fourth round of the 2015 Formula One season concluded, Lewis Hamilton leads the
pack in the championship with a massive lead of 99 points after 3 victories.
But the Ferrari’s are inching closer and closer to Mercedes as Sebastian Vettel
is only a single point behind Nico Rosberg who is sitting frustrated in 2nd
place with 66 points. In the constructors standings it’s almost the same
Scenario as Scuderia Ferrari is closing the gap to Mercedes with just 52 points
behind. After sparks flew under the flood lights at Bahrain and Kimi Raikkonen
ending his podium drought with a 2nd place finish while highlighting
Mercedes’ weaknesses, we take a look at five things we learnt from Bahrain.
Rosberg still frustrated at underperforming against Hamilton
exchange of words between Rosberg and Hamilton at the press conference in
China, which led us to believe that everything isn’t as cheery in the Mercedes
garage as they would like us to believe, watching Nico Rosberg’s performance on
track confirmed the notion that the German is still frustrated trying to come
out from under the shadow of his teammate/rival/former childhood friend Lewis
may deny that he isn’t frustrated, and confirm that both Lewis and he can’t be
best of friends any longer, though having mutual respect for each other, it was evident on track that Rosberg clearly
wasn’t in the right mind as he should have been.
qualifying 3rd ,Rosberg said that he was concentrating more on the
race and in the end sacrificed his qualifying because he wasn’t in the “rhythm”.
This left Rosberg to catch Vettel in the race and then attempt a charge on
Hamilton. But Rosberg failed to keep his composure when he was pushed down to
fourth by Raikkonen at the start. Rosberg aggressively attempted an overtake on
Raikkonen and Vettel with the same move on both drivers on subsequent laps, but
every time the German locked up and ruined his tyres, and hence surrendering
his race to the calm and composed Iceman, Kimi Raikkonen at literally the end
of the day.
Ferrari to only get faster with engine upgrades
already a threat to for Mercedes, and Mercedes have also acknowledged the
threat. Ferrari have also slowly but surely revealed some weaknesses of the
Mercedes. The Ferraris are already easier on the tyres, easier on fuel and are
happier as a team on track between the drivers and in the garage when compared
to the Mercedes team.
if the race was 2 laps longer, it was sure that Raikkonen would have stolen
that victory from Hamilton as both Mercedes cars were struggling with their
overheated brakes while the Iceman calmly drove a brilliant race without a care
in the world.
pace already, Ferrari have dumped in more money, which is probably equal to
William’s entire budget for the year into further development on their engines.
The updates will be brought for the first time to Canada for the 7th
round of the season which would make the scarlet red cars more prominent in the
mirrors of the Mercedes, or maybe even leave the Mercedes in the Ferraris’
mirrors probably. Ferrari’s Achilles’ heel this year so far has been their lack
of pace in qualifying. Ferrari would have liked to have the updates in
Barcelona for the Spanish Grand Prix in 3 week’s time, but they have ruled it
out as it seems unlikely. Taking the upgrades to Monaco wouldn’t make sense so
Canada is a race to watch out for as it might even address the issue of
qualifying for Ferrari.
Kimi Raikkonen still in form and interested in racing
2015 season, Raikkonen’s contract with Ferrari is to run out. But with the
state of recent affairs, the Finn seems to be smiling more often than he
normally does. He says that it’s the happiest team he has ever been in.
Arrivabene said that Raikkonen must perform if Ferrari is to strike a new
contract with the Iceman, to extend his tenure with the team and will use that
as leverage on the Finn to motivate him further. Raikkonen mentioned that even
though he feels motivated, the ball is in the park of the team to decide if he
is to stay. If Raikkonen continues to perform at this level, Raikkonen might
just find himself strapped into a Ferrari in 2016 on the grid.
Vettel not priority for Ferrari
commenting on the delay in signing a contract with Mercedes to extend his
tenure with the team, Lewis Hamilton said that unlike other driver like
“Michael” [Schumacher] or “Sebastian” [Vettel], he doesn’t ask for a number one
driver position in the team in his contract. But after the events of Bahrain
unfolded, it’s clearly visible, that that is not the case for Vettel in
Ferrari. The Scuderia Ferrari team as a whole is distinctively the priority for
McLaren sweaty, but progressive with Honda engines
A match made
in heaven from the past, seems to be a deal with the devil for McLaren
currently. At Bahrain, Jenson Button parked his car on track due to an engine
problem during free practice, and the same problem cropped up in qualifying
which left the Brit to sit out the whole of qualifying and coming to race the
next evening. The Brit was asked to relax when the team couldn’t solve the
problem on the Honda engine’s ERS system and decided not to run the car in the
race at all.
With only 4
engines available to each car for the entire year, and both McLarens are on
their 3rd engines, with the problems cropping up every now and then,
it’s inevitable for the team to start taking penalties soon in the following
round in the near future during the season when they exceed the designated
number of engines and McLaren don’t seem to have a
solution to it. But the faces may seem positive, inside they might be swimming
in sweat. Though, McLaren do seem to be making progress with the Honda engines
as Fernando Alonso finished 11th in Bahrain just outside the points.
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