Was it Lewis Hamilton’s race to win? In some respects no, but the Brit, after he performed the under-cut strategy on Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel at the first round of pit-stops, overtaking Vettel later on and holding his nerve to take the lead of the race, well and truly took the opportunity when it came knocking. Here is the 2019 Bahrain Post- Race Analysis.
Crucial point of the race?
There were many crucial points of the race this time. One of them was that overtake performed by Lewis Hamilton on Sebastian Vettel which left the German in a tiff. As tried on the lap beforehand, Hamilton went round the outside of the Ferrari driver of turn 4 and successfully completed the overtake.
The other crucial point of the race was Hamilton overtaking Charles Leclerc for the lead. After developing turbo issues, Hamilton started to reel in Leclerc at a rate of knots. One of the more easier overtakes of the night, Hamilton sailed past the heartbroken Monegasque driver. In the end, Mercedes, on the day, had a more reliable car and this brings in that famous saying in sport, in general, motorsport..
‘To finish first, you must first finish.’
Momentum can swing very quickly…
What a weekend for Ferrari. The Scuderia needed to bounce back after a difficult and under-whelming weekend in Australia and were doing so for 90% of the weekend in Bahrain. Quickest in the practice sessions, qualifying on the front-row and on course for a deserved victory – how situations can change so quickly in Formula One..
From having two cars on the podium, one for a probable victory and the other on the podium, to just one car on the podium will be a difficult result for Ferrari to take in. However, there are positives to take from this weekend – Leclerc was quick and comfortable with the car and that the team had Mercedes in their back pocket when it came to overall speed. Thank-you Bahrain, the championship has just started.
Missed opportunity for Renault
How weird! Both of the team’s cars retire at the same corner, a few seconds apart for different reasons – how can you explain that? With 3 laps to go, both Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo pulled off and retired from the race. Hulkenberg was on course to finish 6th with Ricciardo near the lower end of the top 10. Ricciardo’s failure was down to an MGU-K problem while Hulkenberg’s retirement hasn’t been solved. Team Principal Cyril Abiteboul admitted: “It’s been a very bad start to our racing season”.
Drivers of the Day
- Charles Leclerc, 3rd: Apart from losing the lead at the start of the race, Leclerc did not put a foot wrong all-weekend. Qualifying on pole, then bouncing back to overtake Valterri Bottas and team-mate Vettel and then creating a gap, he deserved this victory. There’ll be many more opportunities for this guy in the future.
- Lando Norris, 6th: In his first F1 weekends, he’s been able to qualify in the top 10 and now he’s scored his and the team’s first points of the season. After a poor start, the young Brit battled back to settle for 6th after Hulkenberg’s late retirement. A very good start to life in F1.
- Alexander Albon, 9th: A mature race in which the Toro Rosso driver had sparks in his face during the 1st lap chaos. Albon battled team-mate Daniil Kvyat and the Red Bull of Pierre Gasly and he benefited from the retirement of both Renault’s to score his first F1 points and first for a Thai driver since 1954.
- Nico Hulkenberg, DNF: He might of retired but this was one of Hulkenberg’s best races for a while. After engine-mapping troubles in Q1 left him 17th, the German was 11th after lap 1 and made the right choice to do 2-stops. Another points haul was in the bag..
1.Mercedes 87pts 2.Ferrari 48pts 3.Red Bull Racing Honda 31pts 4.Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari 10pts 5.McLaren Renault 8pts 6.Haas Ferrari 8pts 7.Renault 6pts 8.Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda 3pts 9.Racing Point BWT Mercedes 3pts 10.Williams Mercedes 0pts