2019 Bahrain Grand Prix Review

BAHRAIN INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT, BAHRAIN - MARCH 31: Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90 leads at the start of the race followed by Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF90, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG W10 and Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W10 during the Bahrain GP at Bahrain International Circuit on March 31, 2019 in Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain. (Photo by Steven Tee / LAT Images)

Well what a Bahrain Grand Prix that was!

Absolutely brilliant from start to finish depending who you support, however a fantastic race once more in the desert.

We can only imagine what will happen for the big 1000th race in Formula one in China.

 

Mercedes: Hamilton – P1, Bottas – P2

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Yet another one two finish for the silver arrows with Lewis Hamilton taking the win, having taken it in such cruel fashion from Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

Coming home in second was of course Valtteri Bottas in a race where we didn’t see much of him after the first three laps, in which we saw him battling Charles for second place.

Rather the opposite of who we saw win last time out.

The Silver Arrows were clearly out-gunned by the Scuderia had it not been for a spin by Sebastian Vettel, and a very sad failure of the engine which had sadly one cylinder not working for Charles.

Both Mercedes struggling to keep up with both Ferraris all weekend but as we have seen today anything can happen in motorsport.

 

Ferrari: Leclerc – P3, Vettel – P5

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It was a weekend full of ups and downs for the Scuderia as they dominated every practice session and locked out the front row on Saturday, making them joint top for the most front row lock outs with McLaren and Williams.

Sunday however was a day to forget as Vettel spun battling with Hamilton leaving him with damaged tyres, which then lead to his front wing breaking away and the German eventually finished fifth.

Charles had the biggest heartbreak of the weekend after leading the whole race comfortably following a scruffy first lap and battling his teammate for the lead.

With around ten laps left, Leclerc hit trouble when a cylinder failed to fire which left him a sitting duck although a late safety car saw him cling onto third and his first podium in F1.

I feel for Charles like many others as he drove fantastically well all weekend and was ten seconds in front of Hamilton and thirty in front of Bottas before the engine issue.

I’ve not doubt he’ll win a few races this year if not challenge for the championship as well.

 

Red Bull: Verstappen – P4, Gasly – P8

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I can’t understand why Red Bull are struggling so much this year.

Pierre Gasly reported he was struggling with his car’s over steer all weekend but did well to finish in the points, albeit 52 seconds behind Max Verstappen.

Whether this was down to the heavy winds or simply a setup issue, only time will tell but Gasly has to improve quickly, otherwise I can’t see him in a Red Bull for much longer.

Speaking of Verstappen, he finished P4 and only denied a podium by the late safety car, having driven his own race after an early battle with Carlos Sainz.

I personally wasn’t expecting much from the Honda power unit as they just aren’t on Ferrari or Mercedes’ straight line speed yet and as Bahrain is a speedy circuit, hopefully we will see slightly better results next time out in China.

 

McLaren: Norris – P6, Sainz – DNF

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Again we see a tale of two worlds. A fantastic race for Lando Norris who was battling and passing red bulls and Haas cars early on in spectacular form too. Yet after damage from his battle with Max, Carlos eventually retired.

A shame after both cars looked for a promising double points finish with them both starting in the top ten.

Yes had not both Renaults retired they would be in front however a great result nonetheless for the team. I hope we see better next time out and see both cars finish.

 

Alfa Romeo: Raikkonen – P7, Giovinazzi – P11

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A great finish for the Finnish driver we all love; Kimi Raikkonen.

A great finish and start to the season in what many believe to be a Ferrari B team. Seventh place and sixth in the overall standings is brilliant for him and the team.

Antonio Giovinazzi I think still getting to grips but produced a great drive to eleventh and just outside the points.

A slight coming together with Danii Kvyat at turn ten saw him send the Toro Rosso spinning but with no lasting damage to either car and no penalty, that was all we really saw of him.

Nevertheless a strong finish for both drivers and team as they hold a strong fourth in the constructors championship just in front of McLaren.

 

Toro Rosso: Albon – P9, Kvyat – P12

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The two Toro Rosso cars did well this weekend.

I think both would have had a points finish were it not for Giovinazzi giving Daniil Kvyat a spin in the race.

Alex Albon finished ninth to claim the first points for a Thai driver in F1 since 1954!

Saying that the team had a great race not as good as last year however both could’ve finished well in the points had it not been for that spin, dashing the hopes for not only Kvyat but the team as well.

 

Racing Point: Perez – P10, Stroll – P14

A disappointing race for the team with one barely getting a points finish and the other making contact at the start.

Lance Stroll had an eventful start at the racing making contact with Romain Grosjean into turn three and giving him a flat tyre and himself and damaged front wing.

Both of which scuppered their races with Grosjean later retiring with damage and strolls race becoming damage limitation.

Sergio Perez I think struggled all race nearly finishing in the points which had it not been for both Renaults, I think he would leave here with no points at all.

In saying that he stayed out of trouble whilst all the carnage happened at the start.

If Racing Point want to be best of the rest they will have bring upgrades quick as both Renault and McLaren have them seemingly beat on race pace.

 

Haas: Magnussen – P13, Grosjean – DNF

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Kevin Magnussen (Credit: Rich Energy Haas F1 Media)

This circuit seemed to be difficult for the two Haas cars.

Kevin Magnussen seemingly struggled quite a bit for pace, falling back from a sixth placed start to finish outside the points. 

Romain Grosjean didn’t have a great race either after making contact at the start, leaving him with a flat tyre and retired the car later on in the race due to damage. 

A great Saturday but a horrible Sunday for the team overall.

No points for Saturday but if there were, they would have had a nice points haul.

We can only wait to see if their race pace improves next time out.

 

Williams: Russell – P15, Kubica – P16

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Once again coming up at the back were both Williams cars.

I hate to say it but I will be surprised if they score even a point this year.

Plum last in every race so far and the only team without any points makes you think if they are ever going to bounce back.

Co-founder Patrick Head has returned to the team so only time will tell if they will.

With a lacklustre performance and the result only coming due to retirements it’s looking like another tough season for the team.

 

Renault- Double DNF

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It was a rather sad weekend for the team this weekend.

Both drivers shuddered to a halt in quick succession with engine trouble. So quick most of us thought they had collided.

Having said that the performance shown was promising with both cars in the points at the time of their sad retirement.

 

Overall this race had everything. Overtaking, drama and heartbreak. Join us for the next race which will be Formula One’s 1000th race in China.

 

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