Grand Prix 2013 Bahrain Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

So we move to the Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain. It is a country of great beauty, of civilisation and diversity; but just what attracts F1 to this corner of the world, this archipelago with just over 1 million inhabitants? Well, of course, “oil, stupid!” I hear you cry, but no, there is more than just that; as an influential economic trade centre with huge investment in tourism there’s far more than just the black, smelly, slippery stuff to attract the attention of Bernie and The Circus.

Before oil there was an historic background to interest the mightiest of classical brains; the years before the arrival of Islam were rich in culture as this conduit for trade and knowledge soaked up the influences of Egypt, Greece and the other “advanced” cultures of their times; on the arrival of Islam the intellectual and scientific knowledge flourished through years of political turmoil and threat from external sources, all contributing to the emergence of strong rulers and attracting continued interest from larger, more distant powers.
Portugal, Britain, Egypt and Persia focused on manipulating the region for greater gain as the area became yet more strategically important – then came interest from Uncle Sam in the form of oil prospectors Standard Oil when up through the ground came a bubblin’ crude. While initially this caused a closeness with Britain (who invested then saw great returns through oil revenues) soon it was Iran who showed interest, and the Persian influence was revisited until Bahrain’s independence in 1971. Tension between the three bubbled for the next 30 years until Emir Al Khalifa (who then became King) rose as leader and began a series of reforms which gave freedoms and rights to many. Shi’ite Bahrainis have complained of prejudice, causing a fragile politics in Bahrain, culminating in the commencement of open protest during the Arab Spring. The human rights record of the current regime is under scrutiny frequently and it is this which has made this F1 event as divisive amongst fans as it is. “Systematic Torture” is used by security forces to threaten, frighten and secure information and the control of media causes a bias in information within the country.

"Just what attracts F1 to this corner of the world?" F1 is, of course, attracted to Bahrain by money.


What’s this got to do with us, though? Well, the first Bahrain GP was held in 2004, winning the title of “Best Organised Grand Prix” for that year and was won by Michael Schumacher.
Yet it’s the years 2011 and 2012 which have caused most discussion due to the cancellation in ’11 and non-cancellation in ’12. Vettel’s Championship in ’11 would not have been altered had an additional GP been run, neither would his 2012 victory have been threatened had Bahrain been cancelled so why can political turmoil and human rights be a critical influence one year and not the next? Perhaps it doesn’t matter and the Formula 1 World Championship is all that matters, this is not the place for such a discussion but perhaps you’ll do me the favour of reading this:
http://edition.cnn.com/2013/04/11/sport/motorsport/bahrain-grand-prix-arrests/

So where are we now? With a great display from 3 time Bahrain winner Alonso, a super early China performance from 2 time Bahrain winner Massa and great Lotus, Merc, Red Bull and McLaren performances on 14th April what’s going to be the view on a winner? All the top 4 teams appear to be able to get one strong finish which makes for a real tight picture so I’m not putting anybody’s cash on a punt! The stewards may be in with a busy time, too, as some of the skill levels we’ve seen have caused them so much work over the China weekend. We’ve seen chewing-gum tyres causing dull qualifying with split race strategies and an unusual grid; with high Bahraini track and air temperatures surely this will be the best test so far of aero, strategy and driver skill. I don’t think the circuit is too dissimilar to China but grip levels with the sand will be a challenge, my surprise is that we still have the same questions unanswered regarding the respective qualities of the teams.

I hope you enjoy the race, despite it being my least favourite, and I look forward to your comments.
 

tranquility2k9

Podium Finisher
Hamilton was asked to save fuel again today.

When was this - at what point in the race? I'm not casting doubt on your claim, I'm just interested. I obviously missed this.

What I would say though is that every driver will go through fuel saving periods within the GP when they are not running max engine settings, but this is vastly different to the kind of fuel saving Merc required in Malaysia. I doubt they'd risk significantly under-fueling the car again after what happened there.
 

Slyboogy

World Champion
Contributor
The only thing I can remember was Hamilton getting told to save fuel through Turns 1 and 2.

Seems to me just the usual 'fuel saving' mode that drivers do.
 

Lewywo4

Race Winner
No adverts? In America? Good luck with that one!

That will never happen

Qualifying on saturday, NBCSports ubelievably took a commercial break after 5 minutes of running into Q2, and came back to broadcast qualifying with 7 minutes left in the session......it's just freakin unreal.....>:(
 

F1 Shift.net

Points Scorer
That will never happen

Qualifying on saturday, NBCSports ubelievably took a commercial break after 5 minutes of running into Q2, and came back to broadcast qualifying with 7 minutes left in the session......it's just freakin unreal.....>:(
But, they are still 10x better than what Speed ever was. Pre and Post race is much better, F1 36 is good..They've done more coverage already this season than speed did the last 5 seasons combinded
 

Westy

Pole Sitter
They shouldn't have changed the rubber. These drivers are bitching and moaning about how they can't race and have to drive to a delta. You know what, quit your moaning and deal with what you've got. Alonso didn't seem too worried about the rubber and drove a great race last weekend.

Pirelli shouldn't be blamed for what the rubber is doing during a race, they have done exactly what was asked for. We all loved the Canadian GP in 2010 and wanted more of that. As a result Pirelli made a tire that would degrade quickly to replicate those results.

The problem is that we now have too much of a good thing going on. The novelty of a race where the tires act unpredictably has worn off and now just seems to be much more of a nuisance.

Yes, the sport is relying too much on little gimmicks such as DRS and rapidly degrading tires, but this is our sport now. I want to lose these gimmicks and move back towards there being less of an emphasis on aerodynamics. However, as another member on this forum has pointed out, this is Formula 1 and it should be at the forefront of the automotive industry where aerodynamics are playing a more and more important role.

The sport is constantly changing, and we are always going to look back fondly on the "golden age" (whenever that was for you) of F1. What I think we should do as fans is embrace the new F1 and learn to love it for what it is. The racing may not be as magical as we remember it being, but it is still good. We can look at other series and see what they are doing well, but lets not forget that they look to F1 to help themselves improve. For example; IndyCar has adopted a similar qualifying format and tire degradation model.

F1 purist may not like where the sport is now, but we must change with the times (that being said F1 cars do lack some pretty simple driver aids that we all enjoy). If we weren't bitching about the tires, DRS, or KERS we would be b!tching about something else.

Now back to our regularly scheduled debates.
 

MCLS

Anti F1 fan
Valued Member
The problem is that we now have too much of a good thing going on. The novelty of a race where the tires act unpredictably has worn off and now just seems to be much more of a nuisance.

Perhaps, but in my opinion I think we've gone too far the other way, no-one wants tyres that will last forever in a race but I think we're reaching the realms of stupidity when we have tyres that go off after 3/4 laps, it's practically qualifying tyres, which is another debate in itself, but there has to be a happy medium between tyres that don't degrade quickly, and tyres that do, unpredictability is fine, complete madness isn't
 

rufus_mcdufus

Champion Elect
Perhaps, but in my opinion I think we've gone too far the other way, no-one wants tyres that will last forever in a race but I think we're reaching the realms of stupidity when we have tyres that go off after 3/4 laps, it's practically qualifying tyres, which is another debate in itself, but there has to be a happy medium between tyres that don't degrade quickly, and tyres that do, unpredictability is fine, complete madness isn't

Not to mention it's hardly cost-saving!
I'd be happy if we just did away with two slick compounds and just had one hard-ish tyre (plus inter & full wet). It's getting too much figuring who's on what tyre, how much deg they have, DRS zones, KERS etc. I just want to watch some simple racing!
 
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