Saturday, 5 April 2014

Bahrain Qualifying: A second ahead of the game...

The best thing about the Grand Prix in Bahrain is the certainty that there will be no rain. That is until we consider that Mercedes are shaping up to dominate the entire season and the absence of rain may mean that Hamilton and Rosberg can simply drive away from everyone else and take an easy win. Some might say that it is a little early to suggest that Mercedes have the season in the bag, but the start of the 2014 season is a complete opposite to the start of the 2012 season, in which we witnessed a different winner in all of the first seven races, and even last season was far less predictable.

As Q1 reached its half way point it was staggering to see the two Mercedes cars sitting at well over a second faster than everyone. Us F1 fans are a fickle bunch and we will get very bored very quickly, if the same team continues to outclass everyone else. Fortunately, many of the cars put in faster times than Hamilton and Rosberg just before the end of Q1, however it quickly became apparent that the only reason for this was that they had put on the more favourable Hard tyre. There was a ludicrous incident in the closing laps of the first session, when an over zealous Adrian Sutil decided to force Romain Grosjean off the circuit and, essentially, in to the desert. The move was a tad aggressive for a qualifying session and Sutil's excuse and justification was utterly pathetic. He'd better not use the same justification when appealing to the race stewards, or he might as well pack his bags and fly home now.

It appears as though Vettel and Ricciardo are actually alternating there luck from race to race, despite the fact I was only joking in a previous post. Sebastian Vettel tumbled out in Q2, putting himself in eleventh place for the race. Surprisingly, and refreshingly, Sebastian was extremely graceful in his post qualifying interview. That familiar grin was playing across his face as he diplomatically stated that he "just wasn't quick enough". In contrast, Ricciardo managed to bang in a third place qualifying lap, but he has a frustrating ten place grid penalty, which will hinder him massively again
. However, nobody was able to challenge the Mercedes cars, with both Lewis and Nico qualifying almost a second ahead of everybody else, and they are looking more and more dominant as the season gets underway.

Its nice to know that we can all watch Formula One free of guilt, as these hybrid, environmentally friendly racing cars hurtle round a circuit lit by thousands of energy guzzling light bulbs. It's fantastically contradictory and makes a complete farce of the whole eco-friendly F1 generation, but at least the sport can pretend its doing its bit.

The Grid:
6Nico RosbergMercedes1
44Lewis HamiltonMercedes2
77Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes3
11Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes4
7Kimi RäikkönenFerrari5
22Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes6
19Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes7
20Kevin MagnussenMcLaren-Mercedes8
14Fernando AlonsoFerrari9
1Sebastian VettelRed Bull Racing-Renault10
27Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes11
26Daniil KvyatSTR-Renault12
3Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing-Renault13
25Jean-Eric VergneSTR-Renault14
21Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari15
8Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault16
13Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Renault17
10Kamui KobayashiCaterham-Renault18
17Jules BianchiMarussia-Ferrari19
9Marcus EricssonCaterham-Renault20
4Max ChiltonMarussia-Ferrari21
99Adrian SutilSauber-Ferrari22

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