The beginning of the Bahrain Grand Prix saw retirements and crashes everywhere, there was drama at the front there was drama at the back but what were the key moments from the 57 laps? Let’s have a look.
Perhaps the most shocking retirement in this GP was that of Sebastian Vettel who suffered an engine failure during the formation lap, billowing smoke could be seen exiting his car as the lap came to a finish meaning he had to retire before the lights had even gone out. The other car to retire during the formation lap was that of Jolyon Palmer who suffered from a hydraulics problem meaning he spent the rest of the race on the sidelines. This was a blow to Renault considering their other driver, Kevin Magnussen, started from the pit lane. These two retirements meant the final grid was missing two cars, leaving it looking emptier than it did at Melbourne.
As soon as the lights went out at Bahrain there was excitement as Nico Rosberg gained the lead over Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas went for the overtake leading to a collision between the two of them. Bottas had slight damage to his car but Hamilton suffered more with damage from the front to the back of his car. Luckily, although he fell dramatically down the pecking order, he managed to crawl back through eventually finishing third. The collision was investigated by the FIA and Bottas was given a drive through penalty meaning he lost around 20 seconds during his race.
During the hectic first corner both of the Red Bull cars picked up damage on the wings despite this, they went on to gain decent points with Daniel Ricciardo finishing fourth and Daniil Kvyat finishing seventh. It was Ricciardo’s second time finishing fourth this season hopefully meaning Red Bull cans start challenging Ferrari later on this season. Even with the damage the two cars sustained they still managed to finish ahead of both the Williams, this is significant as it may show they power in the races is starting to switch.
New boys Haas have proven once again that they have the power to challenge for points this season. Although Esteban Gutierrez retired once again this season, Romain Grosjean gained important points finishing one place higher than he did in Melbourne. The fifth place finish means Haas have what it takes to challenge in the mid field which is surprising for a band new team.
The reserve driver for McLaren, Stoffel Vandoorne, showed that he has what it takes to be an F1 driver. He filled in for Fernando Alonso at Bahrain after Alonso picked up injuries in Melbourne. Vandoorne finished in tenth place, gaining one point for the team, the point was much needed after Jenson Button’s retirement earlier on in the Grand Prix. The weekend was a learning experience for Vandoorne so to go home with one Formula 1 world championship point will be a bonus for the young Belgium.
Nico Rosberg: It’s been an awesome weekend. The key was really the start. I got a great getaway and from then on I was trying to control the pace. Very, very happy with today; absolutely awesome to get another win.
Kimi Raikkonen: I made a bad start and after a few laps we were one straight behind Nico, so it’s pretty difficult to recover from there, but we did what we could and we had pretty good speed. Not enough to win, but we’ll take second today and try to improve from there.
Lewis Hamilton: Nonetheless, we still managed to get back up there and at least get some points. So again, damage limitation. Congratulations to Nico, kind of an easy race for him I assume, but I’m glad that it wasn’t more points and obviously I could have not finished the race.