Formula 1 | Bahrain Grand Prix Highs, Flops, Questions

After each Grand Prix, Nextgen-Auto.com invites you to find the top and flop identified by the editorial staff. Who deserves praise? On the contrary, who should be criticized? Finally, what are the question marks or ambiguities that you need to be interested in and follow at the next Grand Prix? Check it out below!

tops.

Top n ° 1: Ferrari still happily stands up

Ferrari, the “traditional” champion of the winter test, was not disappointed this time at the first Grand Prix of the season. 44 points: Scuderia wouldn’t have been able to start any better. Still, as the Milton Keynes team was impressed on the final day of the test, it was legitimate to wonder if Scuderia would ultimately have an advantage over Red Bull in pure performance. The answer came in qualifying: yes, little by little. But it wasn’t just the performance (chassis as an engine) that was important, but the end of the race showed that. Ferrari is much more reliable and stable than Red Bull. This also reduces wear on the tires, especially soft tires, as seen in the first two stints.

When it comes to drivers, Charles Leclerc has already been able to silence the majority of critics, doubting his ability to fight for the world title. He took Max Verstappen to his game. I didn’t put everything at risk, but I remembered the benefits of a temporary delay of a few seconds to take advantage of DRS in the next area. Monaco also led Sainz, a teammate who was not at the same pace, despite resistance in qualifying. Charles Leclerc led the world championships for the first time and achieved his dream weekend. Paul, Victory, Fastest Lap, All Rap Leads … Rebel?

Top n ° 2: K-Magnificent

A few weeks ago, with a sacred premonition, someone promised us that Haas would have been vigilant if Haas finished fifth in the first Grand Prix of the year and Kevin Magnussen was in control. was doing. Still, this is what happened during this Bahrain Grand Prix. This is a double performance. Of course, he believes his bet to sacrifice 2021 is fully validated by the first performance of the single-seater, finding an outpost at the beginning of the season. Such a formidable revival is, of course, beginning to unravel: if Haas is so efficient, it’s not because of the new building filled with former Ferrari aero dynamists of Maranello itself, where this single-seater was designed. mosquito? McLaren and Alpine, who do not have a B team, understand that it is bad.

The other major performance is, of course, Kevin Magnussen’s performance: Dane proved his talent intact, even if he didn’t play the winter test in Barcelona; and a number with his team manager. Despite the clashes, he remained one of Guenther Steiner’s favorites. Early Christmas story!

Top n ° 3: Valtteri Bottas, Peloton’s number one?

Valtteri Bottas reminded the paddock of his worth last weekend. He defeated field master Lewis Hamilton from time to time in qualifying and finished his “other best” on Saturday ahead of his teammate Guanyu Zhou. Healed his pride by leaving his successor George Russell in third place. What we already knew at Mercedes was the bright side of Finland.

In the race, his dark side, which justified his expulsion from Mercedes, also collapsed completely at the start and reminded us when he fell from 6th to 14th. Bottas also remembered that he had a hard time overtaking Yuki Tsunoda and had difficulty navigating Peloton. However, his formidable rise to first 6th place is on track for the Alfa Romeo season, which clearly has a very well-born car (thanks to the Ferrari Power Unit).

Flop

Flop n ° 1: McLaren worries about potential industrial disasters

In Barcelona’s tests, McLaren was able to position McLaren as one of the potential favorites to compete for third place in the Constructors’ class. But today we can see how volatile the winter hierarchy is. I didn’t obviously expect McLaren to be that low, but even after the winter tests in Bahrain, it was already complicated by braking issues (but most of them were done during the day … ). In qualifying, as in the race, Orange wasn’t anywhere, or anywhere between Latifi and Hülkenberg. Already the question has arisen: is this bold McLaren especially in terms of missing suspension? Or is it due to Bahrain’s peculiarities, especially its slow turns and motor skills? You’ll know right away. If desired, McLaren can go back a few years and go back to crossing the desert from 2015 to 2018. If so, I don’t know how James Key can maintain his position as technical director.

Finally, the difficulty of McLaren is that despite the myriad of sponsors in the car, the team is very close to bankruptcy in 2020 and has to sell Walking’s headquarters to return to lease. Digging a tunnel in time for the new 2022 aerodynamic regulations, reminding us that we couldn’t modernize the wind. What if you see the real impact of this bad patch?

Flop 2: Ego and reputation for a walk are severely punished

There is a debate to defend Lance Stroll. He is the creator of Flash on a regular basis each season and continues to be a relatively reliable driver, not far from Sebastian Vettel last year. However, it was difficult to find in Bahrain, especially in qualifying. Canadian excuses.

Otherwise, when a regular team driver who did all the winter tests finished three-tenths of the drivers who arrived in the car on Friday morning without experience (in this case, Lance Stroll and Nico Hulkenberg). Recognized)))? How can you make an excuse for your casual attitude in the paddock after such a performance? There is no doubt that Lance Stroll knows he is protected. There is no doubt that he will have a hard time regaining his reputation as a “daddy boy”.

Flop n ° 3: Red Bull pump stroke

To finish on the podium, you still need to finish … This famous saying in the paddock has more meaning in the light of the double disaster that Red Bull suffered. The addition of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez retirements is very salty: 44 points and 27 points behind Ferrari and Mercedes, respectively. Red Bull was the second most competitive single-seater, but it was closer to Ferrari and far ahead of Mercedes.

Red Bull still has a headache. Where does this apparently pump and fuel supply problem come from? Is there a standardized part of the problem? This seems unlikely, as not all other teams are experiencing this issue. Is it the Red Bull powertrain-Honda power unit installation that is out of order? Anyway, the other double abandonment is obviously devastating, so we must immediately bother with Red Bull. And this time, there are no more Renaults or Hondas that act as scapegoats. History remembers that the first Red Bull Grand Prix with an engine named Red Bull Powertrain ended (although Honda continues to play a huge role). Double abandonment of problems related to power units. pain!

Want to watch…

Will Mercedes stop bouncing?

Mercedes wasn’t bluffing in a winter test in Bahrain, and those who argued against it throughout are now at their expense. But we also shouldn’t dive into the opposite extreme. And don’t assume that everything will be lost forever for the world champion team.Apparently with Imola, the team will come up with a new solution to solve the problem. “Basic” (Lewis Hamilton Dixit) A porpoising phenomenon (not just) that affects the new single-seater.Toto Wolff also repeated that even before the race, Mercedes had great profits to find in. “5 or 6 domains” In particular. The situation could probably improve from Jeddah, a circuit that is less important to the rebound.

With an extreme pontoon, this Mercedes is in the early stages of the development cycle (more than any other F1?), And nothing is lost, especially if you know Blackley’s unity and ingenuity. Hmm. Concerns will be more justified when it comes to power units that are currently frozen for four seasons. The client team has already begun to complain. What if the problem was with Brixworth instead of Blackley? What if the E10 fuel integration is overlooked?