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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


1. Hamilton Showed His Class

If anyone thought that Lewis Hamilton was going to back off and take it easy now he has it won, they were wrong. Now the pressure is off he seems to be just as focused and put it on pole, led from the line and was only ever behind while the first set of pit stops worked themselves out.


2. Engine Freeze

Red Bull have been pushing for their to be a freeze on engine development for 2022 with the current generation power units because they are about to lose Honda as engine suppliers and are intending to use the Honda engine but make them inhouse. They do not have the capacity to develop either the petrol powered part or the electric components and so would like the freeze so they can remain competitive. Ferrari were initially against it, but now they have changed their tune, so long as the next generation is brought forward by a year to 2025. Mercedes are against the freeze altogether, while Renault believe it is too late to freeze it now. Surely it is about time the teams had no say in the rules? Clearly all 4 are just thinking about what is best for them, not what is best for the sport.


3. That Crash

I am sure Grosjean was hoping to go out of F1 with a bang, but I am also sure that was not what he meant by it! It has been a long time since I have seen anything like that in Formula 1, though first lap incidents seem to have risen this season. To veer across the track like that and tangle with another car is quite common in the melee at the start, but never have I seen a car spear through the barricade like that and break in half, then go up in flames. It was a moment when you really did fear for his life, only for him to jump out and run away, though clearly not 100%.

The medical car was right there on the spot and the doctor Ian Stewart was there incredibly quickly to help pull him away from the fire, despite his lack of face protection. In fact I would have said the medical car's driver, Alan van der Merwe, was driver of the day for the speed he got there. Oddly the online vote saw Romain Grosjean get the title. I also have to say, as much as I dislike the halo system and would prefer a full cockpit, at least it is better than nothing and almost certainly saved his life today. He was very lucky to walk away with just suspected broken ribs and minor burns, though those ribs will mean his season, and F1 career, is over, as Grosjean has no drive for next season and was not looking to find one either.


4. The Aftermath

It was all a bit of a mess after the crash, the race had been red flagged immediately and no one had managed a lap, which usually leads to the race being considered as a DNS (did not start). However the organisers did not let anyone know until just before the restart what would be happening. Which is particularly odd considering they had over an hour while the car was removed and made safe to be transported. They needed to call in HAAS technicians to sort out the electrics so the car was not live and impossible to touch, and the barrier had to be rebuilt.

When eventually they did let everyone know, it was a surprise to most as they chose to have the race stand from where the cars where at the second safety car line. That required a fair bit of a rejig as they made their way to the grid and nearly led to more accidents. I really am not sure why they could not have let the teams know ahead of time and move them around in the pit lane while they waited to start? It all made the world's most expensive and glamorous sport seem a bit, well, amateur.


5. The Restart

As seems to always happen, the restart led to another crash, this time ending with Stroll upside down in the middle of the track. I was a bit surprised they punished Kvyat with a 10 second penalty for this one, as they usually call those kind of things a racing incident on a start. With cars all bunched up these things happen. I personally thought Stroll was at least as much at fault anyway, as the cars were so closely packed he should have left some room, just in case. Kvyat virtually cut right across the corner trying to avoid him, so it did feel he was a bit hard done by.

It seemed more that he was being punished because of who he tangled with and the end result, which was just a freak. The way Stroll bounced off his wheel and turned over was just one of those things and really did not feel like it was Kvyat to blame. Kvyat must have wondered if he had driven over 13 black cats on his way to the track the way his luck went. It was his car that Grosjean veered into that saw him fly off the track. Sometimes it really just is not your day.


6. Ferrari's Struggles

Once again Ferrari had absolutely no pace and their car's handling looked appalling. Their engine's lack of power was blatantly evident, but they looked a horrible car to drive as well. The problems there are far more than an engine with little grunt, it is hard to see them fixing their issues for next season. The worry is that they are starting to get caught by the backmarkers, with even Williams looking near to their pace.


7. Renault

Their powerplant is suddenly looking really good, it was comparable to Mercedes, particularly in the back of the McLaren. That is probably a little on the embarrassing side, that a customer car can outperform the factory ones.


8. Pink Mercs

They had no luck today at all, first the freak accident ending Stroll's race and then Perez suffering the first Mercedes engine blowout in a long, long time. You do have to question why they did not get him to pull over the moment the smoke started pouring out of the back of the car though. Instead he drove on until the car was on fire and then pulled over, causing the race to finish behind a safety car.


9. Career Saved?

Was that podium, which only really came about due to Perez dropping out, enough to save Albon's Red Bull career? Though they have already said he would be still kept on within the team in some capacity, even if they decided to replace him. So Albon knows he will be either a Friday and back up driver next season or still racing the Red Bull. I am not sure whether he did enough to convince the team to keep him, especially with the likes of Perez available for a drive next season.

Written by Tris Burke November 30 2020 05:43:49