Posts Tagged ‘bahrain’

Bernie talks sense

March 17th, 2010 No comments

So what to make of the Bahrain Grand Prix?

If you believe some of the press, at least in the UK, the race was one long procession, only mildly more interesting than watching paint dry.

I agree it wasn’t the most exciting of races but I don’t think it was that bad. There was some overtaking although admittedly a few of those passes were like taking candy from a baby when Vettel’s engine broke a spark plug.

Perhaps it was because expectations had been pumped up so high: four world champions, three new teams, the second coming of Michael Schumacher.

I think we need to give it a couple of races before passing too much judgment. Bahrain was the first race under the new refueling ban and the teams were obviously being careful with tyres and fuel. I think a lot of the drivers were holding something back and not pushing as much as they could have. Who knows whether Alonso would have mounted a successful attack on Vettel in the closing stages of the race if the German hadn’t had engine trouble?

I hope in the future we will see more agressive driving and race strategy.

Schumacher, obviously disappointed with 6th, questioned the new rules saying

Overtaking was basically impossible unless somebody made a mistake.  That is the action we are going to have with this kind of environment of race strategy.

Even race winner Alonso thinks the refueling ban will encourage processional races.

But let’s not forget one of the reasons the ban was introduced was to take away the option teams had of ‘passing’ in the pits. I don’t think anyone prefers to see positions made or lost in the pits as opposed to out on the track. When you look at the number of actual on track passing moves (rather than ‘passing’ in the pits) in Bahrain was it that much worse than previous races?

I say let’s wait and see. For a change, I agree with Bernie Ecclestone:

The first race with new regulations was always going to be a learning curve for them all. Now they know they can make improvements and be a bit bolder and we will get more action.

I had a meeting with the teams and tried to explain to them what our business is about – racing and entertaining the public. It’s not about playing with computers and going fast over one lap.

Image: Lorenzo Bellanca/LAT Photographic

Categories: 2010 Season Tags:

Prediction game: Round 4 results

April 27th, 2009 No comments

Fernando Alonso, Bahrain, 2009The results for round 4 of the prediction game are up and there were some big winners.

Three people correctly predicted the first two places, getting a big haul of points and allowing Andrew to jump to the top of the standings, five points clear of second place.

I was the only one who thought there would be a Toyota on the podium and a few people thought Alonso should have done better than eighth.

Still, Fernando’s single point doesn’t look too bad when you consider that his water bottle had broken and he drove the entire race in 50 degree heat without water only to collapse when getting out of his car.

Categories: Prediction Game Tags:

Trulli’s Bahrain disappointment

April 26th, 2009 No comments

Jarno Trulli, Bahrain, 2009Jenson Button claimed his third victory of the season in Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix and increased his lead in the World Drivers’ Championship to 12 points.

Toyota had qualified on the front row of the grid and Jarno Trulli was hoping to score the first win for the Japanese team but a poor start and bad tyre choices saw him finish third behind Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel.  Whereas Button and Vettel went for a super soft – super soft – medium strategy, Trulli spent a long middle stint on the slower medium tyres.

After the race, Trulli seemed somewhat deflated and it wasn’t just the 50 degree temperature:

I am a little bit disappointed because I was waiting for the first win for Toyota.

During the second stint we used a very long stint on the hard tyres, so I was trying to fight and it was really hard fighting with a lot of cars. I was not extremely quick.

Lewis Hamilton had a great start and was “delighted” with his fourth place finish – his best of the season.

Kimi Raikkonen, under the stern gaze of Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo, managed a measly three points to save the Scuderia the dishonour of their worst start to an F1 season ever but poor Felipe Massa finished in 14th, a lap down and battling with the Force India of Fisichella.

Although he won by 7 seconds, Button said it was a tough race:

Our car is competitive but it’s still not easy to drive and that’s something that we need to work on because I had a lot of moments during the race where I was wide, locked up rears or fronts.

Jenson is clearly worried that the early advantage Brawn GP has had is starting to be clawed back by teams like McLaren.  The Spanish Grand Prix in two weeks’ time will see most teams bring updated cars including new double-diffusers for Ferrari and BMW but with almost twice as many points as their nearest rival Brawn GP don’t have too much to worry about yet.

2009 Bahrain Grand Prix Race Results

Pos Driver Team Grid Time Points
1 Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes 4 1:31:48.182 10
2 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 3 1:31:55.369 8
3 Jarno Trulli Toyota 1 1:31:57.352 6
4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 5 1:32:10.278 5
5 Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 6 1:32:25.961 4
6 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 10 1:32:30.239 3
7 Timo Glock Toyota 2 1:32:31.062 2
8 Fernando Alonso Renault 7 1:32:40.957 1
9 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 9 1:32:46.380 0
10 Nelson Piquet Jr Renault 15 1:32:53.331 0
11 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 18 1:32:55.823 0
12 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 11 1:33:06.006 0
13 Sebastien Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari 16 lapped 0
14 Felipe Massa Ferrari 8 lapped 0
15 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Mercedes 17 lapped 0
16 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 19 lapped 0
17 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 16 lapped 0
18 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 13 lapped 0
19 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 14 lapped 0
RET Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 12 retired, 48 laps 0
Categories: 2009 Season Tags: ,

Bahrain: Fuel adjusted qualifying times

April 25th, 2009 No comments

Trulli, Bahrain qualifying, 2009The FIA now publish the declared weights of the cars at the start of the Grand Prix.  Those cars that made it through to the third qualifying session are weighed directly after qualifying while others have their weights declared by the team shortly after the session.

The top ten cars must use the fuel they qualified with while the rest of the field may refuel before the race.

As every Formula One car weighs the same without fuel (605kg), knowing the weights of the cars allows us to predict when drivers will have to stop and also whether the time set in qualifying is indicative of race pace.

Below is a graph showing the actual top ten qualifying times as well as their times adjusted for the weight of fuel they are carrying.  The graph assumes a standard cost of 0.3 seconds per 10kg of fuel.

The graph shows just how fast the Toyotas are.  Even allowing for the fact that they are carrying less fuel than the Brawn GP cars, Jarno Trulli’s fuel-adjusted time was about half a second faster than Jenson Button.  Will Toyota score their first Formula One victory on Sunday?


Categories: 2009 Season Tags: , ,

Historic Toyota front row in Bahrain

April 25th, 2009 No comments

JarnoAll the winter testing at the Sakhir circuit seemed to pay off for Toyota on Saturday as Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock locked out the front row of the grid for Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix.

This was the first pole position for the Japanese team since Ralf Schumacher at the 2005 Japanese Grand Prix and the first time Toyota have started from first and second position on the grid.

Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel will start from third next to the Brawn GP of Jenson Button.

Fresh from his second place finish in last week’s Chinese Grand Prix, Vettel’s team mate Mark Webber returned to his usual unlucky form. He was badly blocked by a swerving Adrian Sutil in the final corner of the first session and ended up in 19th place.

When asked if he would be protesting, Webber didn’t seem to think there was much point:

It doesn’t make any difference.  My race is screwed.

Nelson Piquet Jr has been under a lot of pressure to perform and with the help of an interim diffuser he managed to lift himself out of the first qualifying session but could manage no better than 15th.

2009 Bahrain Grand Prix Qualifying Results

Pos Driver Team Time
1 Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:33.431
2 Timo Glock Toyota 1:33.712
3 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:34.015
4 Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes 1:34.044
5 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:34.196
6 Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 1:34.239
7 Fernando Alonso Renault 1:34.578
8 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:34.818
9 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:35.134
10 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:35.380
11 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 1:33.242
12 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:33.348
13 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 1:33.487
14 Nick Heidfeld BWM Sauber 1:33.562
15 Nelson Piquet Jr Renault 1:33.941
16 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:33.753
17 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Mercedes 1:33.910
18 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:34.038
19 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:33.722
20 Sebastien Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:34.159

Update: Sutil penalised three places for blocking Webber in qualifying.

Categories: 2009 Season Tags: ,