Bahrain was a weekend that needed to excite after the barmy fortnight of fallout from the laughable situation in which the fastest sport on earth finds itself.

Saturday did not deliver. Sunday, however, was a chaotic, strategic and surprising story from all parties involved, and a much-needed respite from all the negativity.

Here’s our Top 5 from the Bahrain GP, the Badgerometer.

badgerometer-5-1Remembering Alan Henry

One of the giants of Formula One’s print-based journalism passed away a month before the Bahrain GP, and his memory was celebrated in the paddock in Bahrain.

Henry, aged 68, had stints at the Guardian, where he was F1 editor, as well as at F1 Racing, where he was Editor-at-large. The annual Autocourse season review books were also put together by him.

While we like to keep our tone playful and light-hearted here on Badger, top journalists like Alan Henry set the absolute standard for the serious and professional types.

Rest in peace sir.

badgerometer-41Lewis Hamilt-on a Mission

Anyone disgruntled by Lewis Hamilton’s dominant lights-to-flag wins in 2015 can’t have too many complaints thus far in 2016.

The triple champion has not had the best of starts these past two Grands Prix, getting overwhelmed in Australia, and a whack from Valtteri Bottas in Bahrain, which ended any hopes of winning the race.

Just before 'the' incident happened. Photo: Mercedes AMG Media
Just before ‘the’ incident happened. Photo: Mercedes AMG Media

The damage sustained from the turn 1 collision probably doesn’t account for one second per lap as was claimed, but it was exciting to see the Brit fight through the pack to get back on the podium, passing Grosjean, Ricciardo, Verstappen and both Williams cars to do so.

badgerometer-311Mind your Manors (Because they’re darn quick!)

One of the surprises of the race after such an average outing in Australia was the pace of Manor – in particular that of Pascal Wehrlein. The DTM Champion was seen scrapping with Force Indias and Saubers all day, finishing in front of the quartet, bar Marcus Ericsson, whom he scrapped with until the end of the race.

The speed is likely down to the straights of the Bahrain track coupled with Manor’s extremely high top-end. Wehrlein was even seen as high as sixth in the speed traps in Qualifying.

Wehrlein vs the Force Indias was an unexpected highlight of the race. Photo: Sahara Force India Media/ James Moy
Wehrlein vs the Force India cars was an unexpected highlight of the race. Photo: Sahara Force India Media/ James Moy

This was echoed by Kevin Magnussen who attempted to pass the German, testifying “I can’t get past, the Manor is like a rocket on the straights!”

Though the team is different to the one we’ve known in the past, it’s great to see them doing so much better after two torrid years of adversity and uncertainty.



Fernando Alonso’s fractured rib meant that he had to sit out the Bahrain GP weekend, replaced by Stoffel Vandoorne – more on that later.

The incredible phenomenon #PlacesAlonsoWouldRatherBe of last year may be in the past, but Twitter user @Mattzel89 made sure that the Spanish double-champ got plenty of exposure over the weekend with #AlonsoBomb.

It all started fairly innocuously when the McLaren man popped his head in front of a camera as two Ferraris headed down the pit lane…

But as the day wore on, it got more and more out of hand…

And what at first looked harmlessly like a jealous ex-Ferrari driver coveting Vettel’s car, eventually turned into an ominous cloud for the German, with Fernando’s expressionless gaze superimposed on-screen during the downfall of the red car.

badgerometer-11F1 bosses agree a well-thought-out Qualifying system for China






tumblr_mo8fs69B5a1qecd5do1_500Heh, call it a late April Fools.

badgerometer-11Vandoorning of the Age of Aquarius

The real number 1 this week is the first glimpse of a young man who could quite possibly define the generation of drivers from which he hails.

The most dominant GP2 winner in the series’ 11 year history really ought to be in an F1 car this year on merit, but ascending the McLaren young driver programme means Woking is the only place for him in reality.

With world champions Nando and JB already occupying McHondas for another year, Stoffel Vandoorne was forced to take a sideways step relative to GP2 (which he is banned from for being too good/ because he is champion) and race in Japanese Super Formula this year – until a unique opportunity appeared.

While we wish Fernando Alonso the speediest of recoveries from his fractured rib, it did give Stoff the opportunity to jump in an F1 car for a race about eleven months early.

Stoffel Vandoorne as the sole McLaren effort in Bahrain. Photo: McLaren Honda Media.
Stoffel Vandoorne as the sole McLaren effort in Bahrain. Photo: McLaren Honda Media.

He narrowly missed out on our Top Dog award, but the overtaking shown by the young Belgian during the race, as well as out-qualifying Button and even scoring a point, marked a sensational debut, and re-affirmed why anyone who saw any of GP2 last year sees huge potential in this chap.

It remains to be seen whether Alonso will recover in time for the Chinese GP in two weeks, but if not, the super sub will be ready once more.