the moaners are saying the action is contrived. DRS, I would probably agree with. Overtaking seems a little bit too easy at the moment, and it will be interesting to see how DRS factors with the new regs next year. I believe the cars are supposed to have 20% less downforce (at least until the aero chiefs claw it back). Hopefully this will result in less aero wake and a greater ability to follow and overtake without DRS.

      I think the tires have created a fantastic show of F1. If the right compounds are used, then the racing is great. This week seemed to be right on the money. An adjustment to the soft and supersoft compound, probably wouldn’t be the worst thing.

    15. dean cassady says:

      How great was this to watch, compared the bulletproof nineties?
      Do you want enjoyable, or your particular version of sanity?

      1. “How great was this to watch..?”
        After the first 6 laps it, where it turned into the usual push-to-pass-theyve-got-nothing-to-defend-with-anyway farce, not very great at all?

      2. Spinodontosaurus says:

        Are you sure you were not watching a re-run of China? You seem to have seen a different event to most other people.

      3. dean cassady says:

        JC: your position on the Bahrain GP is all too apparent. For academic reasons, you could list the Bahrain GPs that you think were better.

    16. Random 79 says:

      Yes, but fantastic madness to watch! :D

      Merc was the only team really struggling, Vettel was out front doing his thing, and everyone else was having one hell of a race!

      You’re entitled to your opinion of course – and at points I’d agree with you – but how can you complain about a race like the one we just watched?

      I tell you, normally I kind of start to fall asleep midway through a normal race, but when I watched the race today about twelve hours after it finished – after I’d had only two hours sleep, worked all night and finished in the morning – I was absolutely dead tired…but still I actually started to wake up again with all the action on track.

      That has to be a good thing :)

      1. What action on track? Where did we see a single pass that wasn’t inevitably going to happen anyway due to tyre wear?

      2. tarun says:

        different cars using tyres differently causing an overtake situation..how difficult it is to understand this?
        why isnt there driver skill in there…as driver is the one controlling the car and doing the race…I dont understand your point at all…you are totally unjustified in blaming pirellis for the racing in f1

      3. @tarun

        If you are really unable to see the difference between

        a)a driver chasing another for lap after lap. Lining up the move, sending dummies form time to time and then finally going for it.

        and

        b)a driver sailing past another car because the other car’s tyres have given up

        Then there really is no hope of you understanding why myself and others are so upset about what’s happening. I guess modern day F1 is suited to you.

  2. Quade says:

    That was thoroughly imperious driving from Vettel.

    …And I never thought Perez could impress, but he did some beautiful driving today. He was easily the driver of the day, alongside Rosberg.

    Di Resta and Lewis drove pretty solid races too.

    1. Tim says:

      I wouldn’t argue with your comment about SV, he was really impressive, particularly in the first few laps.
      Not sure why you would pick Rosberg as contender for driver of the day though. He went steadily backwards, eventually finishing 9th.

    2. Elie says:

      Are you serious.. He nearly took himself and Jenson out.. And was lucky to finish the race.. I like aggressive driving but that was stupid he lost control a few times– to me that’s not the sign of a good drive.

    3. Andy says:

      I agree with Vettel, Di Resta and Perez.

      1. Tornillo Amarillo says:

        HAMILTON was very good from P9 to P5, that’s consistency and here you have him in a solid 3rd in the WDC before Alonso.

        DI RESTA did a BIG step forward today, congrats!

        PEREZ another hero here.

        VETTEL plays with an excellent car for reaching the lead, it’s all about clear air and limiting the fight wheel to wheel after 2 laps. Then cruising to take care of the tyres. It’s a valid formula, notably because Webber cannot do it.

        Lotus as a Team… just great.

    4. yellowbelly says:

      How on earth do you reckon Rosberg was a contender for driver of the day? P1 to P9 is hardly earth-shattering.

      1. Quade says:

        Did you see how doggedly he defended his position against much faster cars? That was exciting!
        Rosberg was only punished by the tyres, so that he had to do 4 stops.

      2. aezy_doc says:

        That Rosberg was punished by his tyres and had to do 4 stops suggests to me that he wasn’t DOTD. Definitely more exciting to watch, but a calmer head would have seen him finish 4th/5th and maybe even ahead of his team mate.

        I think any of VET,GRO,DIR,HAM,ALO should get it, but personally I loved the way Perez was all over Button like stink on a monkey and provided some excitement. He was very (too)aggressive, but then Button was very (too)aggressive in his defending. The reason that Perez caught Button’s rear tyre was because Button purposefully backed him up in the corner – a good defensive tactic for sure but one that almost cost Button a puncture. Not excusing Perez at all, just thought it wasn’t 100% his fault – maybe 70/30.

      3. Tim says:

        Rosberg was only punished by the tyres….

        Personally I thought it was the other way round, ie it was the tyres that were punished by Rosberg :-)

      4. Quade says:

        Ha! Rosberg punished the tyres! Nice one.
        Thats just so wickedly hilarious! :)

    5. matthew says:

      rosberg,driver of the day?i thought lewis was far better.

      1. Quade says:

        Lewis was brilliant in the way he laid seige on Webber, darting this way and that. Truly awesome car control, but he only came to life at the end, thats why I chose Rosberg who was in action all through the race.

    6. KRB says:

      Hmm, I think Perez again was pretty reckless. His move down the pit straight against Button (similar to his move on Kobayashi last year in China), and then pushing Alonso off the road in the last few laps, raised more than a few eyebrows.

      Rosberg shouldn’t have defended as robustly as he did, as it hurt his lap times in the end. I hate reading back that last sentence, as I don’t think that’s what F1 should be about, but that’s what it is at the moment.

      I am surprised that there was no penalty for Webber for cutting off Rosberg into turn 2.

      1. Yak says:

        Button did a similar (IMO worse) thing to Perez earlier on. Side by side through the corner, and Button just ran him clean off the track to hold position. Not to mention defending down the inside and then basically parking it on the corner to be able to turn it in, which was when Perez clipped his rear right. I’m guessing he was expecting Button to take the inside and get a slower exit down the outside of the track, so Perez’d be able to go down the outside, take a later apex and get the better exit. Instead he found Button crawling through the corner, trying to cover the inside all the way through. Desparate moves from a driver who knows the guy behind him is faster.

        Button slowed them both down stubbornly defending against the faster Perez. Certainly Perez had some rough moments, but Button was at least as much to blame for the situation.

      2. aezy_doc says:

        +1

      3. Quade says:

        This is my conjecture, but Button seemed to slow right down in the corner as a tactical move to hug the middle of the road, while slowing Perez down.
        That corner was one of the favourite overtake spots of the race.

        Perhaps, if Perez had been in another team, the matter would have gone to Charlie Whiting as a case of brake testing and Buttons telemetry would have fried him.

      4. Spinodontosaurus says:

        Button clearly parked it on the apex, which is perfectly fine imo.
        This tactic (if you can call it that?) was also used by Webber in Malaysia, and I recall several occasions over the past few years when Vettel has done it too.

        I would so far as to say it is almost a common occurrence, only in this case it seemed to catch Perez off-guard, hence the contact.

    7. Sascha says:

      Rosberg? I don’t think his race was great. Hamilton drove a much better more intelligent race, and looked better after his tyres. From 9th to 5th was impressive. From 1st to 9th not really.

    8. Blowndiffuser says:

      Similar. I thought Vettel was DOTD, and Di Resta impressed me too. The other impressive driver was Grosjean – wonder how much of that was down to changing the chassis…

  3. Andy says:

    Vettel made it look easy. Alonso must have been asleep when Vettel past him. I’m not a Vettel fan but if he doesn’t make it four in a row I’d be amazed.

    1. Random 79 says:

      +1, +1, +1, +1 and pleased :)

  4. Sebee says:

    VetteXL!

    And then there were two.  I know it is early, but Alonso will have to claw himself back into this at 30 points back.

    Before we forget, those were lovely non-DRS passes for P1 at the start against Alonso and Rosberg.

    Conspiracy theory NO.31

    Alonso sabotaged his DRS to show DRS-less battles are possible and can be entertaining. 

    P.S. Can someone explain to me why Massa pitted so early from Hard tire?

    1. Alexander Supertramp says:

      Puncture, I think..

    2. Doobs says:

      Massa had damaged his front wing for most of the race, which may have caused extra tyre wear. Also he himself had said starting on the Hards was a gamble. He didn’t seem really happy with either tyre this weekend.

      1. Sebee says:

        8 laps on hard tire when others did more than double that if I remember? It was a pathetic first stint for whatever reason. I was very surprised when he came in that early as it was same or less distance that others did on mediums.

        Since he kept going, I don’t think the front wing was such a big deal.

        If he was unhappy about the hard 8 laps in, what help was medium going to be?

        Very strange move and it is not covered anywhere. If not for that early stop a whole chain of events is avoided by Massa.

    3. Random 79 says:

      Conspiracy No. 31, The Verdict:

      Okay, just for fun I’ll go along with you and say yes, Alonso did sabotage his DRS to show us all how good the racing can be without it – all it was cost him a pit stop.

      …but to do it twice? Come on!

      1. Sebee says:

        It had to be convincing!

        I wonder what the lap time was with the wing open, also what the tire wear was. Curious to know if they should have kept racing with it open wide.

        Btw…my mistake, Massa went 10 on hard first stint.

    4. Random 79 says:

      Lol let it go! :)

      He would have been at least a second or two faster a lap, but I’m guessing that if he had kept racing with the DRS stuck open he would have copped some kind of penalty or been refused classification.

      Still, it’s strange for Ferrari to have made two silly mistakes within three races.

      1. Tim says:

        I would have thought he would be slower overall with DRS stuck open as he would have lost downforce on the corners.
        It’s only quicker on the straights, where downforce is not required, and the drag is reduced by stalling the rear wing. As soon as the cars get into the twisty bits they want as much downforce as possible.

      2. Random 79 says:

        Good point.

        Hard to say in the end – a lot would depend on the track they were driving.

  5. Sylvester says:

    Force India have made it a habit of giving up on podium finishes. So near yet so far.
    Still happy they are way up ahead of the tight mid field pack.
    Mclaren have two racing drivers now.

    Still the Q3 pace of the Lotus teams seem to be an unsolved mystery !!!! Or has it been solved JA ?

  6. Simmo says:

    Well, a very interesting race with plenty of battles!

    It seems like Mercedes unfortunately still have a way to go on improving tyre wear.

    It was very interesting to see Button and Perez fighting the whole time. It seems like Perez is getting to grips with the McLaren, but is still making some inexperienced errors (running into Button).

    Very well drove by both Lotuses! I thought yesterday that if Raikkonen could go from 11th to 2nd last year, then he can do it again – and he certainly did! And a solid – and clean and mature – drive by Grosjean too! Although I would have liked to see di Resta make the podium.

    Good drive by Vettel, but there isn’t really much to say on that.

    Webber wasn’t going very far this race, he must really be feeling pressure now.

    It seems that Caterham may be gaining the edge now, with Pic beating both Marussias.

    In my opinion Rosberg was being far too aggressive. Not as bed as last year, but there were quite a few sharp moves in there.

    It is a real shame about what happened to Ferrari today. Contact with Sutil for Massa, 2 DRS failures for Alonso (although it was slightly foolish to use it for a second time really), and 2 random punctures for Massa.

    Although, it has to be said – amazing driving by Alonso with 2 extra stops and no DRS to help him. Fantastic :)

  7. blackmamba says:

    Dominant from Red Bull and a massive dose of bad luck for Ferrari. Lotus once again show they can be the Pacesetters with a bit of good qualifying positions.
    A nod to Lewis, what a great salvage from absolutely nowhere, and the best he can do at the moment is just keep beating his team-mate and scoring a huge haul of points while they figure out what is going on with that car.
    Low point for Button, moaning on the radio coz his team-mate was faster and he wanted as always to have a clear path to the checkered flag with no challenges so he can be smooth. I don’t think he is very good with wheel to wheel racing.

  8. nns2703 says:

    I think James, if it wasn’t 4 Sutil first lap incident, he could hv fought 4 victory today. What’s ur take on this?

  9. IJW says:

    The fight between all the following drivers was great to watch;
    HAM, PER, WEB, ALO, BUT, ROS
    Now, that is what I call racing!

  10. Chromatic says:

    Brilliant overtakes by Vettel, but his race race was flattered because Kimi and Alonso were not contesting.
    ALO was impressive.
    RAI was the star, as so often. Not impressed that his team invited the media to criticise Kimi for yesterday’s quali. It seems to have been to do with track conditions as much as anything Kimi did or didn’t do. Bad form from Team Lotus.

    Where would they be without KR? Fighting with Williams and STR maybe?

    1. Spinodontosaurus says:

      Grosjean finished 3rd?

      1. Random 79 says:

        Yep.

        He seems to have finally discovered the knack of racing without totalling. Bodes well for the rest of the season :)

      2. Me says:

        It really does bode well, he appears to be a very quick driver.

  11. Derp says:

    Business as usual for Vettel. Can’t really understand the people saying the boy can’t drive. Tho I do hope he doesn’t get too far ahead in points early on, would ruin a great season.

    Great job from Kimi, as he said himself, he didn’t really get his quali right, but he did drive like superman today.

    Sort of a shame about Alonso’s rear wing, stupid problem to have with such a simple part. Would be fun tho to know what was going on inside that helmet. Some angry Spanish swearing at least.

    And good going from McLaren, if they can’t win races atm, at least they can provide some excitement. Tho seemed like Button wasn’t really happy with it.

    Also gotta say I think the Pirelli tyres make for great racing. I mean I can sort of understand the people complaining about them I guess, but tbh I hope they stay with F1 for many years to come.

    1. RodgerT says:

      With regards to the the DRS, it’s not like there’s a cable to pull it open and spring to make it snap back. It’s a hydraulically actuated system that’s also tied into the ECU.

  12. JCA says:

    James, please ask Bernie to give us split screen or picture in picture. Other ‘lesser’ series have had it for years.

    1. Random 79 says:

      Not sure about Bernie, but it might be a good question to ask Sky (or whoever does the broadcast where you are) about it.

      See if you get can hold of a customer feedback number / service and see what they say.

  13. Craig D says:

    Well that was a great race. Only thing really missing was someone challenging Vettel.

    Who was driver of the day there? Vettel was imperious and impressive to do such long stints at that pace. Di Resta great too. And Alonso to come back to fight the pack with an extra stop and no DRS! And of course Lotus to come to the podium from 9th and 11th I think.

    It took till half race till Hamilton came into the picture! We didn’t see him till the last 25 laps! Good end for him.

    Perez outdid Button today too, which was good as I was getting worried for him. I will say, I think McLaren could have worked better as a team. Midrace when Button and Perez were behind Webber and had broken the tow of the Grosjean and Rosberg behind, the pair were closing in on Mark around 0.5s/lap. They got the gap down to Webber to 3.4s from over 5s, then started squabbling and the gap was back up to over 5s, and the Lotus was back on their tail.

    If the team had told the pair “Lads, I want 6 laps say of team driving to close in Webber, it’ll benefit you both”, the pair could have had a better result. Of course you want them to fight and I’d say this if Perez had been infront, so this isn’t a “Darling Button” comment, I’m talking from a team perspective. I’m just saying that looking at the lap times of the pair it’s clear they affected each other’s race and the team could have been cleverer about it all. We could see how important it was to find clear air as it was so difficult to break away after passing (which was so exciting)! McLaren could have helped themselves more to achieve this I feel. Can’t complain about the action of it all though! :)

    Finally, you can’t be angry about the tyres from this race! The tyres wore and we had a range of strategies but you can’t say anyone was afraid or unable to pick a fight! Yes, the hards were used but last race there were all these comments of “Get Pirelli out of the sport!” – typical hyperbole views. I had said the balance of China was wrong – a ridiculous option (if it was a quali tyre why was it to be used in the race?!) and a bad DRS – but I’ve said the general structure of the sport and Pirelli’s approach is fine and better than 10 years ago. I’d take this race over one from then any day.

    1. Quade says:

      Racing ten years ago was far more action packed than today. All the proof is on youtube.

      Secondly, the racing was only better, because Pirelli brought harder, more durable tyres.
      If they bring 90′s style sweet tyres, then the racing would be even better still, cos no one would be scared to either attack or defend.

      1. Random 79 says:

        Again, all the exciting racing on youtube is the exciting racing.

        Who’s going to bother putting up a video of the races where the cars followed each other around and around?

        But agreed, Pirelli made a good move. We still had multiple and varied pit stops with some great racing – how it should be :)

        If only they could get it perfect for every race…

    2. BRad says:

      Attn Craig D…..You’re a bit clueless to what is really going on, by what you write mostly.

      Nobody challenged Vettal because the tryes don’t allow it. Think about this, from a driver pespective.

      1. Why do you think he took risks getting the lead so quickly? He knows these tyres wont last long if you spend too much time behind attacking. I mean 2-3 laps will bring on degradation that will see your sector times fall away from a race leading pace!

      2. Vettals a very tough guy to pass, most drivers would not risk a move on him unless it was in a DRS situation, but then he’ll just return the favour next lap.

      3. Clear air is what you need to save rubber and hit your sector times lap after lap. You can’t do that up someones ass!

      You been going on about how good these tyres are for the sport. You and others need to consider what is really going on during a race. Also you need to think about the direction teams have to focus on now that tyres are just so critical, over everything else.

      With DRS and now these tryes, true racing may never be rewarded like it should. The sport has gone off the rails.

      Think about it, with both eyes open next race!

      1. Random 79 says:

        ‘You and others need to consider what is really going on during a race.’

        Great racing: That’s what was going on during the race.

        What were you watching with both your eyes open?

      2. Craig D says:

        You know someone’s struggling with an argument when they start like that. It’s you that sounds clueless with: “No one challenged Vettel because of the tyres.” Ha! So I take it you don’t credit Vettel for one of his peerless drives. Others couldn’t catch Vettel not because of having to look after themselves, they simply weren’t quick enough, likely due to Red Bull’s leading coanda system, particularly in his hands. Alonso may have done but hit trouble. Drivers were fighting and pushing this race. Vettel was gone. And he wasn’t having to overly manage either. His engineer told him to slow down damnit! He said his car was fantastic.

        Your whole 3 points are utter nonsense.

        1. You seem to blame the tyres for Vettel trying to take the lead so quickly! You’d have preferred him to sit back? Not race?! Forget the tyres, it’s always the case that your best chance of gaining positions is in the first lap or two before things settle. Heck, years ago that was almost the only way to overtake until the pit stops!

        2. and 3. Irrelevant. I mean, in any era it’s advantageous to run in clear air. In the past, you’d have people hang back waiting, not willing to overtake but conserve fuel and rubber and wait for the car to make his fuel stop, then blitz an in lap and overtake in the pits. Oh it was so exciting! Again I talk of the norm here.

        If you don’t like it fine but what’s ridiculous is this rose tinted view of the late 90s and 2000s. Plenty of classic races, sure, but there were many, many times I remember the commentators joke to each other “How are we going to fill another 60 minutes of this!”

        I’m not saying I want egg shells: make the tyres a bit tougher, and less sensitive to hit the operating window. But Pirelli have to be careful if they tweak things too far; the teams will improve and eventually become too good for the rubber.

      3. BRad says:

        I watched the race again last night. Wanted to get a second take and catch the parts I and commentators missed. I’m more convinced now of what I said to start with.

        You said,”Forget the tyres, it’s always the case that your best chance of gaining positions is in the first lap or two before things settle.”

        I’ve never seen so much overtaking in the last 20 years of F1 and i wasn’t all in the first 2 laps! Webber took 13 places in 7 laps.

        Seb took the lead early with some super agressive driving and a bit of luck, then it was just a typical Seb script after that. He didn’t have anyone to race accepted lap times.

        I find it strange how some F1 fans see a race very different to what really is going on. Maybe you should watch the race again. Sounds like you missed quite a bit.

        Like I said……

      4. James Allen says:

        I think part of the problem is that there is too much going on at times!

        It’s gone from being a football match where the score could be 1-0 or 2-0 to an NBA game where is 94-92 at the end.

      5. Craig D says:

        I was just referring how you seemed to have a go Vettel was so keen to overtake early on. Of course there was lots of overtaking throughout.

        I suppose this is like debating religion: pointless!

        I can see that some want a different type of racing, namely flat out sprinting where the driver is always on attack. Can they keep up that attack for 70 laps? Will they make a mistake? Will they crack?

        I can see how that’s good, in principle. But to have that implies reducing the variables on play as you can’t have that singular type of racing with tyres that degrade; they necessitate managing your race in parts by definition. And without such tyres, we won’t have the variable pitstop strategies and all that brings with it (e.g. Kimi coming through on his alternate strategy). If all cars are running to same set of conditions at a given time, you will get more status quo, processional racing as we had in this now infamous “past”!

        For me feel in practice that racing won’t be as interesting as the racing we have today. There certainly won’t be as much action, which for me is still a fair playing field. I like seeing drivers and teams rewarded for BOTH pace and out-smarting their opponents, thinking of the big picture with strategy, having the driver have to think more and manage the resources and tools he has in his hand. The increased variables leads to more uncertainty over event (which doesn’t equate to random unfairness).

        Sometimes the balance is off but I like the concept overall. And I like the fact I can’t be 99% certain who’s going to get pole and win a race, unlike in the past. And do we need DRS now perhaps? Reducing/removing that could bring an air of stability to proceedings and more tension perhaps, I don’t know?

    3. Grant says:

      “It took till half race till Hamilton came into the picture! We didn’t see him till the last 25 laps! Good end for him”

      That’s what you you have to do, to get performance out of these Pirellis.

      1. Craig D says:

        Hamilton wasn’t really managing his tyres in the first half. He admitted he was nowhere then his car came alive (possibly due to the temperature dropping). An issue for Mercedes to work on that other teams didn’t have – clever them.

      2. Grant says:

        My point exactly!
        He was lucky the car didn’t allow him to race earlier on, if it did, he probably would have ended up behind Rosburg.

        Drivers hardly make driving errors lately coz they are just not pushing or being pushed…
        When was the last time an F1 driver won a race under pressure??
        Now we just settle the scraps for 4th or 3rd or wherever there’s a tyre scramble.

    4. Andrew M says:

      2003 vs 2013. We’ll see, but at the moment I’d take 2003 pretty comfortably.

  14. DK says:

    Didn’t get to watch the first third of the race but was following the live commentary. Boy, the amount of racing in this race is tremendous!

    Enjoy watching the wheel to wheel actions from many and no majar incidents. Many good drives from the top ten finishers.

    I guess Perez just took his boss’s advice to be aggressive and there he is.

    I just fear Vettel’s RBR is going to be unstoppable from now on.

    1. Random 79 says:

      I’m amazed that we’re four races in now and still no safety car.

      Full credit to all the drivers, they’re doing a fantastic job.

      1. Grant says:

        No one is making a mistake, because no one is really pushing…..

      2. James Allen says:

        Take a look at the Race History graph on the new Strategy Report.

        You’ll see some drivers pushing (look at strong upward lines)

      3. Random 79 says:

        If your of the ‘no one pushes because of Pirelli’ school of thought, then you could argue that the driver haven’t been pushing for the last two years, yet they’ve still had safety cars.

        I would argue that quite a few drivers were pushing pretty hard in Bahrain – regardless of and in spite of the tyres – and that a few were being very aggressive, but still – by and large – they avoided taking each other out.

        Some of the moves I saw could have easily resulted in a mess, but they didn’t.

        I call that skill and – again – full credit to them.

  15. Rose Water says:

    Impressed by Kimi.

    2 stops????

    On his final stints he was still lapping faster than his teammate on medium tyre and started to pull away.

  16. danny11 says:

    I am upset that despite the fact that the Bulls have Newey on their team and that they are fastest car now for last 3. seasons Pirelli decided to play their fiddle and change tires for the race even though most of the teams (read; Ferrari, Lotus, Force India…) were not complaining. Isn’t it enough that they are constantly pardoned for their driving. (We all have seen how Webber was doing while defending against Lewis, he was all over the place. And we will see that he will not get penalized for bumping into Roseberg. F1 is becoming a big joke with allowing big money and the politics to run it. I don’t care if Bulls can’t save soft tires, it’s their problem!!! Pirelli wake up and s the stop ruining everybody else for the sake of Red Bull!!!!!

    1. They didn’t do it for Red Bull. They did it to save face. In Free Practice in China, drivers were finding it difficult to make a set of soft tyres last for a full quali lap. They just about had it sussed by Q3. The soft tyres simply wouldn’t have lasted a full quali lap in Bahrain.

      1. Craig D says:

        The change of tyres for Bahrain was made before the China event. You probably won’t accept that though.

      2. Of course I wont accept that. There’s not a single credible source that mentions the change dated *before* the Chinese Grand Prix. If you can find one, I’ll happily eat my words.

      3. Random 79 says:

        Agreed.

      4. Tim says:

        Of course I wont accept that. There’s not a single credible source that mentions the change dated *before* the Chinese Grand Prix. If you can find one, I’ll happily eat my words……..

        Best get your knife and fork ready :-)

        I copied the paragraph below, from James Allen article 17.4.13.

        And one important detail to note is that Pirelli has changed the tyre specification for this weekend from the soft compound tyres which proved short-lived in China, to mediums, which have been used in every race so far. Alongside this tyre is the hard compound, which was used in Malaysia. Due to lead times and logistics, this decision will have been made before the Chinese weekend.

      5. That article was posted *after* the Chinese Grand Prix. And it *speculates* that the decision had to have been made before China due to logistics and lead times. Read my post on that very article to see my reasoning why that paragraph is inaccurate and misleading.

        Think about it. If Pirelli had made the decision around Malaysia time (as James Allen claims in his response to my post on that thread), why would they wait until after China to announce it – giving the teams no time to prepare?

      6. Tim says:

        The article in question does not speculate at all. James Allen, the well respected F1 journalist, published author and television and radio commentator states it is a fact. He even clarifies this as ‘something he knows to be true’ in his reply to your *speculation* that there is some sort of cover up taking place!
        Think about it. Why would James Allen and other F1 journalists, for that matter, wish to help Pirelli save face and join in with ‘the cover up’?

      7. What other journalists? The only two sources I’ve seen quoting that they ‘know’ the decision was made before China are Paul Hembry, who clearly has an agenda, and James Allen who, while I respect as a journalist/reporter, cannot provide any link to confirm that the decision was made before China. And this site is sponsored by Pirelli…

      8. Tim says:

        How about the BBC, do they have an agenda or are they in cahoots with Pirelli?
        Here is the link.
        http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/formula1/22167807

        The decision to bring the hard and medium compounds was made after the Malaysian Grand Prix, a similar track.

        Or Sky Sports?
        Here is the link.
        http://www1.skysports.com/formula-1/news/12433/8643525/Pirelli-change-tyre-allocation-for-Bahrain-GP-with-soft-dropped-in-favour-of-medium

        the spokesman made clear that the decision to bring the medium tyre to Bahrain had already been made prior to Shanghai, with the decision communicated to the teams two weeks ago.

        Or Autosport?

        Here is the link.
        http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/106854

        Pirelli had originally allocated the soft and hard compound but decided in the wake of the Malaysian Grand Prix to use the medium in place of the former

        Now, where did you put your knife and fork? :-)

    2. Quade says:

      Drivers from Ferrari (Alonso) and Force India (Di Resta) have complained about the tyres.
      I don’t think there is a single F1 driver that likes the tyres, they may tow the team line, but they hate the tyres.

      Team bosses from Mclaren, Merc and Red Bull have complained about the tyres too.

      The fans have been even louder still.

      There is certainly more than enough reason to provide sensible tyres.

    3. Me says:

      I don’t recall the harder tyres helping Webber much…

  17. King says:

    I thought Hamilton couldn’t look after his tyres?
    and Button vice versa? What happened today?

    Very impressed with the Lotus car, they just need to improve their quali pace now and they will challenge Redbull
    As for Ferrari both Alonso and Massa are getting the same luck Lewis had last year

  18. Nick says:

    Would love to see Red Bull complain about the Pirelli tires now. 2 wins from the first 4 races and leading both the championships surely can’t be that bad.
    Vettel was in a league of his own and the aggressive overtakes by the leading trio were fun to watch.
    Kudos to Rosberg for fighting it out and not giving up. It’s a shame that he’s not got better equipment.
    A very good drive by Kimi considering that drivers around him were struggling even on 3 stops.

    1. Rockie says:

      They have complained already.

    2. Me says:

      If any team find that the tyres are not to their liking, don’t you think they’re going to complain?

      1. Nick says:

        So they want both the titles gift wrapped and delivered to their headquarters ?
        I don’t see them struggling in the same way as Mercedes. 3 titles in 3 seasons has only fueled their sense of entitlement just like Ferrari were spoiled by their success during Schumacher’s time.
        F1 is about innovation and challenges and it would help their image if they got on with it instead of complaining like spoiled children.

      2. Me says:

        I’m sure like any team, they would very much like to have both titles gift wrapped and delivered, alas that does not happen.

        Help their image?, I’m sure they’re more concerned about winning races.

      3. Nick says:

        @ Me, surely they’re not it for charity. It’s about money, a publicity bandwagon and visibility. Probably you could explain how bad press and image will help them garner support (fans and finance) in a sport where fortunes are so fickle.

  19. Manished says:

    for those asking for harder rubber. Think again.

    It will just be another 2011 if pirelli did that.

  20. Val from montreal says:

    Ayrton Senna : Fastest of his generation

    Michael Schumacher : Fastest of all time , including his generation

    Kimi Raikkonen : Fastest of his generation , Post Schumacher era

    Sebastian Vettel : Fastest of his generation

    Vettel will become the winningest driver in the post Schumacher era come Spa-Francorchamps this august !

    Michael Schumacher : 91 wins
    Alain Prost : 51 wins
    Ayrton Senna : 41 wins
    Fernando Alonso : 31 wins
    Nigel Mansell : 31 wins
    Sebastian Vettel : 28 wins , and counting ….

    1. Alexander Supertramp says:

      91 wins, simply insane..

    2. Alexander says:

      What a nonsense, Ayrton Senna was by far the fastest of all time, percentage of pole positions over races started and taking 1 second off with the same car to Alain Prost. Schumacher never had a good team mate to fight with.

      1. Dace C says:

        I don’t think its nonsense schumi started his career in a more convincing fashion, I mean never driven at Spa or the Jordan car and straight away into quali and 5th on the grid with a slow car unbelievable, the real acid test to show Michael was probably a more complete and slightly faster driver has to be the first few races in 1994, in a V8 powered Benetton which was 100hp down on Senna’s Williams Schumacher out raced Senna at the Pacific and Brazilian GP, at Brazil Senna made a mistake in trying to keep up clearly driving beyond his limits, and for people saying the Benetton had gizmos on it to be faster than Williams was false because whatever it had on it the Newey designed FW14 of Senna was the fastest chassis and a much more powerful engine, just compare the team mates, Hill wasn’t far off Senna and Schumacher was light years ahead of whoever he raced. To this day most people still believe Senna’s crash at Imola was just pushing beyond his limits all because Schumacher easily kept within touching distant and Senna knew Schumi was going to probably get his at the pitstops again, whatever he did he couldn’t shake the Benetton. You say Senna had stronger team mates but to be honest the best team mate he had during his time was Prost, not the fastest driver by any means and if you had put Prost in the 1994 and 1995 Benetton he would have been blown away so hard by Shumacher it wouldn’t have been worth watching, even Prost himself turned down a 1996 drive alongside Schumacher at Ferrari because he admitted he couldn’t possibly win, true MS should have raced stronger team mates like Hakkinen, Raikkonen, Montoya, Villeneuve or even Hill but in my opinion he would have beaten them easily, he beat Rubens comfortably for 99% of the time and he beat Massa even when age wasn’t on his side anymore, a prime 1995-2001 Schumacher would have beaten Alonso and Hamilton so all in all yes Schumacher was faster and more consistent than Senna maybe barring a few occasions in my opinion Senna was slightly overrated and even himself would be embarrassed on the current grid, as for Vettel well he is still human and he can lose form or interest so time will tell if he’s got what it takes to join Michael, Senna and Fangio but its not a bad first 1/3 of his career so far is it, if he just continue what his doing then Schumi’s 7 titles are under threat, need someone else to stop him like when Alonso came along to stop Schumacher, but Alonso himself is failing to derail Vettel, its a theme that started in 2010 and will probably continue for most part of this decade.

      2. Alexander says:

        A mistake it was actually a Toleman no a Brabham

      3. Alexander says:

        I would recommend you to read bbc web page “best 20 drivers of all times” and many pools done to pilots, sports journalists, and team owners, every body reach the same conclusion Senna was the best, so to say Sennas was overrated is an insult to all these people. If that is too much for you see top gear’s chapter on Senna. I can only see here emotionality without any facts to sustain your opinions. That year Bennetton weas the fastest car in the first half of the season, after Williams catch up later and almost won the championship but one of Schumacher’s dirty tricks avoided it, and also the car had traction control that year which was banned based on what Schumacher’s teammate said. Also Schumacher never outqualified for more than 1 second any of his teammates, nor he won a race with really bad car, Senna almost won in his first season with a Toleman.

      4. Val from montreal says:

        @ Alexander …

        ”Also Schumacher never outqualified for more than 1 second any of his teammates”

        Your right , he outqualified them by sometimes more than 2 seconds !!

        Suzuka 1998,Schumacher out qualifyed team mate Eddie Irvine by an incredible 2 seconds with 2nd on the grid Hakkinen out qualifying team mate David Coulthard by a second.

        Top Gear and BBC will always have their OWN views , no surprise there …

        The Schumacher books that I’ve read has got dozens upon dozens of ex-F1 drivers, ex team-bosses etc who all claim he’s the best ever and the fastest … Here’s just a few ;

        Ross Brawn
        Flavio Briatore
        Jean Todt
        Bernie Ecclostone
        Max Mosley
        Alain Prost
        Mika Hakkinen
        Damon Hill
        Martin Brundle
        Eddie Irvine
        Peter Sauber
        Murray Walker
        Eddie Jordan
        John Watson
        Charlie Rose (60-minutes CBS journalist)
        Michael Andretti

        They all go into detail on WHY he’s the best but it’s up to you to read those books and find out why …

      5. Alexander says:

        You read what you feel comfortable with, it’s funny because actually the one who speaks trough all the drivers in BBC web page is Murray Walker, and many of those drivers you mentioned there are showcast in top gear saying the contrary. Regarding outqualifying by two seconds Irvine and Coulthard, yes is such an achievement since both of them have many worldchampionsips under their belts. Again I can see only passion and emotions, no brain, no good facts to support the statements. And lastly, I think the only one who was in fact embarrassed with the actual grid was Schumacher, that’s a fact. Fangio in his 40′s was far more competitive than Schumacher was, that’s another fact. I’m just an amateur fan but my opinions are based on facts and ponderations.

      6. madmax says:

        The fastest over one lap Senna had as a teammate was not Prost but Mika Häkkinen who out qualified him in their first race together.

        Ya, after all 3 time world champion Piquet, championship runners up Patrese, Irvine, Barrichello, Massa where all no good??

    3. Random 79 says:

      Winningest: My new favourite word :)

      Small note: With respect, Senna might have done a little better in the standings had he lived.

      I’m not a Vettel fan, but yes, if he keeps this up he’ll almost certainly go second and there’s a good chance he’ll also beat Schumacher at some point in the future.

    4. Andrew M says:

      Michael Schumacher – faster than those F1 luminaries Martin Brundle, Riccardo Patrese, Jos Verstappen, Johnny Herbert, Eddie Irvine, Rubens Barrichello and Felipe Massa, most of which weren’t allowed to race on even terms with him contractually. A true legend.

      1. madmax says:

        You forgot 3 times world champion Nelson Piquet who Schumacher out qualified 4 times in a row in 1991 in his first 4 races with Piquet’s team and his first couple of races driving a formula 1 car.

        Barrichello – record for most starts in F1, showed he was more than a match for Button on many occasions at Honda/Brawn and had the highly rated Hulkenberg well under control in Hulk’s rookie year.

        Patrese – after Rubens and Schumi, the most experienced F1 driver of all time and championship runner up.

        Irvine – championship runner up and dragged an uncompetitive Jaguar unto the podium at Monaco.

        Massa – one corner away from being world champion and was very even with Kimi at Ferrari.

        Rubens when he signed to race for Ferrari and several times after denied it was in his contract to be number 2. He simply wasn’t good enough to challenge Schumacher unless for the rare occasion like the others.

      2. Andrew M says:

        Lots of runners up and nearly men in that list. Worth mentioning that Barrichello and Patrese only finished distant runner up to their teammates in dominant cars, and Irvine was only in contention because he was gifted two wins by faster drivers.

        Piquet is an exception, but he was very much in cruise and collect mode when Schumi came along. He retired straight after.

        I’m not saying Schumacher wasn’t a good driver, or even one of the best, but it’s a fact that he never went up against another great driver (or a driver most people would consider great) in equal cars. Prost, Senna, Hamilton, Alonso have all done that and come out pretty favourably. Schumacher never did, which is why I don’t consider him the best of all time.

      3. madmax says:

        See your point but look at Schumacher against the two other fastest drivers of his era post Senna which are likely Mika and Kimi.

        99% would consider he beat Mika in 2000 in a slower car and nearly in 1998 in a much inferior car. He was well in control of Massa in 2006 in already an advanced age of 38 and this same Massa was very even with Kimi in the same car the next 2 and half years until his accident.

        As for Piquet he was 3rd in the drivers championship the season before and scored 3 wins in the last 12 months post Schumacher so can’t have been that shot as a driver and its fair to say Schumacher’s performance had a lot to do with his retirement.

        Will agree Hamilton being a rookie came out of 2007 good, Alonso certainly didn’t!

  21. Rob says:

    Nico was terrible – was that the worst drop from P1 of all time?

    I guess DRS turns the driver in front into a sitting duck… so I should not be that surprised.

    On the positive side, it was great to see some non-DRS overtakes – they are vastly superior to the DRS charity rubbish.

    It was fun watching Perez almost taking out Button, and himself… Button got beat by a poor teammate with a broken wing… time for McLaren to wake up.

    1. Random 79 says:

      Nico was fantastic, the car less so…

      Nico was aggressive, the car more so…

      Merc really need to get on top of the tyre chewing, then they’ll be a force to be reckoned with.

  22. John M says:

    Firstly (not a fan,but) what a dominant drive by SV and that Red Bull……..

    But what about the mistakes…..

    - F1 cant get its in car systems working after 4 races and well over a month of the issue being known. I thought this sport was supposed to be high tech?

    - Yet another car with a DRS defaulting in the open position… I thought they were supposed to default the other way around…

    - Massa hits something and goes backwards….

    - McLaren goes backwards…..

    - Williams goes backwards

    - Sauber goes backwards

    - Merc still consumes tyres faster than much of the field after lengthy development. (Daimler is watching)

    - Webber hits someone…

    - The stewards decide to have a tea party after the race and decide on the Webber incident tomorrow (I wonder if Hamilton needed to fight him?)

    - Tyres fall apart!!

    Apart from SVs Bull being fast, the other thing that stands out is that they don’t have these failures and their strategy is usually spot on.

    I have to say I’m starting to get disappointed by the rest of the field……..they just don’t seem up to speed (Pun intended)

    (P.S. I do acknowledged great progress by FI)

    1. Random 79 says:

      That’s a lot of points lol

      That telemetry failure by the FIA is ridiculous. How many millions do they pull in and they still can’t get some little lights to turn on in the cars?

      I wouldn’t say I was disappointed with the rest of the field, just more impressed by Vettel today.

      The rest of the field stayed (fairly) close together with some great racing – nothing to complain about there :)

    2. Dace C says:

      Its not correct to say Vettek’s strategies have been fine because at OZ the tyres fell apart and was lucky to make the podium, its exactly what happened to Rosberg but Rosberg didn’t have the ability like Seb to hold onto a podium, at Malaysia they brought Seb in too early for drys and then Webber backed him into Hamilton for Hamilton to overtake Vettel at the last pitstop, it was Seb’s driving that overtook both Hamilton and Webber to win the race even with botched strategy and infamous team orders, in China it was a mistake not to run Q3 as he would have a similar grid to Bahrain with a Mercedes at the front sure to drop off and be around Alonso and Massa on the grid, he could have beaten them, so strategies so far this season has been poor apart from Bahrain for Vettel but his driving is being underestimated yet again.

      1. Alexander says:

        Vettel driving is not underestimated is just well adjusted, he is winning with the fastest car and no fighting with a strong teammate. If he is able to pull another drive like the one he did in the toro rosso, things might change.

  23. Anne says:

    I´m going to buy Perez and t-shirt that says Keep Calm, Drive Smoothy.LOL!!!
    Both McLaren were decent but at the end one finished in P7 and the other in P10 so their effort didn´t pay off that much.

    Di Resta had a very good race. Rosberg was right yesterday when said he could not win. Lewis had a great drive and fight for P5 with Webber but he was never in a position to fight for more.

    Vettel and RB showed amazing pace.They seem unbeatable once again. Excellent podium for Kimi and Grosjean but they need a better qually pace if they want to win.

    Black Sunday for Ferrari. Alonso with broken DRS and Massa with and broken frontwing and 2 blown tyres.

  24. F1Fan4Life says:

    James, I’m baffled by Ferrari and how incompetent they seem unless I am wrong. If I’m not mistaken, this is the 3rd time at least in the last couple of years that they’ve had malfunctions or problems with Alonso’s DRS. This would be fine if it was normal, but the only other person I’m aware of is Webber who has had DRS issues once I recall. Is there any specific new reason, or is this a ‘top’ team just not fixing a problem once and for all? And on Twitter later they claim it was “bad luck” this weekend, but DRS integrity is your responsibility. Pathetic. Every other younger team seemed to have no DRS issues today. Are they in the Geriatric stage of F1 teams? Bad luck by not forcing Alonso to come in in Malaysia, bad luck by not having a decent wing in Bahrain. This is more like a limp horse than a prancing one. Someone update the logo.

    Is it just me or was Rosberg hard done by in the Webber collision. What bothers me more though, is that it would only be dealt with after the race. Why? Isn’t the telemetry and video enough? Do they need to ask each driver how they were feeling before and after the collision before deciding? Just an observation but, in the past they used to mete out a simple drive through or stop and go, now you can fully collide and not even tend to it during the race.

    1. Elie says:

      Ferrari have had the most reliable car for years and you worry about a single DRSfailure .. When Red Bull have had numerous KERS failure, overheating alternators, other,Mclaren – engine, gearbox, KERS failures, hydraulics, Similar scenarios for Lotus. Honestly there’s no pleasing some people

      1. F1Fan4Life says:

        I guess you don’t read the entire comment but my whole point was that Ferrari have had DRS problems before on Alonso’s car. I don’t believe a top team should have the same issue several times. No pleasing me? I’d be pleased if my comment was read fully at least…

    2. Random 79 says:

      Geriatric? They are 60+ years old ;)

      A DRS failure every now and again is acceptable – it’s not going to kill your car if it fails after all – but to risk another pit stop by using it again was a bit silly I think.

  25. Brace says:

    Why didn’t Ferrari just tell Alonso to try to open and close his DRS while he was stationary in the pits during his first stop? It would have taken 2-3 seconds top, they would have seen it’s not working and would have told him not to use it anymore. Instead they sent him out to try it out in the middle of the track, just to find out it’s not working and made sure they lost another 20 seconds by stopping again.

    1. Jake says:

      There is no force from the air pressure acting on the wing while the car is stopped so testing it there would not prove anything.

    2. Don’t drivers have to hold the breaks on in the pits?

      1. Me says:

        Brakes!

    3. Don’t drivers have to hold the breaks on in the pit lane?

    4. Peter says:

      It was the airflow pushing the element upward and jamming it in place. You don’t have airflow when you’re stationary, so a test would have been a waste of time.

    5. Sasa says:

      Because its the force of the wind that makes it inverted.

    6. Yago says:

      Hi Brace,

      DRS mechanism is deactivated until you get within a seond of the car in front in the activation point. Then you push the button in the DRS zone and it opens up. If you press the button in any other part of the circuit or if you press it in the DRS zone but you weren’t within a second of another car in the activation zone the DRS will not open up. This is why they could not do what you are proposing.

  26. Elie says:

    Congrats to Sebastian Vettel that was a great drive especially at the start. But also a fantastic effort by Lotus to get both remaining podiums,

    This underlines though that Lotus race pace is only via longevity of it it’s tyres. They must find some pace to compete with Red Bull & Ferrari otherwise they will be left behind . Lotus were very lucky both Ferraris had issues today . Bring on this DDRS

    Great drive also by Di Resta and FI must be rueing Sutils clash earlier otherwise they may have come away with more points than Mercedes & Mclaren !

    1. Alexander Supertramp says:

      Had the same feeling about Lotus..

    2. nns2703 says:

      Sutil was way faster then Di Resta. He could have easily finished P2 without 1st lap incident.

      1. Random 79 says:

        P2 maybe, podium for sure :)

        He’ll get there.

      2. Me says:

        Agree with this…

  27. Lol says:

    Sauber is getting back a lot of karma for sacking Kobayashi for a bag of money. Ironically, that bag of money already cost them more money then they earned from it.

    Good drives by Vettel, Perez, Kimi and Hamilton.

    And we all saw that a race gets more exciting and ‘real’ when the tyres become less dominant, aftre Pirelli was forced to change the compund for this weekend (yeah yeah, they can PR talk all they want about how it was planned).

    They can still be even less dominant because the reason F1 has more overtakes is because of DRS and KERS use (see brilliant move by Vettel on Alonso).

    Cheese tyres only aid driving as slow as possible without defending. Now the drivers had harder more durable tyres and see what a cracker of a race we got.

    1. Random 79 says:

      Cheese tyres: Bad.
      Super durable tyres: Bad.

      Middle ground: Awesome!

      Take a lesson Pirelli.

    2. I remember seeing a tweet from Sauber after the race and thinking ‘oh yea, they were there too’! Did they even feature once in the coverage?

    3. Craig D says:

      The tyres weren’t actually that super durable else we’d have had 1 and 2 stop races, instead of 2 and 3 (and 4 for the ones who really couldn’t cope).

      Paul Hembery made an interesting point that races like Bahrain are extreme events. If they had a suite of tyres built around events like this (say the medium was actually hard) then they risk having tyres that are too robust for the more temperate European events, and they wouldn’t then be hitting their remit of 2 stops races.

      Pirelli got it pretty spot on I felt (but not for everyone, fair enough).

      I agree the tyres shouldn’t be too soft and dominate a car’s performance. China felt empty for me but here was a good middle ground. You could fight. There was a performance advantage to be had for pitting and attacking. But there was also the opportunity to gain a good race from a more conservative approach (like Di Resta). And if you overdid it, you suffered.

  28. jmv says:

    Where is Vettel´s respect for women?

    Podium interview SV: “I am not a woman, I don´t lift my legs”

    I was completely baffled but his response… and I rate Vettel highly when it comes to modesty, intelligence, respectfulness… this was really… umm… unfortunate.

    I hope he apologizes.

    That aside: great drives by the podium finishers!

    1. BRad says:

      Very Strange……or perhaps not for Seb!

  29. Len says:

    Awful race for Ferrari. I have no words.

    Amazing drive from Vettel. A deserved win.

    1. Len says:

      And I can’t help but think that if Alonso didn’t make mistakes in Q3 and took the pole, he wouldn’t have had to use DRS so much and maybe it wouldn’t have broken–and he could have won the race easily. But oh well… Alonso has never been a qualifying king like Vettel and Lewis.

      And I couldn’t believe my eyes when Vettel passed him. What the heck? Ferrari’s max speed is miles better than RBR’s! And yet Vettel passed him so easily and without DRS. Amazing. Just amazing.

  30. Goldeneye76 says:

    For the first time in years i fell asleep in the middle of the race and then switched over before the end. I fear that Red Bull/Vettel domination is going to repeat the dire Schumacher/ferrari years

    1. Random 79 says:

      Are you kidding?

      Forget Vettel: You missed the best race this season!

    2. Me says:

      Did you also fall asleep in the middle of the Chinese GP?

    3. Aaron says:

      It was boring at the front, but there was a lot of good racing going on in the midfield. Hamilton, Webber, Button, Perez, Rosberg & Massa in particular were fighting lap after lap.

  31. JohnBt says:

    From the four races Bahrain is the most exciting. First four laps is what F1 needs, fantastic racing and passes swapped.
    Despite Vettel disappearing, many close battles went on.

    Unlucky Alonso. DRS-less for more than two thirds of the race, what a damper.

    Raikkonen without much fanfare moved up in a slow and steady wins the race mode. Great driving. Grosjean deserved the final podium.

    Vettel was sublime!

    1. Stuart Harrison says:

      It’s just a shame that there isn’t fighting like that over the top step of the podium. Aside from the first couple of laps, we barely got a glimpse of Vettel until the final half-lap. While Vettel very much deserved to be leading the race, I hope this isn’t a portent of what’s to come – a repeat of 2011 would not be welcome.

      I’m not sure what can be done about the show – clearly the tyres are dominating presently, but the curiosity is in the practice sessions. Certain teams or drivers can show very strong hands during FP1-3 and yet be nowhere come Qualifying, but then race like they’ve been given rocket boost. It’s very confusing and impossible to predict. I’m still not sure whether that’s a good thing.

      Mercedes had a strange race by all accounts – Hamilton spent the first half of the race going backwards, then suddenly found something and ended 5th from a start of 9th. Rosberg was racy for the first half, then spent the second half going backwards. Boggle!

  32. Andy says:

    Does anyone know the name of the company that is responsible for drs control, blue flags etc, for the drivers? There seems to be a lot of talk about it but no one seems to be naming names for some reason.

    1. Rich_M says:

      I thought it was the new ECU made by McLaren and supplied to all the teams? Still some problems.

      1. Andy says:

        A journalist spoke of a ‘new supplier’ so I discounted the ECU from McLaren. I thought it was more of a problem at the comms end.

    2. Pete says:

      I think it’s Maclaren isn’t it?

    3. mhilgtx says:

      Isn’t it Mclaren’s race control package? I think last weeks yellow-drs issue was human error though.

  33. [MISTER] says:

    Amazing race by Alonso to finish 37s behind Vettel having no DRS, stopping early and then another stop..and running behind cars like Maldonado and battling with Perez etc. Only 37 sec behind Vettel who ran the whole race in clean air.

    Massa and Hamilton lost out this weekend because of tyres. There was clearly something wrong with those tyres to fail like that.

    Very dissapointed of how F1 ended up because of this very high dependance of the tyres.

    1. anon says:

      Alonso was solid but he effectively only had an extra stop because he had to change tyres in the first stop.

      The Ferrari had the best race pace, so no surprise that he was still able to pass midfield teams.

      Also, Vettel and Kimi didn’t really have the benefit of DRS for most of the day since they were well clear of the field.

      1. F1Fan4Life says:

        The Ferrari had the best race pace? That isn’t something you could prove, at all…at all. Vettel and Kimi didn’t have the benefit of DRS? Kimi did, and no one needs DRS if they aren’t stuck behind anyone, so it evens out. If we’re just making assumptions here, don’t hope to be taken seriously. The Red Bull could have finished 10 seconds further up if they wanted to. The 37 seconds isn’t comparable.

      2. anon says:

        Kimi could have finished further up too if he pushed, but there wasn’t any need.

        Can you prove the Ferrari didn’t have the best race pace??? All weekend all indications pointed towards Ferrari being the team to beat. Alonso showed great pace during the race.

        The cars are so evenly matched at the front it’s not worth splitting hairs. The best man won plain and simple. Vettel’s daring pass on Alonso set it up for him.

      3. F1Fan4Life says:

        Um, okay. Simple proof of them not having the best pace is they qualified on the second row. A driver that qualified ahead of them set the fastest lap without DRS, so empirically faster in qualifying and the race. The best Ferrari driver only has the 3rd fastest lap of the race. What evidence do you actually have apart from the questionable opinion from your seat? Also, most importantly, they had DRS failures and tyre failures.

      4. anon says:

        “Um, okay. Simple proof of them not having the best pace is they qualified on the second row.”

        That’s because Alonso made two mistakes on his final lap. He made errors — again. Like on the corner before Vettel passed him, like when he decided to stay out in Sepang despite the team waiting for in in the pits, like when he decided to use the DRS again despite it being an obvious failure.

      5. happycloud says:

        Wow anon, Alonso must be losing sleep over your list of his ‘errors’ LOL. All those errors and he’s still voted and widely recognized by actual people in F1 as the best driver on the grid. Good job Alo! Stick to your day job anon.

    2. Dave C says:

      Actually Hamilton gained because of the tyres this race as he didn’t have to fight as much as Nico and Button did, Vettel was cruising the whole race and was clearly much faster than anyone today, Webber was the true indication of Redbull pace right now if flat out Vettel probably would have finished 1 minute ahead of Alonso who had a faster race car anyway. Well done to Kimi and Perez both top drives also Di Resta, Grosjean and Hamilton all did well too.

    3. Siobhan says:

      The Ferrari, especially in the hands of Alonso, seems to be a very fast package. As stated, he was without DRS for most of the race and yet he managed to overtake other cars who had DRS open at the end of the race. Top speed on that car must be amazing

  34. Harry says:

    Perez owned Button. Can’t believe JB moaning about it. It’s called ‘racing’. Not ‘time trials with some RS passing’.

    [mod]

    1. Paul says:

      ‘Owned’ how old are you?

      Perez did great today but one race of aggression is not enough, especially with the big coincidence the rich mexican was there watching.

      Lets see if he can beat Button regular or if its just a flash in the pan.

    2. Craig D says:

      It was the aggression he was unhappy with. The rear end tap could have end in disaster for both. Button himself was very aggressive after, driving him off the road. I think both were nearing the edge of being overly aggressive but it was very difficult for a car to break out of DRS quickly enough after overtaking, hence the constant see-sawing of positions.

      As I said before though, it would have been sensible if the team had told them to race together for a bit and set a better pace together. When they squabbled they were clear of Rosberg behind and catching Webber. They lost that freedom.

      Of course they’re there to race though but I think they could have worked together as a team. Perez may have beaten Webber then and Button perhaps gained a few places as well.

    3. Thompson says:

      A bit harsh, but thats the thing when you are expected to come out on top in such cases – the critic will get brutal.
      Button was lucky in that the past few years the focus was not on him, now it is…

      Actually just a thought, I could’nt tell you the last time I saw his old man or his ‘girlfriend’…..

      Perez….. he looks like his made up his mind, lets see how he go’s.

    4. Sensei.GT says:

      +1

      Also a great move by Perez on Alonso!

    5. Parazar says:

      Ironically, it’s the DRS that helped Perez overtake Button.

    6. NickH says:

      +1. button was just embarrassed Perez was faster. Also, buttons driving was just as aggressive, brundle even thought button was at fault at certain moments and not Perez

    7. JCA says:

      As DC said, rule nr. 1 don’t hit your teammate. There’s hard racing and then there’s over aggressive GP2 racing.

      1. Elie says:

        +1 Im no fan of Button and I do hope Perez beats him but that driving on Sunday was just plain stupid by Perez and he knows it- said it was over aggressive too. It just did neither of them any favours and almost took both cars out.

    8. Mike from Colombia says:

      I think McLaren owe JB a little more respect than allowing Perez from being so aggressive against him and banging wheels. #

      Perez should have been reigned-in.

      1. JohnBt says:

        Well, Martin only didn’t like it when Perez hit Button’s rear SLIGHTLY and a tiny bit launched to the sky. Other than that it’s racing which was superb.

      2. Michael says:

        The whole situation was down to McLaren’s pitstop strategy, pitting the second car before the first and putting Button out behind both Rosberg and Perez. Running in the dirty air/having Perez’s overly aggressive defending damaged Button’s tyres, hence Perez with his overtaking antics and early pitstop in the next phase.

        This was the problem and yet no one seems to realise this was the reason Button was so annoyed at the end of the race.

      3. anon says:

        Carlos Slim will be paying the bills next year. I can assure you that he won’t invest 10′s of millions or potentially hundreds of millions in order to have British driver win!

        Kind of like how a certain Spanish company hasn’t invested $100m+ to have a Brazilian win races.

        I expect JB to have more tyre trouble is what I’m saying.

  35. unF1nnished business says:

    A very good performance from Vettel. Kimi and Romain too, however, I’m sure there will be some “what ifs” had both drivers qualified further up the grid. Not sure if they had the pace of Vettel’s Red Bull but nonetheless woulda been a closer fight towards the end.

    1. Ben says:

      i dont see anyone beating the bulls.

      almost 1 sec faster than the front runners. and 2-3 sec faster than the rest.

      1. heh says:

        The Bulls? Webber was not 1 second a lap faster?

        It’s Vettel ;)

    2. Grant says:

      If Kimi and Romain had qualified higher their tyres would not have lasted.
      So there’s no ‘what if’ there.

    3. Elie says:

      Honestly people including so called pros got to get it in their heads that You cannot have a car that is much gentler on its tyres than every other car yet still be lightening quick in Quali. Yes they could be qualified maybe a few places higher- did they have the pace to match Seb ?- No they didn’t both Lotus drivers said so..why does everyone presume to understand the car and how to make strategy work better than these guys – especially when the team had already planned a 2 stopper on Friday !

      There is a huge difference of driving a car with 155kg to one that has 10kg with the current regulations – not been able to change the car post quali. Ferrari are brilliant at the compromise but even they can rarely go the distance that Lotus do.

      Kimi summed it up brilliantly on F1. com when asked to compare the tyres racing in different eras and he made the point that it was more the fuel loads they run now compared to before with refuelling that is having the biggest effect on the tyres and that you simply have to adjust your driving – which he does better than everyone on the grid -a true maestro if ever I saw one.

      1. unF1nnished business says:

        You make some very good points.

  36. DK says:

    Can somebody check it up through the history of F1, how often the driver who celebrate his milestone ( X hundred race )will end up disappointed in the race?

    I don’t have the facts but I remembered quite a long list in the last 13 years since I follow the sport.

    1. anon says:

      Schumacher won his 200th race. It was his 75th race win.

      Puts into perspective how good Schumacher was.

    2. Andrew Carter says:

      As far as I know Jenson’s the only one to have a good race on his milestone, winning his 200th.

      1. Spinodontosaurus says:

        Didn’t Massa convincingly win on his 100th, in Valencia 2008?

      2. lennyz says:

        Alonso won from his 200th start one week ago.

      3. Andrew Carter says:

        Bahrain was his and Webber’s 200th.

  37. CYeo says:

    What happened to Mark Webber? At some point he was 2nd, then began to fall further and further back?

    At the end, he was barely hanging on, just beating Alonso who came back all the way from 19th!

    At the interview with David Coulthard, what ‘charms’ was he pointing out on Vettel’s boots? The camera shots didn’t really show anything unsual or special.

    The footage switched to Horner & Newey looking bemused while Vettel was explaining.

    Do other drivers use good-luck charms as well?

    1. Tim says:

      I seem to recall Schumacher lost a necklace at Silverstone which was his lucky charm. He asked for the spectators to look out for it.
      Senna also used to wear one of his gloves inside out.
      Can’t think of any others off hand.

    2. Bring Back Murray says:

      Yes I was suprised how far off Webber was to Vettel in the end. Admittidly he started lower down but had worked his way back up. Maybe Vettel was in the lead nearly the whole race so didn’t have to use up his tyres overtaking and defending?

      And what happened to Rosberg? I thought it was Hamilton who couldn’t look after his tyres? It’s a bit of a tyre lottery at the moment isn’t it.

    3. Craig D says:

      Well Webber made his first stop early and was flying 2s a lap faster than anyone else initially . This got him up to what looked like 2nd place behind Vettel (he was 4s behind after Vettel pitted I think…)

      But Brundle said he hoped Mark wasn’t taking going too hard too soon. It worked short term and got him clear of the Button/Perez/Rosberg pack but of course long term he would likely suffer as others saved their rubber. This is likely why Webber fell backwards towards the end. I can see how Webber would be peeved (bit artificial at the end I think he said), but you’ve got to remember he got up there in the first place thanks to the taking the grip early before others had pitted. Can’t have your cake and eat it type thing. Strategy!

      1. Tealeaf says:

        Webber was making excuses for his poor performance, he was up to 2nd with clear air if he was fast enough he would of at least fought off the Lotus’s and got himself a podium but he just didn’t have the pace he can blame the tyres but Vettel, the Lotus’s, Perez, Hamilton and Alonso all did well fast and consistent, Mark was just too slow, even when he was pushing hard on fresher tyres Vettel still easily had the pace on him, the gulf in class between the Redbull drivers are too evidence, Vettel is much better, a real champion and a great racer, Webber is merely a good driver, time to leave RBR and swap seats with Kimi.

      2. Craig D says:

        I agree. Vettel was much better today. Switch the 2 drivers around at that early point in the race and I’m sure Vettel would have maintained second unlike Webber.

        Webber is good on his day but Vettel is on another level in certain conditions. I think it’s the whole rear end exhaust/coanada thing he specialises in. He seems to be very good at maintaining rear downforce/grip with it, which in turns protects the tyres. Whenever he truly excels over Webber it’s in these rear limited conditions.

      3. Dace C says:

        So why was Vettel faster than Webber at China on a front limited track? The excuse with the blown diffuser continues…

    4. Tealeaf says:

      Webber failed big time in the race, he just doesn’t have Vettel’s pace, if anything Seb’s flattering the car

      1. heh says:

        Newey said himself Vettel is flattering his cars. People underestimate how good Vettel is. I mean, most of his critics know he is one of the best of all time, but because he is beating their favorites they deny it.

    5. Tealeaf says:

      Webber will come good this season with 1 or 2 really good drives but his overall ability is nowhere near Vettel’s. Seb is a true champion and ready to join the greats even Alonso won’t be able to stop him.

    6. AJ says:

      I was wondering about this too.
      After making good progress on his new tyres after the first stop, Mark really seemed off the pace?

    7. Random 79 says:

      Yeah I support Mark, but this was not his best effort…

  38. anon says:

    What a move by Vettel at the start. Pressured Alonso into a small mistake then punished with a daring pass. Built enough of a gap so that even if Alonso didn’t have a problem it would have been difficult passing.

    Vettel was the difference. The Ferrari had the best race pace today, but not by a lot. Ferrari, Lotus and Red Bull all very similar.

    Kimi must be kicking himself that he was so dismal in qualifying. His car was good enough to win, but the driver wasn’t up to it.

    All credit to Vettel.

    1. Ben says:

      I dont see how Kimi could win despite starting 5th??

      The rbr was lapping around 1sec ++ faster on opening stint.

      And his fastest lap was almost 3 sec faster than kimi’s.

      Vettel was just cruising in the end.

      1. Tealeaf says:

        Yes the Ferrari had the fastest race car but it was only a small advantage at Bahrain compared with Redbull and Lotus, the difference was definitely Vettel, he was just plain faster than Fernando today no 2 ways about it, on today’s performance Vettel would have beaten Alonso if they were both team mates at Ferrari.

      2. krischar says:

        Totally delusional

        Vettel had no one to race in Bahrain such was the dominance of RBR’s Pace. Ferrari had no pace to compete with RBR in bahrain (China is different story though) RBR have made a step forward.

        Vettel was the difference what difference you are talking about ?

        Yes vettel is quicker today than fernando (Who had DRS failure and 4 stops)

        Vettel would have not won a single WDC in Ferrari (Vettel to beat alonso in ferrari alongside ? Joke of the Century)

        Vettel should be very thankful towards Marko horner and Newey Co

    2. dimitris says:

      Lotus had decided to have a two pit stop race on Friday. They compromised one-lap speed for rear tyre saving during the race and did a very good job. Kimi has said on many occasions that the Lotus is a difficult car to set up for both qualy and the race, the only exception so far being China. So, really, Kimi would have, even if Alonso did not have his mishap, a rather secure second place and a good chance for victory,if Vettel was not just perfect.

    3. KimiFan says:

      kimi had balance issues and the mediums werent there for him in quali he couldnt get them to temp

    4. Craig D says:

      We really didn’t get to see the true Ferrari race pace unfortunately. I think it would have been a good scrap between Alonso and Vettel today but I get the feeling Vettel had one of his invincible days!

      1. Alexander Supertramp says:

        So weird that the podium is a copy of last year.. James should look for an explanation there.

      2. Craig D says:

        Well we know Alonso would have featured if he could have. The real explanation I want is where were Lotus in quali?! Was it simply the drivers, or track temp, etc?

    5. quattro says:

      Talking is easy isn’t it. Could you at least try to back your statements with facts?
      You are even contradicting yourself, in your effort to make it look as VET outraced Ferrari, at a race where he raced no one but himself.

      “The Ferrari had the best race pace today, but not by a lot.”2

      Really…I think I will watch the race one more time…I seem to have missed something…

    6. Katrina says:

      According to Eric, focusing too much on hard compound performance cost them pace on softer compound as the car was getting difficult to drive in qualifying in response to track evolution.

      - We do not have a precise understanding of what went wrong. We understand that the situation turned around Friday. On Friday, we had trouble getting the tires to work harder, but we were very quick to softer tires. Our work on the car made it possible that we were able to work on Saturday, harder tires, but at the same time we lost with something softer. When we went to qualifying softer tires, the car balance was changed so radically that the car was difficult to drive, Boullier background to MTV3′s live TV interview.

    7. Hansb says:

      I didn’t see this Ferrari that had a better race pace than the Redbull of SV.

      1. anon says:

        Had great race pace. Showed it all weekend and in the race.

    8. Zinobia says:

      The Lotus is just not good in qualifying. There isn’t much more to it. Just like Mercedes are good in qualifying and not so good in the races.
      In two years the best Lotus has qualified has been 2nd and they have only done this twice. Clearly the car just isn’t so good in qualifying.

      Red Bull and Vettel was in a league of his own today, there is no way Lotus would have challenged him even if they did start higher up.

    9. John Mc says:

      “His [Kimi's] car was good enough to win, but the driver wasn’t up to it.”

      Absolute rubbish. The E21 is very sensitive car and they just didn’t have the pace in qualifying.

      1. anon says:

        Didn’t have the pace in Kimi’s hands. Kimi isn’t a noted qualifier. Vettel is and would have put that Lotus at least top 3.

        You don’t get 38 poles in 105 races by accident.

      2. Manisha says:

        Wasnt Kimi the one that put Lotus in 2nd place back in China gp???

        Wasnt kimi that got pole with extra 10+ laps of fuel in Monza 2005???

        You should watch more races before generalize the driver’s ability.

        Lotus already explained that they focus too much on hard tyre and it cost the car balance on medium tyre. Read more Team Report pls/

      3. Oly says:

        If Kimi ever joins RB that wunderkind myth will finally be busted.

  39. bearforce1 says:

    Vettel is a racer he overtook in the first two laps as needed and then continued to control the race.

    Lol at those that said Vettel can’t over take etc etc etc. Lulzzzzzz.

    1. Paul says:

      At the time Vettel was being accused of not been able to overtake HE COULDN’T thats a fact, look at the 2010 season for evidence.

      Since then hes grown as a driver.

    2. Rob says:

      Perez could have done the same in that Red Bull…

      Vettel’s only real competition is Webber – that equals no competition in reality.

      1. Tealeaf says:

        Perez gets constantly out qualified by Button who is a slow qualifier, Webber would beat Perez easily and as goes for Seb he would dominate Perez, in fact on today’s performance he was untouchable to the point he flattered the car, no wonder Webber’s scratching his head, not to say Mark is a poor driver, he out paced all his team mates including Rosberg until Vettel came along, give Seb some credit he would probably beat anybody on this grid over a season.

      2. krischar says:

        Mark is not a slouch at all

        He matched and out paced vettel on more than few races and kept vettel in complete check with the exception of 2011.

        I do not know what credit what has not been given. In fact vettel has been overcredited for his efforts and WDC”s

        I wish Mark atleast have 1 WDC before he retires. He is quick and more than a match for vettel (EVEN without RBR support)

    3. bearforce1 says:

      pps. I forgot, Vettel overtook Alonso and Rosberg without DRS.

      1. F1Fan4Life says:

        I think if your mentioning that mention that Vettel was overtaken by Alonso at the start also…without DRS…by being passed on the outside. So all he did on that was reclaim his spot. Praise Vettel all you want but he’s still not widely recognized as the best driver in F1. Lol at that I guess?

      2. Dace C says:

        Well I regard Vettel as the best and even the most hardcore english speaking fans and media knows deep down Vettel is the best, if he joined Ferrari next year the bookies would still have him as the favourites for the title.

    4. Dave C says:

      Vettel has done some of the best overtaking for a couple of years now, he keeps silencing the critics that bring up false deficiencies in his driving for e.g. ‘he can only win from pole’, ‘he can only win with the best car’, ‘he can’t overtake’, ‘he can only drive well with an blown diffuser’, in actual fact Vettel is the best driver on the grid even better than Alonso, most of Schumi’s records are under threat maybe even those 91 wins.

      1. Steven says:

        The passes from yesterday were all that great, he wasnt out breaking anybody…

      2. Me says:

        Braking!

    5. Timmay says:

      Vettel can’t overtake

      1. Random 79 says:

        …and that’s why he finished second.

        Hang on…

  40. Rob Newman says:

    A fantastic race and a dominant win by the triple world champion. Webber too had the same equipment. But Vettel proved why he is the better driver. I think it is high time Horner stopped saying ‘he is only 25, he is young etc. etc. We head that for the past three seasons.

    I don’t know why Button was complaining. He should have done what Vettel did in China and let the faster car overtake him instead of defending. Same goes for Rosberg. Both have been silly and they have only themselves to blame.

    Ferrari had the faster car for most of the weekend just like in China. It is sad what happened to Massa. He should have been on the podium.

  41. Schumilewis says:

    F1 = tyre conservation 1st , racing 2nd! Surely that’s not the right way round, these tyres are a step too extreme. I want to see the best drivers racing at 100% not 80% , I expect tyre conservation to be a factor in the race but not the overriding factor!

    1. Random 79 says:

      Pretty sure a few of the drivers were racing at 110% ;)

      1. schumilewis says:

        My point is most of the drivers who did race at 110% destroyed their tyres and went backwards ie.Rosberg,Webber and Button. Hamilton had such a quiet 1st half of the race he had looked after his tyres, I want to see good close racing but not for the drivers to feel they will destroy their tyres if they defend/attack!

      2. Random 79 says:

        I do see your point, but it’s a trade off.

        In many racing series with a decent number of laps any driver could drive at 110% and use up the tyres, or be patient and maybe come through at the end.

        Lewis had to look after the tyres more than most because of how hard the Merc is on them; in that respect he was arguably a bit smarter than Rosberg, but I was still very impressed with how hard Rosberg fought while he could.

        Pirelli do push the limits at times – China being a prime example – but I do think that in Bahrain they got it right, and I judge that solely on how much actual racing we saw.

        You don’t need to agree – and I’ll understand if you don’t – but try to look at the positives.

      3. Craig D says:

        Random summed it up well. +1

        To a greater a or less extent, that trade-off always exists, even in “old” F1. It’s not just the tyre wear too though – when you’re fighting lap after lap, everyone’s lap time suffers, potentially allowing someone behind to sneak through on the sly.

        I like that there’s not just one way to tackle a race. Keeps us all on our toes!

      4. Me says:

        I agree with Craig D, Random summed it up perfectly, plus “You don’t need to agree – and I’ll understand if you don’t – but try to look at the positives.” has to be one of the best things I’ve read, what do you think the chances are of him/her agreeing?

      5. Schumilewis says:

        I’ll always enjoy watching F1 even when there are things I don’t necessarily like. You put your points across very well and I loved the racing yesterday just hate seeing drivers fade due to borderline tyres.

      6. Random 79 says:

        Cheers :)

        It will be the same as last year – they’ll struggle with the tyres at first and then get on top of them.

        Plenty of great racing to come :)

  42. adam says:

    “Alonso lies in wait” hahaha!

  43. Vivek says:

    I think Bahrain was one of the best races in recent times. Lots of different strategies and no predicting who finishes were. Pirelli have done a super job and the criticism is slightly unfair.

    Alonso must have put in a super drive, to finish 8th after being nearly punted to the back of the field due to an unplanned stop and other limitations.

    Kimi – Please perfect your qualifying, so that you can be in the mix for the win too.

    1. Vivek says:

      Corrections:

      Once Alonso had the problem on Lap 7 and 8, there was going to be only 1 winner. Finishers below second place, were wonderfully unpredictable.

      Also, it is evident that had Lotus qualified well and Alonso did not have problems, then it would have been a 3 way scrap for the win.

  44. Pranav says:

    James and team,

    I have a question about F1 website. Why does it take them so long to put transcript of the post race interview on F1 website? Is there any technical/legal reason for it? Race was over 4 hrs back, there is still no information about post race interviews.

    1. [mod] says:

      DoS attack like last year?

  45. quattro says:

    A weekend to forget for Ferrari – both ALO and MAS – certainly so.

    How big are the odds of hitting problems first with the front wing and then with rear wing, within three races. Too low for me to risk any meaningful amounts of cash…And why did Ferrari not disable the DRS right after first pit stop??

    There is however positives to take away from this mess.
    ALO finished less than 40 seconds behind the winner and managed taking a few valuable points despite racing from dead last with no DRS. If you take into consideration the loss of ~20 seconds in the 2nd totally wasted (and uneccesary pit) stop, the difference is much less than the 40s. Add to that the badly compromized strategy due to the forced very early first stop… looking promising after all…

    The Ferrari also has proved to be competitive (in the hands of ALO) also in a totally different circuit to MAL – the traction requiring BRN circuit.

    1. Schumilewis says:

      I think you’ll find the front wing problem Alonso had was hitting the back of Vettel with it!

  46. matthew says:

    i thought lewis was brilliant.im suprised he’s not getting any credit for his performance.he started in 9th,fell back to 11th and still finished 5th.whereas nico started on pole and finshed where lewis started.very solid performance,and his battle at the end was great to watch.
    i also enjoyed the button vs perez battle.
    alonso did well to battle back after what happened to him,and di resta did a great job too.

    lewis now has 1 more point at this stage of the season,than he did at this stage last season.he is also already 36 points ahead of nico,and 3rd in the championship.
    i hope merc bring some strong updates to spain.

    1. Dace C says:

      There is only 1 problem for Hamilton and that is Vettel. It’ll be hard for Hamilton to ever beat Vettel to a championship even if their cars have similar pace, hell last year Hamilton had the fastest car but Seb still won the title, Lewis had better hope the 2014 and beyond Mercedes chassis and engine hold a significant advantage over whichever package Seb will be racing, the unstoppable train continues and I just wish British driver would properly challenge but I’m realistc I know the sport is dominated by Vettel and Alonso.

      1. Chris says:

        Lewis did have the fastest car for some parts of last season, I agree, so did Seb. But Lewis also had a car (and team) that failed far too many times too which kind of nullified the car’s true potential. Drivers are only as good as the machine they drive dude.

        James did a very good piece on this last year, well worth a read.

        http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2012/11/analysis-how-the-points-and-the-title-slipped-away-for-lewis-hamilton/

      2. krischar says:

        Correction

        Sport is dominated by Vettel and RBR ONLY

        When did alonso had dominated, or had a dominant car advantage ?

        Even this season F138 is better than F2012 Nothing more than that

        Lotus and RBR have matched and outpaced Ferrari in 2013

  47. goferet says:

    What a brilliant race that was, the best of the season so far.

    Lots of drivers woke up this race to come out and play including Di Resta, Perez, Grosjean and boy, did they put on a show.

    But first, mighty impressive showing by Vettel, it seems each season he’s becoming a better driver for the moves he pulled on Alonso and Rosberg at the start are up there with the best.

    Good controlled race by Di Resta and Kimi, unfortunately Di Resta missed out on a podium finish, he deserved it after a strong race.

    Thanks to Perez for providing most of the entertainment, he sure took Whitmarsh’s kick up the backside to heart.

    Unfortunately for Rosberg, he really suffered with the tyres and couldn’t convert his pole to at least a podium finish. It seems Lewis went for the race set up whereas Nico went for the qualifying set up.

    As for Ferrari, pretty bad luck for the team, all this on a day when their car looked pretty solid.

    All in all, pretty enjoyable day of racing, am glad F1 switched to the shorter circuit for it’s much better.

    1. Feral says:

      You saw the race as I did and loved The TV coverage of the battles in the pack…Bring on Spain :)

    2. Random 79 says:

      +1 on everything except for Ferrari.

      First failure was bad luck, second failure was silly.

  48. McHare says:

    Great race from start to finish although would prefer to see McLaren at the head of the field. Come on there down at MTC. 1.2 seconds needed for the next race please. F1 needs you at the head of the field.

    Would like to congratulate the Vet. If anyone out there thinks its all car just ask yourself where Webber consistently winds up!

    Can’t understand why Massa wasn’t investigated for taking Sutil out on the first lap.

    1. Dace C says:

      Wow a Mclaren supporter thats rare these days, I agree it would be nice for Button to fight for the title, will it happen again in his career? Maybe.

      1. Random 79 says:

        The McLaren supporters are out there, gathering in the shadows, getting ready to fire up their Civics :)

  49. Dom says:

    VET: 1.36 at the end of the race, 9 secs ahead. That’s dominant. Not just the car, either… Where’s his team mate?

    RAI: Did all that could be asked. P2 is pretty impressive stuff.

    ALO: Out of luck today, but still retrieved 4 points.

    Did Lotus pit RAI too early? He thought so, I’ll go with him. May have given VET a bit of a fight, but result would have been the same, I think.

  50. Bring Back Murray says:

    Another great race. Some great passing going on, and not all of them simply down to having DRS.

    The way Raikonnen (and Grosean)both came through from lowly positioons – excellent. Lotus know what they are doing in terms of strategy. Perhaps it will be a Vettel / Alonso / Raikoneen battle this season.

    Speaking of the master, Alonso needs to strike back at the next race – and fast. He can’t let that whipper snapper Vettel get too far ahead too quicky. And my golly he stormed it today.

    Merc need to get top of their tyre situation – and they need to do this quickly too.

    Although how come Hamilton was so strong at the end compared to Rosberg? Rosberg had a nightmare!

    Oh well fast forward to the next one….

  51. jay dee says:

    Great to see Grosjean and Perez have a good race. Hope Sergio keeps being aggresive.

  52. Juho says:

    People here are complaining only because it seems that a British driver/team is suffering from the tires. Those teams that have figured out how to be easy on the tires don’t just drive through the race: they can also be very aggressive when needed. This season has been entertaining and the future looks bright for the F1.

    1. Absolute rubbish. Through my time I’ve supported, second to the quality of the racing itself (which is *always* more important than how any one driver is doing) Hill, Hakinnen, Alonso, Kimmi and Hamilton. Hell I was even hoping for Vettel to take the 2009 championship over Button.

      I never made excuses for British drivers or teams in the Schumacher domination years because, despite what people have brainwashed themselves to believe, the races and championships were *generally* closely fought.

      In fact all signs point to the fact that if we had more durable tyres, we’d probably see even more Red Bull dominance. While I don’t particularly want to see that, I’ll take it any day if it means I get to see a proper race again.

  53. goferet says:

    Meanwhile Vettel’s good luck charms from his nan sure do work.

    I mean, how is it on the entire grid, Vettel is just about the only driver that can win races he won the previous year.

    Not only that, how come Vettel is also the only driver that can win back to back races within a season at the drop of a hat.

    Further more, have never heard of incidents where Vettel had to change a damaged gearbox or engine and thus incurring a penalty.

    Yeah, cheers to David Couthard for cracking this mystery.

  54. Irish con says:

    This is getting beyond a joke. I’m the biggest petrol head ever but this swerving on the straights that Perez and Rosbery in particular are doing is to me not on. If this isn’t stamped out now there is going to be a serious accident. Please please get this nonsense out of my sport and have proper hard fair racing that the likes of jenson, Fernando and kimi do. Never see them guys all over the track the way the boys who come up from gp2 be at.

    1. Le Mister says:

      True that !!

  55. Alexander Supertramp says:

    Enjoyed the race today, tyre deg was ‘acceptable’ and we had actual racingggg.

    Realy appreciated Mclaren letting the guys sort it out on the track. Seeems like a great call by Whitmarsh, altough he kind of had his hands tied after the remarks he made towards Perez :P.

    Perez was good today (sometimes a little to aggressive), and he managed to stick with a 3-stop strategy . I wonder, how come Jenson couldn’t make that work? Perez had been fighting a lot of people during the race, so you can’t say his race was more gentle on the tyres..

    Don’t know what happened to Lewis after the 2nd stop, but he was nowhere before that (Brawn thinks it’s because of the evolving track temperature). 50/100 points is very positive and I’m confident that they will improve(they’re already very fast).

    Talking about points, Seb’s 77/100 is just scary! He’s graduating magna cum laude in a year that is supposed to be close. And yet..

    His biggest opponent remains ‘Nando though. When you:

    1. have to make an extra pitstop (the first “drs-stop” doesn’t count as he also changed his tyres)
    2. Are stuck in traffic for most of the race
    3. Have no DRS (although not having KERS would be worst I reckon. But the lack of DRS probably cost him 5th)
    4. Still finish p8, pretty much on par with the guy in fifth.

    1+2+3+4= best hope to beat Seb to the championship crown. But Ferrari is failing to be Ferrari (bulletproof), those 47 points should have been at least 65.

    Hope Barcelona brings a great race and that the updates keep the top 6(!!) teams close.
    Can’t wait for May 12..

  56. mhilgtx says:

    So with all the talk that Vettel can’t overtake and Alonso is greater, Hamilton is so much better I give you the first few laps of Bahrain today.

    In a day where the tires were the least intrusive of any event this year Ferrari choked and Vettel passed Alonso early one WITHOUT DRS and never looked back.

    I don’t care what you put together to say Alonso could have won without the DRS issues. Fact of the matter is he did have them and Ferrari has yet again mismanaged a race. For the life of me I do not understand why they didn’t change out the rear wing for Alonso and the front wing for Massa. There is no way doing that could have been faster than what it cost Alonso in time for a second visit to the pits. I am under the impression that you can swap out wings of course, if I am wrong let me know.

    I thought when I heard the the tires would be changed that it was game over for Vettel beating the field, what I didn’t expect was have Merc would lose pace so fast. Not sure if Roseberg made the right decision in fighting so much at the beginning instead of saving his tires for later.

    Lotus will be dangerous if they find the right partner. I still believe and in fact believe it more and more that for Ferrari to be serious contenders there needs to be some kind of organizational change.

    Love the Force India guys moving along, the large updates they made this week really showed to help. US broadcast said repeatedly they were the fastest car in a straight line and they were able to execute a 2 stop strategy as well.

    While I think Kimi, Vettel, Alonso, and Hamilton are all pretty close I think many look at their favorite driver with a bit of rose colored glasses. Vettel only wins if he has the best car, kind of comments. Of course he only wins if he has the best car, name the WDC that had the worst car. That is like saying Alonso needs blatant cheating in order to win just because one of his WDC’s is clouded by a cheating incident.

    Well for the race itself, it was truly exciting with many passes being made outside the DRS zones and some DRS passes not being made to stick after the next turn.

    The American Rossi also had a good day Saturday finishing 3rd.

    1. CYeo says:

      It is not possible to change the rear wing during a race. The rear wing has too many attachment points and other fiddly bits, not to mention the DRS hydraulic system.

      1. mhilgtx says:

        OK thanks, so they should have deactivated or not used DRS again. Either way they screwed up.

    2. Warren Groenewald says:

      Front wing can be changed easily enough, but if it’s not costing any time, it’s better to leave it damaged. That wasn’t Massa’s problem anyway.

      Rear wings are bolted fast because of the load they endure for 300+km and can’t be changed easily during a race. I’d imagine DRS actuators complicate matters further.

      Ferrari just had a purely disastrous day through sheer bad luck.

  57. Thompson says:

    I’m struggling with this season…. lol

    How did Kimi make 2nd, he was invisible, had virtually no coverage, but at the end he was 2nd, amazing.

    Hamilton to started 9th, dropped to 13th finished 5th 4 places ahead of Rosberg who had pole…. how does that happen?

    Good drive from Grosjon and DiResta, scary display from Vettel at this stage of the season.

    Best bit Button trying to impose his will onto Perez and failing (this pairing could become the most ‘entertaining’ over the next few races, how long before Macca introduce team orders), Button is not a Hamilton.

    Hamilton 3rd in the drivers championship at this stage…. who would a thunk it?

    very good race.

  58. Gazz says:

    I am a supporter of Jenson, but come on Checo had the better pace today. Both Jenson and Perez defended well and attacked whenever possible. Yes I agree Checo was too aggressive and could have taken them both out, but at the end of the day he did’nt and got himself a fist full of points. This should be a wake up call for Jenson and I have no doubt he will bounce back. Time to get your head down Jenson and turn this car into a race winner. Dont forget though, your first job is to beat your team mate…….

  59. Ghayth says:

    Vettel for driver of the day and you out there
    Who say vettel can win only when starts on pole
    Today was the proof he can overtake and win
    Way to go vettel

  60. Richardc says:

    Got to take you that of to the drivers today. The quality of the driving was superb. Think the lotus drivers under performed. Thought Vettel was excellent. Think LH was in great form. Button was poor,as was Perez,s driving. All in all very entertaining. Reckon the euro races will be awesome as the track temp will be lower…..bring it on!

  61. Methusalem says:

    A Fantastic GP! Perez was everywhere to be found, he should be driver of the day. How amazing, when individuals are under pressure they act like a mad dog.

  62. zawillow says:

    Hi James

    I haven’t heard much about Vettel’s post race “lifting his legs” comment. Surely the press (particularly the British press) are not going to let him get away with that!

    Otherwise great race, loving the tyre situation.

    1. CYeo says:

      Coulthard pointed out that Vettel had some “lucky charms” on his boots.

      Vettel looked embarrassed to show them!

      The camera shots of him leaving the podium were too shaky (the camera and Vettel were moving) to show anything of significance.

  63. Andrew Carter says:

    An excellent race, I loved it. Plenty of action all the way through and no one asking “can I fight him?”.

  64. Peter C says:

    Congratulations to the ‘fans’ who said that diResta is rubbish & that Perez shouldn’t be in F1.

    ALL F1 drivers are excellent, some have quicker cars, some have bad luck from time to time & some of the mid-field guys have their day occasionally.

    One thing is sure, they’re not as quick on a sofa as many posters on here.

  65. MJR says:

    I think it was an overall great race. Great win for Vettle I guess. I am also rather impressed with Kimi. That guy’s consistency is awesome. I hoep at the end of the year we have a three way battle for the WDC in Brazil. Because I see RBR taking the WCC way before Brazil.

  66. Ganesh Kumar says:

    Tell me about sutil pace… he drops back 81 Sec after 1st lap incident. Then he finished 76 second a drift after passing some slow moving traffic at back. My question is if he where passed massa without colliding at lap 1, could he have finished 2nd? or atleast podium?

  67. Grant H says:

    Seb for 4th title then? only person who can realistically challenge is fernando and he is now more than a race win back already. Whilst lotus look good now I can’t see them keeping up with development toward the end of the season,

    Merc gotta work on tyre life – 4 years now same problem, mechanically looks a solid car, maybe they just need a bit more rear downforce?

    curious with massa’s double tyre delamination ( similar to ham in p3 – very odd???

  68. Miha Bevc says:

    Great first couple of laps by Vettel. Who says he can’t overtake? And he did it without DRS.

    What happened to Webber? The difference between him and Vettel was just too big. Is it all down to running in traffic?

    Great drive by both Lotus drivers, I hope Kimi can qualify higher up the grid for the rest of the season.

    1. Miha Bevc says:

      Can’t wait for the wednesday analysis!

  69. Andrew M says:

    One of Vettel’s best race wins for the fight and racecraft he showed on the opening laps.

    Unlucky for di Resta, but he’s doing what he needs to do while Force India have a decent car; qualifying well, scoring good points and putting some distance between himself and Sutil.

    Good recovery from Hamilton as well, although we didn’t really see much of it.

    I’m amazed Ferrari risked using Alonso’s DRS after his pit stop, if they hadn’t done that he might have been in with a shout of the podium.

    1. David Goss says:

      Agreed on Alonso. They must have realised there was a strong chance it would stick again, so why didn’t they just wait until his next in-lap to try it again? That’s twice in four races Ferrari have taken unnecessary risks that have backfired.

  70. Richardd says:

    Mclaren asked Perez to toughen up and I guess that’s what he did even against his teammate. Button shoud have shown us he is more experienced driver and not allow it to degenerate into that mess and he starts calling for the team to restrain him

  71. Phill says:

    Well, suppose Red Bull had to get favour from Pirelli at one point. We all know it should have been soft and hard tyres, but one team, with a bit too much influence it seems, complained bitterly at these softer tyres. And guess what, it gets changed, and they win. Hmmm…

    1. You know what, I wish Pirelli *had* brought the soft tyres to Bahrain. I wish we’d seen either nobody go out in Q3, or everybody on the *harder* of the two tyres, because the soft wasnt capable of getting a full qualifying lap in.

      It would have put to bed Red Bull conspiracy theories, and shown Pirelli up at the same time. Two birds with one stone.

      1. Phill says:

        Haha, so a red bull fan who wants to return to the 2011 season with no unpredictability and the same guy winning all the time. You enjoy that, but the rest of us want some spice to our racing, a bit of action please!

      2. Unbelievable. Yet another Pirelli defender making unfounded accusations about the anit-Pirelli. The second-to-last thing I want to see is a Red Bull victory. But if that’s the price for having some genuine racing in the field, then so be it.

  72. Rayz says:

    Im getting sick of people complaining about the artificial nature of the overtaking in F1.

    People have such short memories. I can guarantee that some of the whining “fans” at the moment were not paying much attention back in the early 2000′s when Schumi would win every race by a landslide and if we were lucky, we might see one decent overtake in a race.

    Fans are being spoiled at the moment with all the great racing. The track action today was supreme.
    -Vettel on Alonso at the start
    -Perez and Button all race
    -Rosberg vs everybody
    -Webber vs Hamilton at the end.

    Great great driving.

    Vettel was excellent today. Had plenty of speed in reserve there. Raikkonen and Grosjean were terrific. As was Pic.

    Looking ominous for Vettel x4 already though. Early stages of course but he has the car, the talent, and now a nice lead in the championship.

    1. “People have such short memories. I can guarantee that some of the whining “fans” at the moment were not paying much attention back in the early 2000′s when Schumi would win every race by a landslide and if we were lucky, we might see one decent overtake in a race.”

      Why is it that every Pirelli defender seems to need to make unfounded generalisations about what the anti-Pirelli movement thought in the 2000s (some great seasons and races in that period, by the way).

      I’ve never seen any of the anti-Pirelli brigade feel the need to make unsubstantiated claims about the people who enjoy watching “modern-day-racing”(though I’m sure some of us have come close at times!)

      1. Me says:

        Some great races in the early 2000′s, just like there are some great races now.

  73. Panagiotis says:

    What could have been Ferrari’s real pace -ish, if someone takes into account those 37 sec? + DRS, – 1 pit stop! Just Podium? 1st maybe?

  74. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    Great Checo!
    Martin Whitmarsh said in the Sky interview that Checo was in fault because he is young-inexperienced, but he did not remember that as a team principal he asked Checo this week to be more agresive on the track.
    In that interview also showed up Button smiling, charging against Checo and still smiling asking Whitmarsh to talk clearer to Checo to cool down (politics on TV?).
    But then Anthony Davidson showed on the screen to Button, Whitmarsh and the journalist the moves between Checo and Button, highlighting the moment Button seems to SLOW DOWN and resulting in the contact between cars, and when Button put Checo off track…
    Then the TV image came back immediately to Button and he was dead serious as he came face to face with the evidence, so no more smiling, not joking anymore.
    Yeah, Checo won the intra-battle today and for the first time since he was hired last year shows the reason why many think this young latino is Worldchampion material.

    Go Checo go!:))

    1. Alexander Supertramp says:

      Mclaren was so dull the past races, I loved the team battle today, can’t wait for the next chapter!

  75. Le Mister says:

    Vettel was the difference? No way! DRS Failure on the Ferrari was. Bad luck for Alonso this year now that he seems to have a car.

  76. Ben G says:

    Great shame to hear JB whingeing about Perez. He got beat, fair and square.

  77. yassin says:

    Although Kimi’s second place finish was an admirable feet, Lotus can’t seem to pull a trouble free weekend together.

    I fear unless they don’t get their act together they will become the bridesmade of 2013.

  78. Pete says:

    Not a fan of Vettel but flawless race today. Top overtakes when he needed them and then dominant from the front as usual. Dotd for me. Also a great race from Di Resta. The guy gets a lot of stick but I think he answered a few critics today. Finally, that’s one of the best races I remember Hamilton driving. Totally maximised his points today and is somehow third in the championship in what is barely the 4th best car on race day.

    Great race for me, 9 out of 10.

  79. Thomas says:

    Yawn.

    F1 should comission Pirelli to make some actual tires.

    1. Random 79 says:

      OMG IT’S A TIME TRAVELLER FROM 2002!!!

      Well, good news Thomas. The FIA did in fact commission Pirelli to make tyres for F1, resulting in some fantastic races including the awesome one we watched yesterday.

      Admittedly, they do get it wrong from time to time, but the main thing is that we rarely get borefests any more which is great.

      So on behalf on everyone here in the 2010s, welcome to the new F1 – Sit back, put your feet up, and enjoy! :)

  80. Tim says:

    I haven’t watched the race yet, but was just looking at the results and tried to find whether or not Ricciardo beat Vergne – to my surprise he’s not even listed in the results.

    What happened to him – I assume a DNS, if so, why?

    1. CYeo says:

      Vergne tangled with a Caterham early in the race and suffered a rear puncture and damage to the rear. He pitted to change tyres but was retired soon after as the damage was too severe.

      The Caterham lost the entire nose cone and front wing on the track!

    2. Random 79 says:

      You checked the results before you watched the race?

      Heresy!

    3. Me says:

      Random got there before me…

      Why on earth would you check the results before watching the race?

  81. Gord says:

    Congrats to Newey – I mean Vettel for winning the Bahrain GP.

    1. Dave Aston says:

      Are people still clinging to that theory? It’s like thinking the earth is flat. Newey waited ten years between championships, until he got to work with Vettel.

      1. Vivek says:

        Cannot agree more. But I suspect, we will never really know until Vettel moves elsewhere and performs.

        But age is in Vettel’s favour. So he can wait.

        My hunch is that Vettel is in the same league as Alonso, Hamilton and Kimi. All unbeatable on their days in a competitive car.

    2. Miha Bevc says:

      Yes, Newey certainly did some great overtaking in the first couple of laps. And Webber was no way near him. This Newey guy sure can drive!

    3. JCA says:

      I love how Damon and Mika get full credit for their championships, but Seb not.

      Even Prost, who was clearly past it in 1993, gets credit. Mansel’s car in 1992 was so much better than the opposition, yet no disrespect is shovelled on his championship.

      Only Seb and Jacque get flack.

  82. Amritraj says:

    I think Alonso could have been on the podium, even with his DRS problem. He finished ~37s behind Vettel and then additional pitstop cost him ~22s.

    You add the balance 15s to Vettel’s time and Alonso is ahead of Grosjean.

    It was a poor call from Ferrari. They should been cautious with the DRS issue. If at all they wanted to check if the DRS was working again, they should have waited for the next pit stop window. So even if the DRS failed again (which it did), Alonso wouldnt have to make an unscheduled pitstop.

    ALO is already 30 points behind Vettel and given RB’s track record these last few years, their development accuracy and pace is unmatched.

    Let’s hope ALO has some luck this year, because without it, he will not be able to be beat Vettel.

    Rgs,
    Amritraj

    1. Random 79 says:

      Bang on.

      Call Ferrari, they could use you :)

  83. IP says:

    The important thing for Vettel is that his helmet can now be retired as a Felix and not a Zsolt!

  84. nusratolla says:

    Vettel was unbeatable today…. it was sad to see Alonso suffer the DRS but I don’t think even the Ferraris had the pace at which Vettel was operating at.

    Kimi & Romain exploited the strong point the advantage Lotus had to offer.

    Heroic drive from Hamilton battling the adversities that his Mercedes brought him.

    Drivers of the Day: Vettel & Hamilton.

  85. Tim B says:

    A bit surprised at how aggressively drivers were fighting in the mid part of the race.

    On paper you’d think the fastest way around the circuit for two or three cars in a pack would be to use the DRS zones to swap the leader each time around – as a pelaton does in a cycling race, and as F1 drivers used to do in the slipstreaming days. That way the pack can get away from any singleton cars that might otherwise latch onto the back, and maybe catch up to some of the leading cars.

    James – do you know if there is a technical reason not to do this (e.g. is it actually slower?), or are the drivers just competing too hard with each other to cooperate?

    If it was going to work you’d think the McLarens would have benefited from trying it, rather than fighting so aggressively and slowing each other down.

    1. Miha Bevc says:

      I think driving to close behind someone in dirty air ruins your tyres pretty quickly.

    2. Random 79 says:

      Sounds good in theory, but seems a bit too much like nascar for my tastes.

      I think McLaren definitely would have benefited, but what they did instead was much better to watch.

      I’d rather see drivers fighting each other for second then helping each other get first.

      1. Tim B says:

        Watch some F1 from the late 60s/early 70s, especially at Monza – the top guys were all doing it during the mid part of the race, to get some separation from the rest of the field. Plenty of time for fighting later in the race.

      2. Me says:

        Well yes, at Monza that might work, I couldn’t see it happening in this day and age though…

  86. Tom in adelaide says:

    Can we not find some Stewards capable of making decisions during the race? Hopeless……

    1. Alexander Supertramp says:

      I understand that the ‘massive DRS-issue ‘ last week was special, but they could have handled the Webber-Rsberg incident during the race. Hopeless, ridiculous,absurd.

    2. Tim says:

      Stewards decisions shouldn’t be made during a race. When you penalise someone during a race, and get it wrong, you can’t undo that. At least by taking their time to go through it after the race, they can do a proper, thorough investigation, and hear from drivers when necessary, and an appeal is actually meaningful.

      Applying a penalty during a race is just a stewards way of saying “I am infallible.”

      1. Random 79 says:

        Fair point, but it does seem to be happening a lot.

        I might be a minority, but I think either do most of them during the race or do them all after the race, none of this ‘incident’, ‘driver is being investigated’, ‘nah, on second thought we’ll do it later…’ rubbish.

    3. JCA says:

      I thought it had something to do with their telemetry problems, they can’t judge it as easily as last year, so want the extra time after the race, if there is any doubt.

  87. Mike from Colombia says:

    I think that ironically Button is going to suffer what Hamilton suffered at McLaren.

    Hamilton was the only driver ever to really be in the title chase at McLaren and should have been made number 1. After Hamilton’s departure, Button should have been given number 1 status.

    I think that Perez is a disastrous decision. I hear that he is only on a one year contract with options. McLaren need to make some sort of judgement call on him around mid-year….that is if he does not have some kind of protection from Carlos Slim.

    On another note, I thought Webber’s move to defend against Hamilton was on the dirty side. I like Webber and I am sure he is a cracking bloke, but he is given an easy time by the media when these types of things happen. If that was Michael Schumacher pulling that move we would have had all sorts of accusations and calls for his retirement.

    Great performance by Alonso. It just goes to show how much of a benefit and a skill-killer DRS really is.

    1. Samir says:

      I agree with your comment that McLaren would have been better off had they adopted the Red Bull mentality to driver management with the Lewis/Jenson pairing i.e. Equal equipment, allow fighting on the track, but understand who your prime asset is.

      However, I don’t think we are about to see a repeat of the Hamilton situation. Perez is still an unknown quantity, and Button is Whitmarsh’s best pal. If Perez is occasionally taking points off Button as Button did to Lewis in 2010/2012, one needs to consider if Button is realistically mounting a title challenge. No sign of that for now. If Button is genuinely outclassed by Perez when the team is favoring Button, logic says you might as well give Perez at least an equal voice in areas such as car development, strategy and moral support.

      Good job pointing out the media’s biases towards Webber and Button.I think the English media gets along better with Webber/Button, and at times are not objective enough in assessing their performances. For the oldies, these are the guys they would like their daughters to marry, for the Gen-Xer’s, these are the guys they have the most in common with. Webber and Button are media savvy, but an objective assessment of their performances will reveal that they are not at the same level as the four guys at the top of the WC over the course of a season.

  88. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    Who are raising their games?
    IMO Vettel, Kimi, Grosjean, Hamilton (with a weaker car), Di Resta, Perez, Ricciardo, this is amazing just lot of drivers in the same season, for me that could be explained by the fact the rules have not been changed this year and that could be a point for doing better racing.

  89. absolude says:

    Best race of the season so far. DRS-less passes were amazing.
    Go Kimi!

  90. Michael S says:

    Merc is great in qualy and horrible in race…

    Lotus is bad at qualy but great in the race…

    Ferrari and RB probably the best at combining the two

    Hope Raikkonen can push Vettel to make it a fun year

    1. Anne says:

      Raikkonen is not going to push Vettel because chances are he is going to be Vettel´s team mate next year. He probably will help Vettel a lot more than Webber and the Toro Rosso.

      1. Steven says:

        Really?! LOL If Kimi has a chance to win by beating Sebm he wont take it because theres a small chance of being teammates? Just like Perez is not pushing Jens because they’re teammates? If you really think that way then you know nothing about F1 drivers…

      2. Anne says:

        Kimi and Vettel are good friends. And if Kimi is negotiation a contract with RB he is not going to do anything stupid. And the one who knows nothing is you if you compare a paid driver like Perez with Raikkonen who is one of the best. Eventually if Raikkonen is fighting with Vettel for a position he is going to do it with class

      3. Steven says:

        I wasnt comparing skills, I was using Perez as an example. I still think any driver would do whats needed to pass another driver, friends or not. Its their competitive nature.

      4. Brad says:

        true Anne

  91. TMax says:

    Give the boys some good Rubber and they will show their power !!!!! Hoho #longerlastingrubber

    1. Spinodontosaurus says:

      You mean like the ‘enthralling’ 2005 season? Oh wait…

      1. Wow. You managed to pick out *one* dud season in the Bridgestone era? Must have taken you some digging

        Not so difficult to find a dud season in the @PijelliZeroGrip days… we’re in the middle of our third in a row

  92. robert b. says:

    Why does everyone go on and on about how great Vettel was today? He certainly drove well and was deserving of the win but he had some good luck as well. It’s pretty clear that both Alonso and Kimi would have been in a fight for the win if they hadn’t had some setbacks. So Vettel was good, particularly with his passes in the first three laps to get to the front but if Kimi has started higher on the grid and if Alonso rear wing didn’t malfunction it would of been an amazing battle for first.

    I don’t like hearing all this talk about how dominant Vettel was. There is nothing dominant about winning when your two major challengers were handicapped. Congratulations to Seb for a great drive and a deserved win but let’s be more honest about what happened.

    1. 69bhp says:

      Not a Vettel fan then?

      If any other driver had driven like Vettel did he would be similarly hailed too.

    2. Me says:

      So Alonso wasn’t that good in China either?

      1. krischar says:

        Alonso was good in China and so was vettel in Bahrain

        Alonso did plenty of passing moves in china, wheeras vettel had victory in the bag once he passed rosberg early.

        What you miss here is Ferrari called the shots right in china and RBR did simillar job in Bahrain

      2. Me says:

        What I miss here is nothing.

        I was just pointing out that if someone is going to denigrate one driver for dominating a race, then surely they have to do the same for anyone else?

    3. Miha Bevc says:

      If Alonso would pulled that drive yesterday, he would be easily voted driver of the day by majority.

      1. Oly says:

        Of course, and there is a reason for that. Most of F1 fans are watching races for quite some time and not just a few years back (like, imo, most of Vettel fans). And we measure skill on performance, not on statistics.

      2. Siobhan says:

        Long time F1 fan and Vettel fan since 2007 (was lost when Schumacher left) and credit where credit is due. He pulled of two great moves on Alonso and Rosberg to get himself into a position to lead and protect his tyres. After 1st set of stops he over took the 2 stoppers to again give him clean air and advantage. This is all very similar to what Alonso did in China and he was praised. Even from myself, who is not an Alonso fan, had to admit that he was in fire in China and it was a great win. Vettel did what was necessary for him to do and he did it perfectly

      3. JCA says:

        I have been watching F1 since 1992, and imo Vettel has delivered many quality ‘performances’ over the years, including Sunday.

    4. Random 79 says:

      Yes Alonso et al gave him a hand, but it’s not like he fumbled it.

      Credit where it’s due.

  93. Matthew Cheshire says:

    Webber’s rear tyres were gone. He made his pitstops early because of tyre wear and had to stretch his last stints. He says it was hotter conditions in the race that were a factor.

    He might have been penalised for racing. Would he have made more points with less aggressive driving?

    At least his car was working.

    Webber’s problems in Bahrain should be encouragement for the other teams. The Red Bulls are hard on tyres. Ferrari should send Massa to dice with Vettel and Alonso hold back and wait for them to come back to him.

    1. brad w says:

      MIGHT HAVE BEEN? C’Mon mate, they all got punished for racing.

      Your suggestion that drivers exploit the tyre problem by using the #2 driver as a sacrificial lamb is exactly where racing will end up if the problem is not sorted out.

      1. Random 79 says:

        Ferrari never used the #2 driver as the sacrificial lamb before?

        Maybe it would be poor form for Ferrari to do that to Massa, but it would still be a step up from changing his gearbox just so Alonso can move up the grid.

  94. brad w says:

    Great Racing! Unfortunately those that give us all the entertainment got penalized by Pirelli. It was more obvious in this race to see that these tyres are a problem for F1 right now. Drivers are starting to really get p__sed off with this situation. They can’t race hard wheel to wheel for more than 2 laps without a significant degradation. If you’re out in front it’s easier to manage and you can increase your lead. Of course there are a few cars better set up to deal with the Pirellis, but imagine how much money and time teams are putting into this problem instead of more interesting and exciting car and engine development.

    It’s turning into a farce!

    P.S notice how many drivers commented after the race how they enjoyed the close racing, but got punished by degradation? James, your honest thoughts on this please.

  95. Steve C says:

    Although I’m sick of hearing about tyres I think its fair to say ALL the drivers made a really good effort to make it a good race and they succeeded especially after last weeks flop. The track design did help but there was a lot of action and to see the McLaren’s going for it was great. Well done JB & SP. If the tyres had lasted longer…….

  96. lennyz says:

    Alonso made one of his best seasons last year. But Vettel made one of his worst. This year Vettel seems to be back to where he belongs so I’m afraid Alonso stands no chance with an incomplete Ferrari.

  97. Kimi4WDC says:

    Doub’t Kimi could have done more if he was trailing Vettel all race long. Looking at the sector times, Kimi’s pace was hard earned, while Vettel had pace on demand and Red Bull did not have any issued with degradation.

    Said that, yes the gap would have been smaller and Vettel would have worked harder for it.

    Yes, Lotus would have had a much better odds, if they started higher up and put more pressure on Vettel.

  98. P says:

    I wonder what hulkenberg could’ve done in the force india this year…

    1. Random 79 says:

      Pushed the pedals and turned the wheel a bit I imagine…

      Yes, in hindsight staying at FI would have been better, but at the time I would have moved to Sauber too.

  99. chris green says:

    hi james – i watched your interview with mark webber on the australian 10 network. i don’t think mark was completely forthcoming. i suspect he is on his way out of red bull. will lotus and red bull do a straight swap re kimi and mark?
    the number 2 drive at rb reminds me of lotus in the ’60′s. clark usually got a reliable car but the number 2 driver was treated pretty shabbily.
    i think webber needs a change of scenery.

  100. dufus says:

    I’m confused by the tyre degradation.
    Vettel would have been working his tyres hard especially in the opening few laps but didn’t seem to suffer the same degradation as Webber.
    This evident when Webber got up to 2nd behind Vettel but was losing a 2/10ths or so per lap but he was in clean air.
    Likewise the so called smoothest driver Button had the same bad tyre degradation and lost out big to Perez.
    Is this really what we want to see ?

    1. Random 79 says:

      Once Vettel got in the clear and could relax a bit the race was his, but, in all honestly, Webber just wasn’t as fast today.

      1. Random 79 says:

        I mean yesterday. Damn night shift lol…

    2. Steven says:

      Its all media hype about Button. THe “agressive” Hamilton was able to make them last on the “tire eating” Merc. ALso, Rosberg in the same car as Lewis didnt make them last either…

  101. dean cassady says:

    How can people moan about the tires when we get such spectacle from the Bahrain tradition of snooze?
    Just the Hamilton-Webber duel alone during the closing laps is the stuff of legend, amazing; admiring both drivers immensely.
    But there was amazingly plenty of it: Perez was back to his 2012 thrills (and spills), all making for great excitement; Grosjean coming out of the pits on his last stop, and putting the same move on… was it Lewis Hamilton, that Kimi put on him while exiting the pits last year?
    There’s hope for Grosjean; good move.
    The only disappointment, Vettel’s clear and unchallenged dominance.
    The tires, along with the other key ingredients, are great right now!

    1. Random 79 says:

      +1, Pirelli got it right here.

  102. Grant says:

    Grosjean finishes 3rd thanks to ‘degrad tyres’.

  103. Glennb says:

    I see Pirelli have added a new feature to their tyres to spice up the racing. The new delamination factor really does get the drivers thinking. Just ask Felipe and Lewis…
    I wonder if it’s a random feature or do all the tyres now have it as standard.

    1. Steven says:

      They probably draw a number from a box to see who gets the exploding tires. LOL

  104. Yury says:

    I’m wondering. Alonso has broken the rules in this race – he has used DRS before DRS-line at the end of the lap 3 and it was before his DRS was broken. But he was not punished by FIA.
    The evidence is here
    He opened DRS before DRS-line and the end of lap 3.
    http://www10.pic-upload.de/22.04.13/ex5mxgh45w7g.jpg

    DRS-line
    http://www7.pic-upload.de/22.04.13/7oqrtyxmco32.jpg

    He closed DRS before first corner lap 4.
    http://www7.pic-upload.de/22.04.13/pkr5s6xstvds.jpg

    I think his action must be investigated by FIA as they did after Brasilia 2012.

    1. Oly says:

      Funny how it never occurred to you that his DRS was malfunctioning.

      1. Yury says:

        Please, first have a look at the footage.
        DRS was malfunctioning at the lap 7, FA has opened it earlier than allowed at the end of lap 3.

      2. Yury says:

        And DRS was yet closed 2 seconds earlier
        http://www10.pic-upload.de/23.04.13/bcdtrz2yslnh.jpg

    2. JB says:

      It was clear that the team saw the DRS wing had failed and he went for 2 unscheduled pitstops because of the failure.
      Afterwards, he did not use the DRS to crawl from the back end to salvage some points.

      Clearly those actions showed they did everything they could to deal with the situation. Rather than trying to take advantage of it. The 2 unscheduled pit stops are itself enough of a penalty.

      FIA would want to investigate why the DRS wing did not have a fail-safe mode. The DRS wing design should be such that if there was any failure, it should always end up in a DRS closed position.

      1. Yury says:

        DRS wing had failed only when he was on the lap 7. I talk about laps 3 and 4.

  105. Richard says:

    than what they have shown

    Who’s writing this stuff? They speak English like what I do.

  106. Zombie says:

    Webber who ? After all the drama, Vettel showed why he is the No.1. No dramas, no BS, he just put his head down and won a great race!

  107. David Ryan says:

    Leaving aside all the stuff about the tyres degrading around the Sakhir circuit (and indeed whether they should be racing at the circuit in the first place), I have to confess the spate of tyres delaminating is quite alarming. Granted, debris was cited in the majority of cases (which raises questions of it own – there weren’t that many collisions after all), but that was an abnormally high failure rate.

    Also, can someone PLEASE tell the FIA to get their telemetry problems sorted out? It’s getting slightly embarrassing reading stories about how they can’t use the system fully race after race. You’d think they’d have learned from the WRC fiasco…

  108. vivek says:

    James,

    This question is a bit out of the topic.

    RedBull Racing has been alloted the first garage in the pitlane. This allows their drivers to take an easier route when coming for changing tyres. For other teams, the drivers have to negotiate the adjacent teams pit machinery while making a pit stop. For Red Bull this problem is not there. This makes Red bull gain at least a few tenths in every pitstop.

    Please observe this during the next race and report it to the FIA if you feel necessary.

    1. James Allen says:

      That’s the privilege of being World Champions!!

    2. Brad says:

      Vivek,
      The teams positions in the pitlane is due to their standings the previous year in the constructors championship…

      1. vivek says:

        Its according to championship positions, Agreed. But in this era where teams try to save every tenth possible in pitstops, It looks like an unfair advantage.

        I remember the FIA actually mixed up the pitlane garage slots a few years back. That looked more fair to everyone.

  109. oneiro says:

    Kimi said in a recent interview that the situation might have been the same years back, regarding the tyres. More pitstops in the old days meant that the tyres had less load. He reckons tyres might have had the same behaviour if there were no pitstops then.

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