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Sports Articles: Formula 1: Bahrain Talking Points

Formula 1: Bahrain Talking Points
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Formula 1: Things To Think About After Bahrain

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1. Same Old Result, But Not The Same Old Way

I feel sorry for those who are just going to see the results and not bother to watch the races, thinking it is more of the same from recent years. That was a hell of a race, and I do mean race! Hamilton has not won an opener since 2015, he probably has not been pushed as hard as this in any of the races between then and now either. If you have not watched the race, you really should do.


2. High-rake v Low-rake

There had been a lot of talk about the low-rake concept being upset by the changes for this season and that clearly showed in the performance of the cars. The Marcedes and Aston Martin cars were very reliant on their engine being the more powerful because they really struggled with their handling. In particular the wind affected them more than the rest. Unless those two teams find a way to fix the problem it is going to cost them points over the course of the season.


3. Honda Engine

Honda have made massive strides forward for this season in power, such a shame they will not be developing the engine further for next season, instead handing it over to Red Bull to develop. They knew they had at least equalled Mercedes power output from last season, but they have also, it seems, overtaken Renault and Ferrari to have the second best power unit on the grid.


4. Pirelli's 400th Race

They get a lot of criticism, even when they have been trying to provide exactly what they are asked for. It seems like F1 tells them they want a tyre to do this and as soon as they produce that, F1 then says that's no good. I am surprised they have bothered to stay in the sport with the stick they take for giving the sport what it asks for! This year they have had to change the tyres all over again as the cars are heavier.


5. Verstappen's Pole

Max Verstappen has become the first driver to clinch pole in the season opener without being in a Mercedes since the hybrid era began. Most importantly, he did it on actual pace, not due to any issues from the Mercs. Even more promising for the season is that the Red Bull clearly has the race pace to beat the Mercedes as well.


6. Ferrari Paint Scheme

I surely must not be the only one to hate the Ferrari paint job? I could cope with the graduated reds, though it is not a nice scheme, but that horrible Mission Winnow ad looks so wrong. Strange that it is allowed as it is actually cigarette-related and tobacco ads were meant to be banned. They are not the only one to have tobacco advertisers sneaking in through the back door either, it is just that their's is the most ugly and obvious.


7. Perez Wow!

Breaking down on the formation lap, causing the field to require a second one, is enough to put anyone off their game, but I guess Perez is used to charging up from the back of the back in Bahrain. Last season he won from last, this time around he managed to finish 5th. It could be said that this result was just as good, as the entire field is much more closely matched this year.


8. Mazepin Oops

Good job his family's money is paying for the team this season after this weekend. Mazepin made a few errors in practice and qualifying, but to put it into the fence without even making it round half of the first lap is a little embarrassing to say the least. Especially when it was just a silly rookie error that caused him to crash and brought out a safety car straight away. At least his teammate made a similar error on the restart, though he survived it to complete the race. In fact it was more than his father managed on his F1 debut, as Michael Schumacher burned out the clutch on his Benetton part-way round lap 1 of Spa.


9. Hamilton's Strategy

With the Red Bull being the better car, Mercedes had to do something different to give themselves a chance. It only just worked out for them, but it is good to see them being pro-active and taking a chance to go for the win, rather than settling for second. Hopefully they will keep being imaginative with their strategy.


10. Verstappen

Max was incredibly impressive in this race. Not just his pace, but his maturity. Verstappen in recent years would have pushed too hard and slid wide, flatspotting his tyres, or collided with Hamilton when they were racing. He was careful to race clean and it very nearly paid off. Whether he has actually matured or just the confidence in having a car that is faster than Hamilton's and so not needing to be on the absolute ragged edge throughout, is something we will only find out as the season goes on.


11. Same Old Bottas

While a lot of things have changed, what certainly has not changed is Bottas. When it matters he is still nowhere near even pushing Hamilton. Yes he had an issue in the pit stop, but he never pushed the two ahead of him afterwards. He always seems to go out with a whimper rather than a bang.


12. Midfield Pack

The racing behind the front three was at times breathtaking. They are all so closely matched it led to some fantastic wheel-to-wheel racing, particularly the battle between Vettel, Alonso and Sainz, before Alonso was hit with reliability problems. I have to be honest, I stopped caring who was in what position, I was just enjoying the racing. And, it must be said, it genuinely was racing. It was not just one car comes up behind another, overtakes and drives away. The cars were swapping places with each other for lap after lap at times.


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Written by Tris Burke March 28 2021 19:16:13