1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Featured 2016 Formula One Bahrain Grand Prix

Discussion in 'Formula 1 Race Comments' started by R.J. O'Connell, Mar 31, 2016.

  1. R.J. O'Connell

    R.J. O'Connell
    Commentator/Contributor Staff Premium Member

    bahgp2016 header.png Round Two of the 2016 Formula 1 World Championship is held in the original crown jewel of Middle Eastern motorsport, the Bahrain Grand Prix. In recent years, it's elevated itself into the category of a "must-watch" event, staging some of the most exciting battles and frantic finishes in recent memory.

    The opening round of the championship was already a great show - Championship leader Nico Rosberg got the better of Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel had the pace to win, Romain Grosjean took Driver of the Day honours for a sensational debut at Haas, and Toro Rosso's young duo of Verstappen and Sainz pulled no punches on each other.

    There was also an appalling wreck early in the race involving two-time World Champion Fernando Alonso, who walked away from one of the most visibly destroyed race cars that most of us had ever seen. But further tests after the crash concluded that he'd sustained injuries to his chest that would not allow Alonso, the winningest driver in Bahrain GP history, to be cleared to race.

    So who takes over at McLaren Honda at Bahrain? Why, that'd be none other than the reigning GP2 Series champion - and RaceDepartment alum - Stoffel Vandoorne, who becomes the 24th Belgian driver to race in Formula 1.

    Rated by a number of observers as the top Formula 1 prospect, 24-year-old Vandoorne already has a record of success in Bahrain - in two visits to the island in the Gulf as a GP2 driver, Vandoorne won the main feature race each year. He will be rushing over from a Super Formula test in Japan, to compete in Bahrain on short notice - but Vandoorne will be extremely motivated to get into the points for McLaren on debut. Then, next month, he makes his Super Formula debut.

    For the last two years, Lewis Hamilton has won the Bahrain Grand Prix, but he's not had it easy at the end by any means. Nico Rosberg pushed him with all of his worth to the victory in the closing laps back in 2014. Last year, a brake issue saw Hamilton rapidly lose pace over the final laps, and Kimi Raikkonen nearly came back from an insurmountable deficit to win his first race for Ferrari since 2009.

    Raikkonen has had a somewhat lackluster return to Ferrari on the whole, and his 2016 campaign got off to a heated start - quite literally, as his car caught fire. And while he's never won at Bahrain in ten career starts, he's finished second in three of the last four races. And now we know that Ferrari are closer to matching Mercedes' pace than initially thought in the off-season - could this finally be the Iceman's year to win it? He'll face tough competition within his own team - Sebastian Vettel, third in Melbourne, has won here twice.

    Further down the order, Force India are bringing wholesale upgrades to Bahrain for the VJM09 - one that could hopefully see them repeat their heroics of 2014, where Nico Hulkenberg finished fifth, and Sergio Perez finished third. Renault also arrive with engine upgrades, hoping to get Kevin Magnussen and the refreshingly competitive(!) Jolyon Palmer into the points this time around.

    Then there's the issue of that qualifying format. Yeah buddy, it's back! The hope for a much better "show" in the time trials than the one seen in Melbourne rests on the teams and strategists now having a degree of familiarity with the new format and giving their drivers a chance to perform within the constraints of the 90-second elimination windows.

    The Bahrain GP is part of a colossal weekend of racing around the world, and even with the recent and, frankly, quite valid talk of the questionable direction the sport has been led into, this should be another thrilling race to look forward to.

    Schedule (all times GMT)
    Free Practice 1: 11:00-12:30
    Free Practice 2: 15:00-16:30
    Free Practice 3: 12:00-13:00
    Qualifying: 15:00-16:00
    Race (57 Laps): 15:00
    • Like Like x 4
    • Love Love x 4
  2. Yuri

    Yuri 'I get custom nicknames' Kasdorp Premium Member

    really hope to see Stoffel do well. He's probably the best formula driver without a drive in formula 1.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Lorenzo Bonder

    Lorenzo Bonder
    The self-proclaimed "BADASS" driver of RD. Staff

    This japanese fella stole the words from my mouth and fingers...
    • Haha Haha x 2
  4. Chris Stacey

    Chris Stacey
    Ted Kravitz Appreciation Society Staff Premium Member

    That Stoffel chap is fairly handy around Bahrain. I'm massively disappointed for Alonso, but this is a hugely exciting prospect to see how Stoffel goes. The guy is unquestionably a future champion, he just needs a seat.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. Sunny Sky Speed

    Sunny Sky Speed
    Livery Designer Premium Member

    Yes! Proud to be Belgian again :D. Vandoorne vs Verstappen. ...should be interesting. All that Belgian ( yes Verstappen is semi-Belgian)racing talent...it's in our DNA, dudes! :p
  6. R.J. O'Connell

    R.J. O'Connell
    Commentator/Contributor Staff Premium Member

    Well, this weekend, that's no longer the case! :p

    As an aside, I'll need to DVR this one because of work.
  7. Timmieturner12

    Premium Member

    Too much hype about Stoffel tbh, guess his results will have to show whether all the hype was correct
    • Haha Haha x 1
  8. STOFFEL!!!
  9. R.J. O'Connell

    R.J. O'Connell
    Commentator/Contributor Staff Premium Member

    Fair point, but it's not very often that we see a mid-season driver substitution for any reason - be it injury or..."financial considerations."
  10. Alexander Knoll

    Alexander Knoll

    hmm...who cares about F1, if they destroy by copyright all Racing Sims?
    I don't watch anymore this nonsens...
  11. SK

    Prince with a thousand enemies. Premium Member

    jk DNF <1lap in
  12. Inb4 there's a repeat of Aus 2015 when Magnussen failed to make the start when he filled in for Alonso.

    I guess this weekend will show us whether Stoffel will replace Jenson or not for next year.
  13. Dutchies must know this:
    Stoffel from Fabeltjeskrant
    • Haha Haha x 3
  14. Are you really sure you want to highlight Stoffel's previous membership of this site? Out of interest I clicked his profile, then looked through his previous posts. Ended up on a thread that show neither him nor RaceDepartment in a positive light.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  15. Bram

    Roaring Pipes Maniacs | #27 Staff Premium Member

    If you mean the FSR saga, what exactly has RD to do with that?

    The guy was a teenager at that time, 2011/12 I think and has matured a lot in recent years on the real track.
  16. Sunny Sky Speed

    Sunny Sky Speed
    Livery Designer Premium Member

    Indeed. The past is the past. Let's move forward....progress that's called :thumbsup:
  17. Wait, Raikkonen did not win last year, he simply finished second due to Rosberg's brake issues.
  18. Just been watching some FP2 onboard of Rosberg and because it's dark you can see the wheel easier, I never realised how important the brake balance must be on these cars. On a lap he goes from 53% to 61% and anywhere in between. Quite interesting to watch he could do with a button box!
  19. Alex McRacing

    Alex McRacing
    Premium Member

    Didn't know there was that much variation either. I'm guessing turn 10 had its own setting, that corner is a b***h by the looks of it.
  20. Alex McRacing

    Alex McRacing
    Premium Member

    I know its only practice, but that Mclaren pace looks pretty promising