F1: Ferrari (NYSE:RACE) Under the Lights at Bahrain Grand Prix
Last weekend Ferrari’s (NYSE:RACE) Sebastian Vettel was a “touched” by the timing of the safety car in China, and will be hoping to have a bit more luck in Bahrain than he saw last year, when he did not start the race.
MercedesAMG on the other hand will be hoping their new recruit Valtteri Bottas does not repeat last year’s 1st corner lunge at Lewis Hamilton
Ferrari has looked impressive at Bahrain, competitive there when struggling elsewhere, so hopes will be running high that the Ferrari’s will be pushing for victory again.
Bahrain will present a great opportunity for Ferrari to retake the momentum in the title battle. Higher track temperatures should also play to Ferrari’s strengths too, and while Kimi Raikkonen may have struggled so far this year, he has great form at Bahrain, and could well be able to make it a tricky weekend for the MercedesAMG Team
Last year’s race saw Lewis Hamilton edge Nico Rosberg for Pole in an all MercedesAMG front row, with the Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen in the 2nd row. The race for victory was essentially over after the 1st corner, Mr. Vettel did not make it that far, forced to pull off on the formation lap with smoke streaming from his Ferrari racer.
Those of you who remember this outing saw Mr. Rosberg, who had struggled off the line on the formation lap, get it together when it mattered, springing past Mr. Hamilton on the run to Turn 1.
Having already been cleanly passed, Mr. Hamilton went for a wider line into Turn 1 to position himself to put pressure on Mr. Rosberg on the exit, this just opened the door for a fast starting Valtteri Bottas, who made a quick start in his Williams from 6th on the grid, to try a move up the inside of Mr. Hamilton, the result was a heavy shunt between them, which saw Mr. Hamilton suffer damage and drop back down to 9th place. With Mr. Hamilton’s race now compromised, Mr. Vettel out, and a poor start seeing Kimi Raikkonen also drop back behind both Williams and Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull, Mr. Rosberg was set up for an easy Sunday drive to victory. Mr. Raikkonen recover to 2nd, Mr. Hamilton coming 3rd.
Fernando Alonso has the most Bahrain Grand Prix wins at 3, but will not be in a position to add to that tally this weekend with McLaren. Messrs Hamilton, Vettel and Massa all have 2 wins at Bahrain.
Originally this race was run during daylight, the race transitioned to a twilight race in Y 2014, and has seen a number of intense battles in its short time on the F1 calendar.
Sitting below sea-level, the Bahrain International Circuit has a mix of long straights and slow corners. With the long straights comes hard braking, making this circuit a challenging one for braking systems. The night running means teams need to account for the circuit temperature dropping during the race when searching for the right setup, while winds blowing in off the Desert can also make finding the right setup tricky, with dust in the Desert air sure to test the mechanical limits of the cars. The stop/start track layout also means fuel consumption is on the high side, and this will be something that teams will need to keep an eye on.
The safety car “scuppered” Sebastain Vettel’s hopes at Shanghai, but it looks as if there is little difference between MercedesAMG and Ferrari, and Ferrari will take the fight to MercedesAMG in Bahrain, expect Red Bull to be a safe at # 3.
|NYSE: RACE||71.66||12 April 2017||-0.18||71.83||71.94||71.56||450,300|
|HeffX-LTN Analysis for RACE:||Overall||Short||Intermediate||Long|
|Bullish (0.45)||Neutral (0.24)||Very Bullish (0.56)||Very Bullish (0.54)|
Click here for: Scheduling: The 2017 Bahrain Grand Prix