/An Action Packed Bahrain GP

An Action Packed Bahrain GP

2013 bahrain f1 podium at An Action Packed Bahrain GP

Like China, qualifying in Bahrain proved to be a game of treating tyres as though they were filled with nitro-glycerine. As Lewis Hamilton proved in practice, one bit of debris was enough to expose the Pirelli’s canvas.

bahrain1 at An Action Packed Bahrain GP

Although Hamilton suffered a five-place grid penalty for changing gearboxes and started in 9th, teammate, Nico Rosberg eventually grabbed pole, giving Mercedes back-to-back poles, something not achieved since 1958. Sebastian Vettel made 2nd with a happy Alonso in 3rd. Red Bull’s Mark Webber also suffered a three-place grid penalty for colliding with Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne during the race in China. Ferrari’s Massa is 4th (opting for the harder compounds), Force India’s Paul Di Resta is 5th, and teammate Adrian Sutil 6th. Kimi Raikkonen didn’t do as well as he expected with 9th, and Button just scraped 10th.

bahrain2 at An Action Packed Bahrain GP

As the lights flashed green in Bahrain, Fernando Alonso made a great start and passed 2nd placed Vettel into the first corner, only to lose out to the German almost immediately. Paul di Resta also made a good start, stealing a place from Massa. Whilst this took place, Massa also touched wheels with the other Force India and damaged his front wing.

A lap later the lead momentarily changed as Vettel passed Rosberg and, the Red Bull running wide, Rosberg regained the lead. At this point, the Mercedes was clearly holding both Vettel and Alonso up.

bahrain3 at An Action Packed Bahrain GP

Vettel finally took the lead for good on lap 3; Alonso wasn’t far behind and made a pass at Rosberg, who lost 2nd place, only to win it back with DRS at the end of the straight. Like Vettel, Alonso took another lap to secure a pass on Rosberg.

On lap 6 Force India’s Paul di Resta passed Rosberg for 3rd with Massa also having a go. Meanwhile Alonso’s Ferrari suffered a mechanical failure when its DRS flap got stuck open and Alonso needed to pit. A lap on and more horror for Alonso as he had to pit a second time, the mechanics forcing his DRS flap closed. Webber and Romain Grosjean also pitted on the same lap.

bahrain4 at An Action Packed Bahrain GP

Although they suffered an average qualifying, both the McLaren’s were running 5th and 6th with similar pace. Just after Massa passed Rosberg for 3rd place, the Mercedes pitted along with Jenson Button. Vettel started to stretch his lead to around 6 seconds over di Resta. Vettel, Massa, and Perez then pitted, with Vettel vitally getting out ahead of Button.

It didn’t take Button long to catch and pass Rosberg for 12th place, and at these early stages, the race started to liven up again with a great scrap between Romain Grosjean and McLaren’s Perez for 9th.

A few laps on and Vettel passed Kimi for the lead, with both Grosjean and Perez passing Massa, who had a problem with a delaminated tyre, and like Alonso, had to make an unscheduled stop – both Ferraris looked to be having a bad day at the office.

Lap 19 saw Button pass a slow Rosberg into 4th with Grosjean doing the same a few turns later. This was great stuff, as Grosjean and Button have a great battle for 3rd place, both swapping places and looking racy.

Webber and Button pitted, and once up to speed, Webber had no trouble taking 8th place from Alonso, who still had no DRS. Vettel pitted, so far ahead, he rejoined in the lead. Behind him, di Resta drove the race of his life and passed Grosjean for 2nd place.

Past the halfway point and the McLaren boys looked possessed as they scrapped like enemies. On lap 30 Perez lost part of his front wing, sliding into the back of his teammate, to which Button communicated over the radio: “He just hit me. Calm him down.”

bahrain5 at An Action Packed Bahrain GP

Undeterred, Perez continued to pressure and they banged wheels, and this time Button squeezed Perez off the track, maintaining 5th. Whilst this took place, Grosjean closed in on Perez, and with the Mexican still running high on adrenalin, the Frenchman just managed to pass the McLaren unscathed.

Three-quarters of the way into the race, Kimi had passed di Resta for 2nd, and Hamilton had taken care of Perez for 5th.

More drama came on Lap 37 when an incredulous Massa needed to pit for yet another puncture, and then more contact in the form of Webber cutting an apex and touching Nico Rosberg.

Whilst Vettel had the time to reduce his lap times at the front, the rest of the race saw some great racing with Grosjean and Button leaving the pits together, Grosjean just ahead for 5th place. Hamilton picked up speed and passed Button for 6th at turn one.

bahrain6 at An Action Packed Bahrain GP

Even without DRS, Alonso managed to pass Perez, the Mexican fighting back with DRS. Lewis Hamilton started to catch Webber, just as Alonso started reeling them both in. Webber managed to steal 5th back after some great racing, and whilst this happened, Perez had a lunge at Alonso, touching wheels, pushing his Ferrari onto the dirt.

The last few laps displayed what F1 should be all about. Hamilton passed Webber, Webber came back, and then Hamilton slid down the side at turn one and held on.

bahrain7 at An Action Packed Bahrain GP

Vettel had won the Bahrain GP, with a well-deserved Lotus 2-3 from Kimi and then Grosjean. Paul di Resta took 4th, Hamilton 5th and the racy Perez took 6th from Webber in the closing corners.

What a race… We just hope the rest of the season is as action-packed as Bahrain!

(Journalist) – James is a published fiction and article writer from London (UK) with a serious penchant for Ferrari F1, anything with an engine, and English Pointers.