by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
GP Week : Issue 219
17 GPWEEK.com // 17 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> BAHRAIN PARTNERS: It only needed another lap and Mercedes would have lost the Bahrain Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton may have won but Kimi Raikkonen was rather closer than was comfortable for the silver Arrows team, which ran into brake problems on both cars in the final two laps. Second for Ferrari was a sound result, though it could have been better had Sebastian Vettel been more composed. His was an unusually scrappy race, twice running wide under brakes before finally running off the circuit at the exit of the final turn having just leapfrogged Rosberg in the pits. It forced another stop for a new front wing which effectively ended his race. If not for that misadventure it's perfectly reasonable to expect the German would have been more than a handful in the closing stages. Vettel's error was a let off for Mercedes and Rosberg, but also for Raikkonen who moved into third. The Finn had been particularly strong in the middle stint of the race which set him up for a late charge with fresher tyres. If anything Ferrari missed a trick by leaving him on track too long in the middle of the race. Though he was quick on the medium compound tyres and gained on those ahead there was perhaps more to be gained by an earlier final stop to maximise the time on the faster, soft compound tyres. A faultless performance under pressure from Valtteri Bottas saw the Williams driver nab fourth at the finish, resisting the advances of a recovering Vettel. The Ferrari had closed on the Williams quickly but once in the turbulent air Vettel was unable to continue his charge and find a way through - a problem which has become increasingly evident between cars this year. Overtaking is possible but is far more difficult than it was. Felipe Massa was able to pass cars almost at will early in the race as he charged through after starting from the pit lane only to eventually hit a metaphoric wall. The Brazilian was left stranded on the grid and the field pulled away on the warmup lap, putting in a solid early stint to make up for lost ground. The team switched from a three stop to a two stop strategy with a long final stint that left him vulnerable at the finish, allowing Daniil Kvyat through in the closing stages. But to pick up a point from the pit lane having battled through a particularly combative midfield should be viewed as a positive result. There was little more on offer ahead, anyway. There was nothing on offer for McLaren, which lost Jenson Button before the race even started. His electrical issues in qualifying ultimately turned into a weekend ending problem as though the team had rebuilt his car overnight when firing it up pre-race there was a problem with the ERS, forcing it to withdraw Button from the race. But while there was disappointment on one side of the garage there were further encouraging signs on Fernando Alonso's side. His 14th place in qualifying saw him in the middle of the excitement in the early laps. There were no points on offer but there was another complete race distance for a team still struggling to come on terms with its package. An elevent place finish - ahead of both Saubers - continues the teams trend of progressively making progress. With a new engine apparently coming for the next race it could be that the return to Europe also signals a return to the top ten for McLaren, a monumental feat if one considers the horrors of winter