Category: Formula 1

The Good the Bad and the Ugly at the 2015 Bahrain GP

Lewis-Hamilton-BahrainOne of the most interesting aspects of being a Formula One enthusiast is the fact that you get to watch all action on the track unlike other sports where much drama happens off the pitch. Bahrain GP happens to be one of those races you can’t afford to miss and this year there was a lot of thrill – much of it good but of course with the good comes bad.

The Good

There is so much excitement surrounding Bahrain Grand Prix and on the 19th of April the International Circuit gave its fair share of thrill. For starters, Hamilton the cool guy of F1 was perfect in practice and took pole before beating the Ferraris to his 4th win.

But that’s not all; there was the rebirth of Kimi Räikkönen who has not been on the podium for quite a long time. It was also exciting to see Ricciardo come in 6th despite the engine problems with the Renault engine in the RB11. Grosjean was impressive for Lotus and Daniil Kvyat seemed to be finally making a point.

The Bad

Sebastian Vettel is a four time F1 champion and should definitely know and drive better than he did at the Bahrain 2015 GP. He had no rhythm and confidence and in his battle to catch Hamilton, he ran wide at turn 14.  With more pressure from Rosberg and Bottas, there was nothing the German could do but cling to 5th position.

Sebastian-VettelBahrain

Pastor Mladonado continued his enigmatic driving when he hit Massa’s FW37 and it is no wonder he has a website dedicated to his crashes. A bad driver or just a jinxed one; only time will tell whether the once Spanish GP winner will prove his worth and silence the doomsayers.

McLaren-Honda continued with their woes despite the team’s assertion that things are hunky-dory.  Jenson Button did virtually nothing at practice and qualifying and could not even start his MP4-30 for the race. Electrical troubles with the new car and Alonso’s mishap with tires put a damper on any signs of success for the team.

The Ugly

Love him or hate him, Bernie Ecclestone will continue shaping every item of F1 news for the unforeseeable future.  His assertion that he would like to see Vettel and Hamilton in one team will definitely rattle Mercedes considering the team and F1 supremo don’t see eye to eye.

Then there is the issue of engine changes that he feels will cut down costs but teams are yet to comment on.  Bernie has also sounded an ominous warning to Monza and teams about increasing costs, which means things might get even worse than they are.

Whatever the case, you cannot deny that the 2015 Bahrain Grand Prix was one blended with fun, thrill, and glamour which is what F1 is all about.

Comparing Abu Dhabi’s Formula 1 Desert Duel to Recent Title Deciders

Hamilton Abu Dhabi 2014It was christened the Desert Duel, Double Jeopardy, Abu Double among other terms but one thing was clear; the Abu Dhabi 2014 GP was bound to be exciting. In the world of Formula One, such excitement is always a Godsend.

Hamilton Aces the Desert Duel

At the end of the day, Lewis Hamilton went on to win a second World F1 Title after his challenger Nico Rosberg developed technical problems. But how instrumental was this race in the history of Formula One? You just need to consider that the two drivers had only 17 points between them and 50 points were up for grabs.

Classic Title Deciders

The arithmetic possibilities were myriad but Formula One has a new champion in the 29-year old Briton. As a formula one enthusiast, it is important to assess this duel against other title decides in the history of the sport.

After all, this is the only way to appreciate the importance of Abu Dhabi in the whole scheme of things. Take a look:

  1. 2008 Felipe Massa vs. Lewis Hamilton: Massa was racing in front of his Brazilian fans and the mood was electric. In fact, he was champion for about 30 seconds as Hamilton struggled in the rain and dropped to 6th which was out of a title-winning position. Lewis needed a 5th finish position. Tim Glock the Toyota driver was between Hamilton and a first world Champion title. Eventually Glockon slicks lost grip in the rain and Voila! Hamilton won just by seconds.
  2. 2007 Hamilton vs. Rikkonen vs. Alonso: This was another exciting duel considering it was a battle between a rookie and two experienced drivers. At 22-years Hamilton was still young and eventually lost due to inexperience and bad luck. A botched start and a passing maneuver against Alonso on the back straight and eventually a technical problem. These were enough to give Raikkonen the race winner and an outsider in the ranking the F1 title.
  3. 1997 Schumacher vs. Villeneuve: This was a battle of titans in terms of personalities as well as the cars. It was a red Ferrari driven by Schumacher against the Canadian’s blue Williams. Having dominated the season, only a point between them and same qualifying times the stage was set for drama; and it did not disappoint. Schumacher made a move after the final pit stops damaging the Williams car. Schumacher was unable to finish. Villeneuve drove on to finish 3rd. He clinched the title as the German watched from the side of the track.
  4. 2012 Sebastian Vettel vs. Alonso: Two great drivers with the best racing machines in the world and 13 points separating them. Vettel had the advantage going into the Interlagos but a poor start, spinning on lap one while trying to recover and a crash with Bruno Senna’s Williams, it seemed Alonso was going to win. However the German driver fought on with low aerodynamics performance eventually finishing 6th. This was enough to win against Alonso’s 2nd place finish.
  5. 2010 Vettel vs. Alonso vs. Hamilton vs. Webber: 2010 is one of the most exciting seasons of recent years. It also provided the only 4-way deciders. Hamilton and Vettel were the outsiders but bad luck and some bad calls from the team denied Alonso victory with a 7thplace finish. Vettel won the race and amazingly the championship.

Of course, there are many other duels including 1989 Ayrton Senna vs. Prost, 1994 Schumacher vs. Damon Hill, 1986 Prost vs. Mansel vs. Piquet among others. The common thread in all these is the fact that legends are born in these title deciders.

Could Abu Dhabi GP have given Formula One another legend? Just have to wait and see.