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Featured Hamilton Holds Tight to Bahrain Victory

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by R.J. O'Connell, Apr 19, 2015.

  1. R.J. O'Connell

    R.J. O'Connell
    Premium Member

    Ferrari.jpg
    Lewis Hamilton won his third race of the 2015 Formula 1 season with a controlled, commanding victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix, the second win in the desert kingdom for the reigning, defending World Champion and his Mercedes-Benz AMG Petronas team.


    Hamilton's thirty-sixth career victory came by a margin of 3.3 seconds, despite a compounding issue with the Mercedes W06's brake-by-wire system, and a hard charge from Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, who used an alternate tyre strategy to the rest of the leaders to his advantage and scored his seventh Bahrain podium finish - and more importantly, the first for the 2007 World Champion since his return to Ferrari in what proved to be a difficult 2014 season.

    From the start of the race, it seemed as if Mercedes' Nico Rosberg would fold under the pressure again after he conceded third to Raikkonen off the starting grid. He fought valiantly past Raikkonen and his Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel to move up to second place, holding off Raikkonen until, with two laps to go, the same brake-by-wire issue that hampered Hamilton on his last lap forced him to cough up second place to Raikkonen - at the first corner named in honor of Ferrari's greatest champion, and Rosberg's former Mercedes teammate, Michael Schumacher last year.

    Valtteri Bottas proved to be the "best of the rest" again, finishing fourth for Williams in what was a fairly quiet, yet productive drive for the Finnish driver - he held off four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel for fifth place. Vettel seemed to have the pace to challenge for a podium finish like his Ferrari teammate Raikkonen, but two unforced errors - the last of which forced the team to replace his damaged front wing immediately after making his second scheduled pit stop - relegated the Malaysia winner to fifth overall.

    Lucky to hold onto his sixth place finish was Daniel Ricciardo, whose Renault power unit exploded into fine-tuned confetti exiting the very last corner, his Red Bull RB11 crawling to a halt just after the finish line.

    Romain Grosjean finished seventh for the second consecutive race this year, at the track where he scored his first career podium way back in 2012. Finishing eighth was Sergio Perez, who stood third on the podium last year for Force India. Daniil Kvyat made an excellent recovery from an appalling 17th starting spot to finish 9th for Red Bull, as did two-time Bahrain winner Felipe Massa of Williams, whose car started from the pit lane after stalling on the dummy grid - he held onto 10th despite driving most of the race with damage to his floor.

    McLaren Honda supporters worldwide will be encouraged by Fernando Alonso finishing within a fingertip of the points in 11th, as the MP4-30 and the Honda power unit continue to make incremental progress as the season moves on to the European leg, but they will rue that Jenson Button was unable to start the race due to the same recurring ERS failure that prevented the 2009 Bahrain winner and World Champion from taking part in qualifying last night.

    Also wishing for better fortune in the mechanical department would be Scuderia Toro Rosso, whose dynamic rookie drivers Carlos Sainz (loose wheel) and Max Verstappen (engine failure) was the dismal coup de grace during a race where their pace was ultimately compromised by a de-tuned Renault power unit that not only stripped them of their pace, but also failed to provide reliability as a fair trade in return. They were the only two retirements from tonight's race.

    Amazingly not among them was Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado, whose eventful race involved a five-second penalty for accidentally lining up in Jenson Button's vacated grid spot, a collision with Massa that compromised the Brazilian's race, several off track excursions in the opening laps, and an eventful pit-lane exit right up alongside Massa and Sauber rookie Felipe Nasr. All that before climbing all the way up to seventh place on merit - and then, like clockwork, an anti-stall mechanism issue on his second stop threw that all away. The Venezuelan did, however, make it to the finish for the first time this season, albeit two laps down in 15th, only ahead of the Manor duo of Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi.

    Formula 1 thus wraps up its first overseas excursion before returning to Europe with the Spanish Grand Prix in three weeks. Like last year, it is clear that Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes-Benz are going to be the favorites to take the Drivers' and Constructors' Championships, but after the last three races, it is very apparent that Scuderia Ferrari, Vettel, and Raikkonen pose a legitimate threat to their aspirations of repeating as champions. Which can only be a good thing in the long run.

    FINAL RESULTS
    1. Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes
    2. Kimi Raikkonen - Ferrari
    3. Nico Rosberg - Mercedes
    4. Valtteri Bottas - Williams Mercedes
    5. Sebastian Vettel - Ferrari
    6. Daniel Ricciardo - Red Bull Renault
    7. Romain Grosjean - Lotus Mercedes
    8. Sergio Perez - Force India Mercedes
    9. Daniil Kvyat - Red Bull Renault
    10. Felipe Massa - Williams Mercedes
    11. Fernando Alonso - McLaren Honda
    12. Felipe Nasr - Sauber Ferrari
    13. Nico Hulkenberg - Force India Mercedes
    14. Marcus Ericsson - Sauber Ferrari
    15. Pastor Maldonado - Lotus Mercedes
    16. Will Stevens - Manor Marussia Ferrari
    17. Roberto Merhi - Manor Marussia Ferrari
    Retirements: Carlos Sainz, Max Verstappen
    DNS: Jenson Button
     
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  2. Good result for McLaren today. Getting closer. Shame Ferrari messed up with Kimi, should have pitted him sooner.
     
  3. Joel

    Joel
    #NR6 Premium Member

    1 more lap and the Finnish National Anthem could have sounded... Maybe next time.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  4. Maybe, maybe not. Kimi did rather well with his strategy but he was still a few seconds behind Hamilton and it would have taken him at least 3-4 more laps to even catch him. We don't even know if Kimi would have gotten around Rosberg if Rosberg hadn't made that mistake at the end, or if his brakes hadn't given him problems as he claimed. Lots of hypotheticals to ponder but the results are in the books already. Hamilton is still the man to beat and Ferrari can be competitive for 2-3 place if all the stars align. Certainly is shaping up to be an exciting year though between Mercedes, Ferrari and Williams.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. Erg

    Erg

    No, Raikkonen took 3 seconds from Hamilton from last laps first sector end to checkered flag because Hamilton had brake issues. That's why Raikkonen pushed hard until the end even after overtaking Rosberg.

    Rosberg did the mistake because Raikkonen took him under pressure. This happens. It's race. We can't say "if Rosberg wouldn't did that mistake". If we say it then we can also say "if Rosberg wouldn't did that mistake Raikkonen was going to overtake him at the next corner anyway because he had enough pace.."

    We can talk related to all mechanical issues and strategies but there is nothing to say about driver's mistakes etc. So we can say "if there would be one more lap, Raikkonen may win" and this has nothing with overtaking Rosberg (because it is already a past situation)...

    ---

    I don't see any mistake about Ferrari's strategy on Raikkonen, yeah it may be better taking him in box 3-4 laps earlier but it would be risky for last 3-4 laps.. They just did the best pits and strategies today so I thank to this team. Great race with Kimi's different and worked strategy and great to see him on podium again.
     
  6. I guess you didn't read my post when I said...

    "Lots of hypotheticals to ponder but the results are in the books already."
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  7. LacSlyer

    LacSlyer
    Premium Member

    That's a confusing statement to me, as the Ferraris are obviously competitive enough to the Mercedes currently and it has nothing to do with being lucky enough. Hell, if it weren't for 2 mistakes by Vettel we could easily be talking about a Ferrari 2-3 at the very least. Rosberg as well showed fight that he's be lacking all season, and despite the mistake that cost him second he had an excellent race.

    Williams however are far from competitive with either I'd say. They may have the qualifying pace, but are significantly off the pace of the others over the course of a race.

    This season will come down to reliability, in my opinion. And while the Mercedes has proven to be the fastest so far, they've definitely had some questionable reliability concerns while the Ferraris seem considerably better at taking care of their tires, as they seem to really gain time on Mercedes at the end of a race. Nothing regarding reliability so far has really cost Mercedes a race as of yet, but let's see how that plays out in a 19 race season.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. And here we go again debating hypotheticals. The only absolute is the actual placing that we just witnessed. Lots of things could have been different and placing could have changed. It is what it is though. Its fun to debate hypotheticals but people tend to take liberties with it and suggest their favorites would have done better than they actually did.

    You seem content with saying Vettel could have....if this, or that...

    Yet you don't even acknowledge that Rosberg had an issue in the finals two laps that allowed Kimi to place second.
     
  9. Erg

    Erg

    I meant;
    A few hypotheticals to ponder but not yours:

    "..but he was still a few seconds behind Hamilton and it would have taken him at least 3-4 more laps to even catch him. "

    No, because Hamilton lost 3 seconds at the last 2 sectors due to brake issues. That shows 2 more sectors would be enough for Raikkonen to smell Hamilton's rear wing.

    "We don't even know if Kimi would have gotten around Rosberg if Rosberg hadn't made that mistake at the end"

    No, because it is a past situtation. If we say that, we can say everything about the race, this happened 12th lap, that happened 32th lap, if this wouldn't happened 6th lap etc..
     
  10. Certainly glad your crystal ball is working and you knew the future before it happened, but if only...just a few more... and if...

    Kimi was coming on strong until he got within 1.5 seconds of Rosberg, but did you not see he was struggling to get close enough to a .1 second gap to Rosberg so he could use DRS?
     
  11. Sharjeel

    Sharjeel
    Being 2nd is to be the 1st of the ones who lose. Premium Member

    It's one thing to smell someone's rear wing and altogether different to overtake them (to state Pat Symonds). I am a fanatical Kimi fan, by the way.
     
  12. Erg

    Erg

    He may won in just one more lap. That's what I'm saying since the beginning of this discussion. He "may" won.. You are the guy who knew the future before it happened because you said "only if 3-4 more laps..."

    Yeah, Rosberg started to push insane, that's why he lost the racing line... :) If Hamilton pushed like him at last 2 sectors -big probablity- he would do the exact same mistake so he preffered to lose 3 seconds until checkered flag instead..

    That's why I said "he may won.." Plus: Pace difference was huge so sometimes it's easy to overtake someone.. As easy as getting close and smelling the rear wing.. I'm not a fanatical Kimi fan, by the way.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2015
  13. Jimlaad43

    Jimlaad43
    Nice apex, I'll take it! Premium Member

    The whole "If there was one lap more" doesn't matter, from the start, everyone knew how long the race was. What you all mean is "If Hamilton's problem had happened one lap earlier", then it would be a proper discussion.
     
  14. The end of the races would be so much better if everyone finished like Ricciardo, then we dont need the firework they use in Bahrain and Singapore...
     
    • Haha Haha x 3
  15. Erg

    Erg

    Almost same thing :D
     
  16. LacSlyer

    LacSlyer
    Premium Member

    I wasn't debating hypotheticals, I was stating how I thought your statement of Ferrari being lucky equates to them only performing well enough to finish 2nd or 3rd was inaccurate, with all the races this season proving that.

    I didn't omit Rosberg's mistake that allowed Raikkonen to overtake on purpose, because my point wasn't arguing hypotheticals but rather that I believed your statement suggesting that luck was a bigger factor of Ferrari placing second or third in a race rather than their actual performance was inaccurate. My comment on Vettel was more to counter your entire point of hypotheticals rather than to debate them, which I should have expressed more clearly.
     

  17. So I'm assuming you don't believe that Rosberg had a brake problem? He claims he did which is why he lost his lead on Kimi, I don't know if its true or not though, but Hamilton did say on the radio he got a brake error on the last lap.
     
  18. Vettel was in 2nd from the start of the race and finished 5th so he needed all the luck he could get. Kimi started 4th but due to a brilliant tire management decision and great racing he managed 2nd...but this was also in part due to a brake malfunction on Rosberg's car, at least according to Rosberg. I don't know if its true or not, we may never know. Either way Kimi benefitted from Rosbergs misfortune, whether you believe it was vehicle related or driving related seems to be the sticking point between us when I say Kimi's placing was due to a bit of luck. Kimi clearly had third place locked up, I never once denied that, second place is up for debate though however I'm not taking anything away from Kimi, whatever happened to Rosberg's car is just part of racing.
     
  19. LacSlyer

    LacSlyer
    Premium Member

    As I said, I was only criticizing your argument that the Ferraris would only be competitive for 2nd or 3rd with "the stars aligning" while they've clearly shown this season in just 4 races that they have the performance to compete regardless of luck.
     
  20. It is clearly my opinion. I have no crystal ball either. You are free to disagree of course.