Bahrain Grand Prix 2016


bahrain 2016Talk about murder on the dance floor the start to yesterday’s race was carnage on the racetrack!

There were bits of carbon fibre floating everywhere – and Bernie thinks this racing lark is too dull!!!

Well, actually the bit he’s trying to spice up, i.e., qualifying was the dampest squib of the weekend.

The elimination format is not working – 8 minutes of no cars on track in Q2, 5 minutes in the middle of Q3 (but that’s pretty much the same as the previous format) – the drivers hate it, the teams hate it and the fans hate it, but still the “lady is not for turning”, to coin a phrase.

The latest incarnation to spice up qualifying is to take an average of a drivers’ 2 runs – what?

It’s not really qualifying that’s the matter – there’s always going to be dominant teams, be it Ferrari, Red Bull and at the moment it’s Mercedes – it’s the actual race itself.

The drivers can’t drive flat out and actually race because they have to manage tyres (which seem incapable of lasting more than a few laps before the edge goes off and they affect pace) and they have to manage fuel consumption so they don’t run out of fuel 5 laps before the end. Also not many of these tracks nowadays seem to have many points for overtaking, and some don’t have any at all, which makes for a very dull procession after the first corner.

So, come on FIA sort it out. Take qualifying back to 2015’s format, which everyone was happy with and take time to sort out the real issues which is the fact the drivers can’t actually race flat out.

But I majorly digress, the race itself was brilliant 🙂

Aside from the carbon fibre being flung here, there and everywhere, there were scraps galore. For sure, not for the top 3 spots after halfway, but 4th place backwards there was some truly great wheel-to-wheel racing going on.

Teams that you don’t normally see making it up to mid-field really getting in the mix.

It was great to see Marussia up into 13th, storming past both Force India’s – a team that should be fighting around position 7/8, based on previous form.

Loved the fact that on Friday’s practice, Jenson found the “go faster” button on his McLaren Honda, just a shame it seemed to disappear again on Saturday. But amazing debut by Fernando’s replacement for the weekend, Stoffel (The Stoff) Vandoorne going like the proverbial clappers and earning a point and 10th place.

And what about the new entrant into the F1 world, the Haas team. Amazing results, 2 races and 2 top 10 positions (6th (Australia)/5th (Bahrain)) places courtesy of Monsieur Grosjean.

Sure, Merecedes are still the team to beat, but only 3 years ago everyone was moaning about Red Bull being dominant, and then prior to that there were the Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari years.

It’s not the job of the FIA to conscientiously set about penalising the drivers of the teams who are dominant – to ensure a ‘fair fight’!

No, surely they need to ensure that all teams have a fair chance of developing their cars and coming up to the dominant team’s standard – whether that be by ensuring money is split more evenly throughout the field or giving teams more leeway to test and improve throughout the season itself.

But all the politics aside, I enjoyed yesterday’s race.

 

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