Alonso heads up 1-2 Ferrari finish in Bahrain

Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Stefano Domenicali and Lewis Hamilton on the Bahrain podiumFelipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Stefano Domenicali and Lewis Hamilton on the Bahrain podium

Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Stefano Domenicali and Lewis Hamilton on the Bahrain podium

Fernando Alonso joined the list of Formula 1 legends who won their first race for Ferrari, when he triumphed at the Bahrain GP today.

He stole the lead off Sebastian Vettel, who lead before a broken exhaust meant a loss of engine power, and he fell to fourth. Before this, though, Vettel looked comfortable in the lead, having a 5 second advantage over the Ferrari at the first pit stop. He was sure that he would have won if not for the failure, saying:

"It's a pity but what can you do?

All in all it was a positive except the failure this weekend. Under any
conditions from Saturday morning onwards we were the quickest. I
think we had very good control of the race, we had a very good strategy,
I knew how my tyres were.

We had quite good control of the tyres and the brakes, everything running
smoothly.

I think it was 15-20 laps to the end I just lost power. I don't know
what it was but I think something mechanical broke. Luckily we
could continue but we should have won really."

Felipe Massa finished second behind Alonso. He began to challenge him once they had disposed of Vettel, but the Spaniard pulled out a string of unbeatable laps to shoot ahead. Nevertheless, he was pleased with the Ferrari 1-2.

Michael Schumacher’s comeback race wasn’t quite as glorious as expected. He started well enough, but couldn’t get past other drivers when it mattered, and he finished sixth behind his teammate Rosberg. Nico was ahead all day long, and nearly caught up to Vettel at the end of the race, but finished just 2 seconds behind the bruised Red Bull.

Lewis Hamilton drove confidently and quietly all race to take a good third place. He certainly couldn’t keep up with Alonso, and finished 23 seconds behind, but he tried his best and was rewarded when Vettel faltered. Jenson Button had a mediocre debut, getting stuck behind Schumacher for a long stint, and only finished 7th.

Behind Button, Webber was 8th, Vitantonio Liuzzi was 9th, and Rubens Barrichello 10th. Rubens was optimistic before the race, having been able to start on the medium tyres, and therefore could last longer into the first stint. But, he didn’t have the pace to keep up with the leaders. His team-mate Nico Hulkenberg spun on the seconds lap, and never really recovered, finishing 14th.

The other news of note was that Lotus got both of their cars to finish. Technically, anyways. Jarno Trulli was two corners away from crossing the finish line, when he stopped because of a hydraulic problem. Because he was just about to finish, the countback rule was used, and he was classified 17th, 3 laps down on Alonso. He was running much better earlier in the race, but the hydraulic gremlins struck about halfway through the race, and he lost a lot of time after that. Fellow Lotus driver Heikki Kovalainen drove well, making no mistakes on his way to 15th place. It may sound poor, but this was Lotus’ first race, so it was definitely a brilliant achievement for them both.

Virgin fared off worse. Lucas di Grassi retired on Lap 3 with a technical problem, then Timo Glock also had a mechanical problem. Before this, however, he had a great clash with Kovalainen, so it wasn’t too a shabby performance by the German.

Karun Chandhok just after his crash on Lap 2

Karun Chandhok just after his crash on Lap 2

Then we get to HRT. Although Karun Chandhok only drove the car yesterday, he did well to keep out of trouble at the start, but crashed with a suspected problem on Lap 2. Bruno Senna had a hydraulic failure on Lap 18, and stopped with plumes of smoke coming from the car. Although none of the Virgin or HRT cars finished, they didn’t disgrace themselves either, so we must commend them so far.

The refuelling ban made an interesting change on the race today. While the spectacular overtaking never arose, the change in tactics was interesting to watch. There was, however, a definite lag of action midway through the race, which was a result of the new tactics.

An analysis piece on the race should be up soon, as well as the latest photo gallery.

Full result:

Position Driver Team Time/Difference
1 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1hr39:20.396
2 Felipe Massa Ferrari 16.099
3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 23.182
4 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 38.713
5 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 40.263
6 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 44.180
7 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 45.26
8 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 46.308
9 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 53.089
10 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 01:02.4
11 Robert Kubica Renault 01:09.1
12 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 01:23.0
13 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 01:32.7
14 Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1 lap
15 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1 lap
16 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 3 laps
17 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 3 laps
DNF Pedro da la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari Lap 30
DNF Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth Lap 18
DNF Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth Lap 17
DNF Vitaly Petrov Renault Lap 14
DNF Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari Lap 12
DNF Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth Lap 3
DNF Karun Chandhok HRT-Cosworth Lap 2

Driver Standings

Driver Points
1 Fernando Alonso 25
2 Felipe Massa 18
3 Lewis Hamilton 15
4 Sebastian Vettel 12
5 Nico Rosberg 10
6 Michael Schumacher 8
7 Jenson Button 6
8 Mark Webber 4
9 Vitantonio Liuzzi 2
10 Rubens Barrichello 1

Constructor Standings:

1 Ferrari 43
2 McLaren-Mercedes 21
3 Mercedes 18
4 Red Bull-Renault 16
5 Force India-Mercedes 2
6 Williams-Cosworth 1
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2 responses to “Alonso heads up 1-2 Ferrari finish in Bahrain

  1. pickle92 March 14, 2010 at 22:39

    Not a classic by any means, but it was still a passable race. McLaren and Mercedes do need to improve to be able to keep up with the Ferraris and Vettel. Great to see Lotus get to the end as well. Did you see Bruno Senna when he got out of his car? That was spooky! I think we’ll have a better race in Australia. It is a real race track.

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