Grand Prix 2018 Bahrain Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

I shall start you off with these quotes from the qualifying press conference at the Australian GP:

LH - “I can assure you we don’t have a party mode. I used the same mode from Q2 to the end of Q3. There was no extra button or mode I engaged in.”
SV - “What were you doing before then?”
LH - “I was waiting to put a good lap in and wipe the smile off your face.”

2018 Australian GP Result:

1st - Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
2nd - Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
3rd - Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari

It was a stunning lap from Lewis on Saturday, make no mistake, but someone needs to remind him that you don't win anything on Saturday. Vettel got lucky on Sunday with the timing of the VSC but then to win in F1 you always need a slice of luck. Pride can often preface a fall - ask Nigel Mansell in Canada in 1991.

So what have we learned in the first race of 2018? Mercedes have a very obvious qualifying advantage over all the other cars. This is a combination of the settings available to the works team and the quality of one of their drivers. Ferrari are a little behind Mercedes, sorry Lewis Hamilton, on race pace and Red Bull a little behind them. Haas have built a good car and despite everyone stating that it would be good to see another team mixing it at the front there is lots of moaning when a team takes a step foward.

Team Alonso have made some progress and, bless, Fernando would like his race engineer to be a bit more positive in his radio messages. His "safe space" has been set aside at the back of the pit garage should he get a bit stressed. Stoffel Vandoorne was also allowed to use one of the orange cars as long as he didn't take any publicity away from Fernando. Renault appear to have moved ahead of Force India and there were three other teams taking part but no one noticed. That said, Hartley did bring the Honda powered Toro Rosso home albeit a lap down even after the safety car.

So what to expect in Bahrain? Valtteri Bottas took pole last year but I suspect he has been reminded of his position in the team this year and to behave himself in Qualie. Vettel won last year, I was racking my brain as to why and then read an old report about Lewis playing silly buggers with Danny Ric in the pit lane and getting a 5 second penalty. Ah, yes.

I have visions of a 2010 type 2 x 2 procession as the cars chug round in the desert but who knows, we might have a freak thunderstorm half way through but, of course, this would result in the race being stopped as, as we all know, it's impossible to drive a car in the rain.

Hope I'm not bigging this up too much for you. We have a fight to see whether Hamilton or Vettel will win their 5th World Title this year, all the rest are also rans. Let's hope that there is some real racing to decide which of these two will match Fangio.
 
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Olivier

Race Winner
:shocked:

Vettel winning the race can't hide the fact that Ferrari managed to shot themselves in the foot. I hope The mechanic has a speedy recovery.

"Apparently a shinbone and fibula fracture, our thoughts are with Francesco, stay strong #BahrainGP"
 

F1Brits_90

Champion Elect
Today was better 1st 20 laps & final 7 were entertaining in between was back to normal but thats a good average i hope we get more Bahrain in Shanghai than melbourne. Overtaking was still hard, but at least possible albeit under DRS & Drivers could go through field unlike Australia where Bottas could do nothing. Strategy was intriguing between ferrari aborted 2 stopper on softs & mercs 1 stopping on mediums For me i was saying i wouldve brought vettel in on lap 46/47 for set of supersofts. So he would be the hunter not hunted

Bottas drove very well hopefully back on form as he really did tail off in back end of 2017 but Driver of the day is Pierre Gasly, according to the you bet odds he was 3000/1 pre race. Unbelievable job to finish 4th in toro rosso & honda. Which i believe is toro rosso best result since hungary 2014 with verstappens 4th & best result for honda powered car for nearly a decade

For me i think we should ban electronic pit systems & bring back lollipop man. 2 in Haas in Austraila & now kimi in bahrain. Too many errors need the human factor back at least hr can put lollipop back down As that looked painful a he dragged him down pit lane momentarily
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
I was very surprised to hear whatshisface and Herbert on Sky heaping praise for his move on Lewis that ended in a puncture. As much as I love some feisty moves i saw it and thought Max had gone too hard too early and needed to calm down slightly.

Unless they were suggesting it was Hamilton's fault somehow? Max did but that was a bit silly.
 

Rutherford

Podium Finisher
Bottas made a critical error on the last lap, when entering the final DRS zone, by locking up, this giving Vettel the advantage and quite simply that’s what sets drivers like Vettel, Hamilton and Alonso apart from the Bottas’ and Räikkönens’ of this world. They have a killer instinct in those situations.

Bottas drove a solid race, but nothing outstanding.
 

F1Brits_90

Champion Elect
F1Brits_90 Can Honda and Toro Rosso maintain that performance for China where long straights will test its straightline speed? We shall see

Yes next 2 circuits will show what is real 2018 honda as they big power circuits with longest straights in f1. I cant see how theyve made that big a jump in 3 months but we will see
 

marksawatsky

Podium Finisher
Contributor
I haven't read through all the comments yet but how do you think the McLaren people feel about a Toro Rosso getting 4th with Honda power? It's got to be a punch to the gut, right?
 

Andyoak

Race Winner
I really hope it is; and to Alonso...
I know the Honda isn't up to scratch but I really didn't see any evidence over the last 3 years that either McLaren or Alonso were as good as they (and others) were making out.
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
marksawatsky at their home grand prix too! I mention over in the China op that I believe Mclaren pitted Alonso in order to avoid the embarrassment of being passed by Gasly as well. He was on a two stop and had just got into the DRS zone when Fernando jumped in the pit surprisingly changing his one stop strategy to a two stop. He also pitted at the same time as Hulkenberg just in front of him which makes no sense as he was trying to pass him. At the time if they'd risked the one stop they could have been on for a 5th place. It all seems a bit suspicious to me. Maybe I have my tin foil hat on.
 
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