The TJ13 readers were relatively uninspired by the 2015 Bahrain GP, as the race scores its lowest reader rating since we began running polls. Not even a late charge from Kimi and a comfortable win for Lewis could get the 2015 Bahrain GP race score above a 7.
2013 – TJ13 reader score – 7.58
What a difference a couple of years make. In 2013 the Bahrain GP was a disaster for Ferrari.
Fernando Alonso was to suffer a DRS failure where his rear wing flap stuck open just 5 laps into the race. Two unscheduled pit stops failed to correct the defect, so Alonso had to plough on without DRS and eventually finished eighth.
The other Ferrari driver faired as badly and collided with Adrian Sutil on lap one causing a puncture to his Force India. Felipe Massa then himself suffered a puncture during his second stint, prompting a subsequent call from Rob Smedley to Felipe, “just drive flat out.” Massa did, only to suffer a second puncture and al hopes of a points finish were gone. #KARMA
Rosberg started the race for Mercedes on pole, but mysteriously just fell back through the field on the first stint. The other Mercedes struggled as well, and when Lewis he was told his pace was good, Lewis quipped, “it doesn’t feel that way, man.”
Following his second pit stop, Lewis was transformed, though Ross Brawn observed after the race, “when it was hot, we were nowhere… we’ve got some thinking to do”.
Sebastian Vettel won the race and Kimi was again one step short of the top of the podium and surprisingly Paul di Resta briefly led the race.
Alonso was the favourite to challenge Vettel for the win prior to his mechanical problems, yet this was payback for 2010 when Vettel’s exhaust failure had handed victory to the Spaniard.
2014 – TJ13 reader score – 8.43
Pastor Maldonado flipped the Sauber of Esteban Gutierrez on the entry to turn one in a completely avoidable incident that saw him earn a trio of penalties from the stewards. The ensuing safety car set up a battle royal between the Mercedes pair of Lewis and Nico
The now dearly departed Ferrari chairman, Luca de Montezemolo, had on the day of the race that Formula One was broken and that the combatants had been reduced to “taxi drivers.” The Mercedes pair made Luca look absurd as they doggedly battled for lap after lap in what many people remember as the most memorable race of the year.
Hamilton won out, though some of his defensive moves were questioned by analysts and Sergio Perez delivered a mini shock as he made third step of the podium.
The battle between team mates wasn’t restricted to Mercedes, as Daniel Ricciardo squeezed himself between Sebastian Vettel and the pit wall. The new leader of the Bulls then set about chasing down the Force India cars, passing Hulkenberg with ease and falling less than a second short of piping Perez to the podium as the chequered flag fell.
In stark contrast to Ferrari PR, Fernando Alonso observed after the race: “Just like in football, where you can see a terrible nil-nil game, the next one is an exciting five-four which you enjoy so much”.
This was the first time the field had a true idea of how quick the Mercedes car really was. Following the safety car, Lewis and Nico left the rest for dust, as they scorched away over two seconds a lap quicker than anyone else.
There were battles up and down the field, though Bahrain 2014 will always be remembered as the ‘duel in the desert’, enacted by a pair of silver arrow cars.
2015 – TJ13 reader score – 6.96
This year’s Bahrain GP could be described as ‘mildly interesting’ when compared to the previous years above.
Kimi Raikkonen provided the only real excitement as having been set on an alternative tyre strategy to the rest of the leading cars, he charged back towards the leading Mercedes on his fresh soft tyres over the last 16 laps.
There were recurring themes of Massa being unlucky and Pastor Maldonado driving a demolition derby.
Sergio Perez two stopped and whipped his three stopping team mate Nico Hulkenberg; who complained after the race about the balance of the car, problems with the front of the car, problems with the rear of the car, a lack of pace and that the VJM07.3-117-5H1TE had cannibalistic tendencies ‘eating its own tyres’.
The ever smiling Danny Boy (as opposed to Dan the not so happy new man in a bull) claimed to have nursed his engine to ensure its survival, but it appears he will now be using his fourth and final power unit as the Renault unit exploded spectacularly 200 metres short of the chequered flag. He trundled across the line for a respectable sixth place.
Lewis disappeared off at the start and was never troubled, though both Mercedes were compromised by brake issues. These were created the team adjusting the braking/harvesting systems to improve tyre degradation because they feared the Pirelli friendly Ferrari’s were closer than in actuality they were.
It was a thirty sixth win for Hamilton and Rosberg’s brakes gave up on him at the start of the final lap handing Kimi Raikkonen second place in the dessert once again.