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T O P I C    R E V I E W
HDT05 Posted - 19 Apr 2012 : 03:24:40
Bahrain Formula 1 Grand Prix

Race Date: 22 Apr 2012
Circuit Name: Bahrain International Circuit
Location: Sakhir
Number of Laps: 57
Circuit Length: 5.412 km
Race Distance: 308.238 km
Lap Record: 1:30.252 - M Schumacher (2004)

Times in AEST
Fri 20 April 2012
Practice 1 17:00 - 18:30
Practice 2 21:00 - 22:30
Sat 21 April 2012
Practice 3 18:00 - 19:00
Qualifying 21:00
Sun 22 April 2012
Race 22:00

Championship Driver Standings:

Pos Driver Nationality Team Points
1 Lewis Hamilton British McLaren-Mercedes 45
2 Jenson Button British McLaren-Mercedes 43
3 Fernando Alonso Spanish Ferrari 37
4 Mark Webber Australian Red Bull Racing-Renault 36
5 Sebastian Vettel German Red Bull Racing-Renault 28
6 Nico Rosberg German Mercedes 25
7 Sergio Perez Mexican Sauber-Ferrari 22
8 Kimi Räikkönen Finnish Lotus-Renault 16
9 Bruno Senna Brazilian Williams-Renault 14
10 Kamui Kobayashi Japanese Sauber-Ferrari 9
11 Romain Grosjean French Lotus-Renault 8
12 Paul di Resta British Force India-Mercedes 7
13 Jean-Eric Vergne French STR-Ferrari 4
14 Pastor Maldonado Venezuelan Williams-Renault 4
15 Daniel Ricciardo Australian STR-Ferrari 2
16 Nico Hulkenberg German Force India-Mercedes 2
17 Michael Schumacher German Mercedes 1
18 Felipe Massa Brazilian Ferrari 0
19 Timo Glock German Marussia-Cosworth 0
20 Charles Pic French Marussia-Cosworth 0
21 Vitaly Petrov Russian Caterham-Renault 0
22 Heikki Kovalainen Finnish Caterham-Renault 0
23 Pedro de la Rosa Spanish HRT-Cosworth 0
24 Narain Karthikeyan Indian HRT-Cosworth 0


Constructors Championship:

Pos Team Points
1 McLaren-Mercedes 88
2 Red Bull Racing-Renault 64
3 Ferrari 37
4 Sauber-Ferrari 31
5 Mercedes 26
6 Lotus-Renault 24
7 Williams-Renault 18
8 Force India-Mercedes 9
9 STR-Ferrari 6
10 Marussia-Cosworth 0
11 Caterham-Renault 0
12 HRT-Cosworth


Bahrain Past Winners

Year Driver Team Grid Time
2010 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 3 99:20.376
2009 Jenson Button Brawn GP 4 1:31.48.182
2008 Felipe Massa Ferrari 2 1:31.06.970
2007 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1 1:32.27.51
2006 Fernando Alonso Renault 4 89:46.205
2005 Fernando Alonso Renault 1.35.589
2004 Michael Schumacher Ferrari 1:28.34.875


Bahrain preview -

On the track, Bahrain is going to be all about tyre wear, as this is a tight circuit which places a high premium on tyre performance and conservation, and where the surface offline is always dirty thanks to the sandy environment.

So can Mercedes continue the dominance they showed in China, and if so will it be Nico Rosberg making it win number two or team mate Michael Schumacher taking win number 92?

“All the engineers, especially in the past few weeks, have been working very, very hard just improving the set-up, because we really struggled in the first two races with race pace,” Rosberg said just days after finally breaking through at his 111th attempt in Shanghai. “It’s great to see just how quickly we managed to progress. It’s just fantastic.

“It’s all been about set-up, really. Really thinking about what’s going on in the race and why are we struggling and trying to improve that situation. Surely the conditions helped us in China, I think, but even so, we’re just moving forward and that’s very nice to see. Already from the beginning of the year we’ve been very strong in qualifying, perhaps more difficult in the race. Now we’re still strong in qualifying - very strong, maybe even stronger - and also improving the race, so it’s good progress forward and I’m sure that we will continue this on-going development.”

McLaren go to Bahrain intent on winning again, as Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button lead the world championship after their respective third and second places in China. “I’m sure that this won’t be Nico’s first and last win,” Button said after that race. “They - the team - seem very competitive this year and Nico obviously hasn’t put a foot wrong all weekend. So I think we’re going to have a battle on our hands this year which is good to see.”

“I had a great race in China but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be like that at every race,” Rosberg says. “Bahrain could be a little bit of a different story again. We need to wait and see. It’s difficult to predict.”

Button, meanwhile, is looking forward to Bahrain’s heat. “We would hope to go even better. I just struggled - I think everyone did - with trying to get the tyres in an operating window in China, which was so difficult. The change in four or five degrees has been massive difference in car balance. I would rather it to be a little bit more straightforward and we can really get down to business.”

It’s unlikely that teams will have many big updates here after they took whatever they had to China, but Red Bull are expected to put Sebastian Vettel’s RB8 back to the latest specification rear end after his experiments in Shanghai. Ferrari and Lotus will largely be unchanged, while Sauber are determined to make the most of the C31’s noted kindness to its rear tyres to make up for their disappointing result last week.

The Sakhir track has reverted to its original 5.412 kilometre (3.363 mile) ‘Grand Prix’ layout, after the 2010 experiment with a new ‘Endurance’ complex did not prove popular. So once again it's a sequence of long straights with low-speed corners, which means that it’s very demanding on the brakes as drivers slow from 315 km/h to 65km/h in just 130 metres and three seconds for Turn One. The heat means that brake cooling is also very important.

Now that teams have DRS here for the first time some may be tempted into high-downforce set-ups, but good straight-line speed is also crucial so the drag pay-off conundrum may take some figuring out during practice. The single DRS zone is on the start-finish straight, with the detection point at the end of the preceding straight, just prior to Turn 14.

The track surface is smooth but quite abrasive, and is very tough on the rear tyres because of the proliferation of first-, second- and third-gear turns which demand plenty of traction and grip. The combination of high temperatures and sand blown on the circuit also plays a key part.

Pirelli will be bringing the same soft and medium compound rubber seen in Shanghai. “There are a number of technical challenges that we are anticipating for Bahrain,” says their motorsport director Paul Hembery, “with the hot conditions in excess of 30 degrees Celsius putting the compounds into a different working range. We’ve gathered some data from the track as the result of our tests there in the past, but the tyres and cars have changed so much since then that it is almost like starting again with a blank sheet of paper. However, we’re expecting a notable degree of degradation that should certainly test the teams in terms of strategy.

“With the circuit not having been frequently used, we are anticipating quite a high degree of track evolution over the course of the weekend. The risk of sand on the track can be an issue, as it takes time to clear and can cause graining. So tyre management will again be crucial, with rear traction in particular the key to a strong qualifying and race pace.”

Interestingly, HRT’s Pedro de la Rosa, a former Pirelli tyre tester, expects most teams to opt for two-stop strategies as the tyres are holding out longer this year and the new Pirelli profile is very beneficial to making the most out of the rubber.

The weather forecast is settled for the weekend, with partial cloud each day and the ambient temperature rising from 27 degrees Celsius on Thursday to 28 on Friday and 29 on Saturday and Sunday.

Friday's opening practice is expected to see Williams give tester Valtteri Bottas another outing in Bruno Senna's car, while Sunday's race will run over 57 laps or 308.238 kilometres (191.533 miles) and will start at 1500 hours local time, which is three hours ahead of GMT.


Latest News:

A Force India team member has asked to return home ahead of this weekend's Bahrain GP after four of the team's mechanics were caught up in a petrol bomb attack.

The four mechanics were driving in a hire car on the outskirts of the capital Manama when they got caught up in clashes between protestors and police.

Although a petrol bomb landed near their vehicle, no one was injured and they returned to their hotel soon after.

A team member not involved in the incident then asked to return to the United Kingdom.

"One of our vehicles was momentarily caught up in some disruption on the way back from the circuit last night," a Force India spokesman told Sportsmail.

"Our van was not the target but arrived on the scene on one of the main highways.

"Within a few minutes the traffic continued moving and the van returned to the hotel. Everyone in the van is okay."

Meanwhile, Bahrain International Circuit chairman Zayed R Alzayani played down the incident.

"It was an isolated incident, and my wife was involved too," he is quoted as saying by Autosport.

"The protestors were not targeting the cars, they just happened to be there. Nobody was injured.

"I don't command the police; they know what to do better than I do. I have a race to run."

15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
karter Posted - 29 Apr 2012 : 09:29:45
Just happy all the teams got out of there without any serious incident! Still should never have been there IMO.
OCC Posted - 29 Apr 2012 : 01:41:21
Must say, it seems Vettel has got his mojo back.
HDT05 Posted - 25 Apr 2012 : 19:49:47
Originally posted by Crikey

Thats a great wrap up of the weekend, Spot on with Daniel and something he needs to fix and unfotunately fix it fast.

Also being a Webber fan, It is a worry that Seb has got race pace back on Webber, I for one hope that was a one off, But highly doubt that.

I hope Ricciardo can get a good result, because he was so unlucky, but he's really showing good Qual pace..

Seb is back!! he is going to be hard to beat now.
Mr.McPhillamy Posted - 25 Apr 2012 : 19:12:33
Completely agree - by the second time I'd forgotten all about the 2 drivers, I was worrying those poor marshalls standing on the inside of that straight were going to be killed with this ridiculous 21st century open-wheel, invincible, reaction-blocking.

If you replay that move 10times, 4/10 results in Webber @ Valencia. It's just dumb luck and good driving from Alonso and Hamilton not to have driven into him.
I actually think Fernando kept driving off circuit to make it clear to everyone how ridiculous it was.

And I've never, ever heard Fernando as angry as that radio message!
willsy Posted - 25 Apr 2012 : 16:23:57
Rosberg I feel is really fortunate to get away with his moves. The idea of the rule is to make the front car chose a path for the overtaking car to use in trying to overtake. Rosberg had the guys behind make the move and he reacted too late for it not to cause problems. Once the car behind had committed, they either had to back out or run off track, which I feel is not the intended result from the rule. Sure you can squeeze the car to give yourself a better chance at creating an error for your opponent under brakes, or give you a better exit than them, but to close the gap totally is not on. It made for good viewing otherwise :)
Crikey Posted - 25 Apr 2012 : 15:38:20
Thats a great wrap up of the weekend, Spot on with Daniel and something he needs to fix and unfotunately fix it fast.

Also being a Webber fan, It is a worry that Seb has got race pace back on Webber, I for one hope that was a one off, But highly doubt that.
LP11 Posted - 25 Apr 2012 : 12:27:25
Always like this segment on Planet F1 after a race event, so its time to share it:

Red Bull and Lotus were the big winners in Bahrain, McLaren and Rule 10.4 were the big losers...

Star of the Race
Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, 2nd

It's only taken Kimi four races to achieve what Michael Schumacher is yet to achieve on his comeback. But is he happy? No, he was typically a bit mardy about it all, disappointed that he couldn't get the win, but that's fine, an emotional and gushing Kimi would be a bit hard to handle. Already in the race we had to cope with an emotional outburst from Paul di Resta that was the most animated we've ever heard him. On the radio complaining about Maldonado weaving all over the place in front of him, Paul actually sounded angry. Yes, angry.
Raikkonen's early race progress was a joy to behold from the onboard camera, especially his pass on Felipe Massa in Turns 5, 6 and 7. You weren't sure if it was going to end happily. Having made great strides through the field and having caught and passed Grosjean you thought his tyres would give out, but no.

Overtaking Move of the Race
Paul Di Resta (Force India) on Sergio Perez and Pastor Maldonado

There were two very brave moves in the race through Turns 5, 6 and 7 - Raikkonen on Massa and Button on Alonso. But you can't beat overtaking two cars in one corner, especially when you look like you're doing it on rails. Perez and Maldonado (who's so wide that he probably counts as two cars) were keeping each other busy through Turn 4 when Paul di Resta approached at speed. On a different strategy from them the Scot needed to get past in a hurry to make it work. Di Resta slowed his entry, nipped right across the apex as the cars in front ran wide and made a quick exit. At the end of the race the time he saved getting past them both at once was the difference between finishing 6th and 7th.


Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, 1st

A typical Vettel qualifying performance, gradually building up his speed until the last brilliant lap of Q3. A great getaway and a blinding first lap to set up a 2.2 second gap. After that if we had continued the 2011 model it would have been gap building to the 10-second lead mark, then some gap management looking back through what DC likes to call the "murr-urrs". He didn't have that luxury today with a dogged pursuit from Kimi Raikkonen. Before the end of the season he will catch him for the lead of the race.

Romain Grosjean. Lotus, 3rd
The first Frenchman on the podium since Maurice Chevalier won at Rheims in 1954 - or something like that. Romain wasn't gifted a podium he put in some assured overtaking moves and finished a long way ahead of Mark Webber, a distant 4th. Luckily for him he was a long way clear of nemesis Pastor Maldonado at the start.

Mark Webber, Red Bull, 4th
Mark got his best start of the season but he still couldn't shake off his predestined finishing position of 4th. But it was good and bad. The bad was that unlike the previous three races Vettel was significantly faster than him in the race.

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 5th
The great news for Rosberg and Mercedes is that not only do the tyres last in cool China, they last in warm and rough Bahrain. Rosberg chanced his arm with the stewards a couple of times, but the gods smiled on him. Article 10.4 of the F1 sporting rules reads: "Manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers, such as deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track or any other abnormal change of direction, are not permitted."

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, 7th
He thought that sixth place might be possible today, but imagined at least one of the cars ahead of him would be a McLaren. It wasn't too strong a race for the Scuderia given that without serial McLaren mistakes and reliability issues he would have been 9th. It would have been interesting to find out what he was thinking when he started to follow Kobayashi into the pitlane. After the race he rewarded interviewers with not one, but two references to damage limitation. "We limited the damage again....I think in the first four races we did a good damage limitation."

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, 9th
It must have been a great feeling for Felipe to have his team-mate just in front of him during the race and almost holding him up. Sergio who...?

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, 10th
Michael was unusually gloomy at the end of the race. Whereas before he's put a positive spin on a worse result, today he suggested that it was no fun driving an entire race worrying about the tyres and that Pirelli should do something. Given the racing we've had so far this season he might find it difficult to find too many people agreeing with him. "The main thing I feel unhappy about is that everyone has to drive well below a driver's, and in particular, the car limits to maintain the tyres," he said. "But basically it is everybody with maybe one or two exceptions. And if it is 80/90 per cent of the field that has this problem, then maybe the tyre supplier should think about that."

McLaren Right Rear Tyre Guy
...got his nuts on. So he's not going to have an uncomfortable time in the debrief. The same can't be said for Left Rear Tyre Guy.


Jenson Button, McLaren, 18th

Not a great qualifying performance, not a great start, not a great job keeping his tyres together, not great luck with a puncture and not great reliability. Let's hope he caught his flight on time.

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, 8th
Lewis was only ever fast enough to take P5, so P8 isn't an unmitigated disaster. He managed to avoid getting clobbered by Rosberg, but the pit-stops must have been very depressing.

Daniel Ricciardo, Toro Rosso, 15th
To go from 6th to 16th on the opening lap is not the mark of a driver who's going to step into a Red Bull next season. Qualifying 6th was Luckily for Daniel he's got quite a few races to show that he can convert a great qualifying position into a race result - last year Jaime waited till Spa to grab 6th in Qualy and by then Helmut was having doubts.

Race Stewards
Who was the driver steward this race - Keke Rosberg? If the rules were changed between 2011 and 2012 to compel drivers to leave a car width between themselves and the edge of the track when blocking, then Nico Rosberg should have picked up a penalty. If they're not going to be enforced - and to be honest you couldn't have a more extreme example of it than we got at Bahrain, because when Rosberg went to block Alonso even HE went off track - then you should just ditch them. Hamilton didn't suffer as a result of his summary barge but Alonso did and Fernando was right to be irate.
And why did they need to investigate after the race - this isn't the Leverson Inquiry, it's a 'live' sporting event. I fully expected Big Ears to get 25 seconds added to his time.
Also, what do you have to do in pit-stops these days to be done for Unsafe Release other than fail to secure the wheel properly?

Labour Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper
Many people think that Yvette Cooper could be the next Labour leader when the public (but more likely his own party) get fed up with Rubik's Cube Boy, but she's really put her foot in it now. Speaking on the BBC's Question Time programme she called for the British drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button to withdraw from the Bahrain Grand Prix. How dare she say something so utterly provocative. What about Paul di Resta? Does he count so little that he doesn't need to be withdrawn from the grand prix? Is it because Force India is such a small team that they're not worthy of mention, or is it because he's Scottish? More likely some dandruff encrusted beardy postgraduate researcher with an eye for some quick political points scoring did a fleeting check and didn't realise that di Resta was a Brit. It's such an obviously Scottish name too - the Di Resta clan are allied to the clan Franchitti and the clan Macari.
Ed Milliband's call to have the Bahrain Grand Prix cancelled once everyone had got there was also unwelcome political opportunism. F1's a good target for politicians and it was sad to see how eager people were to give it a good kicking. They say a week is a long time in politics, but a week ago expressing that kind of sentiment might have helped, as Ross Brawn articulated: "I find it very frustrating that politicians in the UK were saying that we should withdraw once we got here," said Brawn. "Why didn't they say that beforehand?
Ross called for some quiet reflection in the months ahead but even just a few hours after the event you can predict one outcome. The FIA cannot run this grand prix again until there has been a proper resolution of grievances in Bahrain. The teams won't want to put themselves through the mill like they did this weekend without a number of assurances being firmly put in place.

BBC Local News
So desperate were the BBC London News to be "right on" and get in on the Bahrain act that they gave front page coverage on the BBC website to a story about a protest outside the offices of Formula One Management in Knightsbridge.
"At 12:45 BST about 20 people had gathered in Knightsbridge at the offices of promoter, Formula One Management," it read
"About 20 people"? Was that a protest or the queue for Starbucks? If there were "about 20 people" standing still with placards outside the front of FOM, surely they could be counted? Were the protestors so frenzied in their movement that a BBC reporter couldn't actually count them or was it because reporting that 12 people were actually there sounds a bit pathetic...?"

Quotable Quotes

Jenson Button: "It's the better of the two Bahrain circuits - it doesn't have the jumps."

Jean Todt: "I hope nothing will happen in the race, but I am not a magician."

James Allen (from Saturday): "I think Vergne could be sitting on the naughty step tonight."

David Coulthard: "I think Raikkonen drifted back into rally mode there."

Martin Brundle: "Fernando. Felipe is faster than you."

After a typically BBC-like introduction, apologising for the fact that they were actually showing the Bahrain GP amidst all the trouble and strife you could see David Coulthard get a bit hacked off: "I haven't seen any armoured personnel carriers... personally," bridled DC




Good to see the Mclaren drivers in the 'losers' column. And I agree that Daniel Ricciardo needs to start capitalising on his superior qualifying performances as in the races so far he is going backwards and quickly too...
karter Posted - 25 Apr 2012 : 09:15:03
Originally posted by Sonic

he didn't tho that i saw (did think it originally).... he went all the way over to the white line, Alonso CHOSE to keep going and drove on the dirt, that was his call and if he binned it would have been entirely his fault.

No, Rosberg is not allowed to block all the way to the white line - if there is any overlap, which there was. He has to leave a cars width of room. Rosberg forced both Hamilton and Alonso completely off the track.

Sure they both COULD have backed off rather than take to the dirt - but that's not how the rules say it should be.

Rosberg is entitled to force the drivers trying to pass onto the dirty part of the track, but not off the track into the dirt.
PHILCO Posted - 25 Apr 2012 : 04:08:56
Fantastic race for Kimi, already had a more successful comeback than Schumi… Kinda annoyed at that, but then again, Kimi and Mickie are my favourites…
Anyway, that was a pretty good Bahrain GP, best I've seen. Well done Seb, don't like you, but great win! Well done Kimi and well done Grosjean!

Onwards to Catalunya via Mugello!
gasking Posted - 24 Apr 2012 : 14:25:51
Another great race, i thought it had everything. Was great seeing how hard Kimi was pushing in the in car vision. Shame he lost a heap of time in his last pit stop.

The rule sounds like they can block all the way aslong as they leave one car width free which I rekon is great.
Sonic Posted - 24 Apr 2012 : 09:24:49
don't think he did anything wrong... he did an aggressive defend move, Alonso chose to follow him... how is that Rosberg's fault what line Alonso drives?
HDT05 Posted - 24 Apr 2012 : 02:53:37
Alonso angered by Rosberg exoneration

Fernando Alonso says chaos could ensue in future races after the Bahrain stewards ruled that Nico Rosberg's driving was within legal limits.

Rosberg was involved in two controversial moments which were investigated by the stewards after the 57-lap grand prix.

The first was between the Mercedes driver and Lewis Hamilton when Rosberg appeared to force the McLaren driver off the track and onto the dirt while the second was a similar incident, this time involving Alonso.

After hours of looking at all the evidence, the stewards "unanimously decided to take no further action" against Rosberg.

They ruled that his wide line in the Hamilton incident was justifiable while he had not made "any sudden movements" to block or change directions on Alonso.

The Ferrari driver was not happy with the ruling, saying there could have been a very serious accident.

He told the Press Association: "Instead of such a wide run-off area (if) there had been a wall, I'm not sure I'd be here now to talk about it."

Still smarting a while later, the Ferrari driver went onto Twitter to warn of mayhem given that the stewards deemed Rosberg's antics to be okay.

"I think you are going to have fun in future races!" Alonso Tweeted. "You can defend position as you want and you can overtake outside the track! Enjoy!"


I like the last part, beware Nico, Alonso isn't going to forget what you did to him !!

Going to be awesome if these two are fighting it out for the win, highly unlikely but it would be good.
Crikey Posted - 24 Apr 2012 : 00:04:53
Originally posted by LP11

Originally posted by Sonic

if the worst thing that is going to happen in your day is that you complain about the definition of your F1 on the tv then you have a pretty good life. :)

It wasn't a biggie for me either

Agree didnt really notice TBH.
LP11 Posted - 23 Apr 2012 : 22:42:32
Originally posted by Sonic

if the worst thing that is going to happen in your day is that you complain about the definition of your F1 on the tv then you have a pretty good life. :)

It wasn't a biggie for me either
Sonic Posted - 23 Apr 2012 : 22:32:58
to me it's no big deal whether it's lo or hi def... don't give a toss either way... it's just a tv show and life won't end if the pic is a bit less smooth or whatever...

if the worst thing that is going to happen in your day is that you complain about the definition of your F1 on the tv then you have a pretty good life. :)

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