2008 saw F1’s first race at night, thanks to Singapore, and when Abu Dhabi joined the calendar the following year, they thought it looked like a lot of fun, so that event became a day-to-night race.
Bahrain first ran their event after hours in 2014 to commemorate 10 years of F1 in Bahrain, but decided to stick with the speedy slumber party again, and you have to say, it really works well. Singapore is ace, but it’s a little slower, thanks to the many, many straights of the Sakhir International Circuit. 200MPH in the dark just looks fantastic!
Oh, and did we mention SPARKS?
The organisers at the Bahrain Grand Prix set up a pretty impressive fireworks display, to set off at the time the leader crossed the line. It lit the sky with a dazzling scarlet hue, and provided an added bonus celebration for race winner Lewis Hamilton.
Renault have been in the press this year for all the wrong reasons, so attempted to emulate these fireworks with a huge engine blow up for Danny Ricciardo. As you can see, it was pretty spectacular, and they too, timed it just as he approached the finish line. Bit messy though.
Poor old Jenson.
He’s had a tough time of it this year with a Honda engine that simply doesn’t want to get out of bed. Bahrain marked probably his toughest weekend to date, with the car running into trouble during both of the Friday Practice sessions, and then not even getting a lap in Q1. The McLaren mechanics worked frantically to get his car ready for the race, which he would have started 20th, but it wasn’t to be.
Still, he put his other talents to use by live tweeting the race, and provided his insider knowledge, letting everyone on twitter know whose strategy was the best.
Amazingly, this is the first time in 179 races that Button has not taken the start, the last being the USA Grand Prix of 2005, where all 14 Michelin-shod cars elected to retire for safety.
If Jenson had started each race from Bahrain to Singapore this year, he would have scored the most consecutive starts in history, taking Ricardo Patrese’s record of 187. Never mind!
Italians are a cool bunch. They’ve got great cars, great food, and possibly above all, great passion. That’s something that Marco Mattiacci showed too little of last year when he was Ferrari’s team principal for a wee while in 2014, so they swapped him with this guy:
The sheer delight and enthusiasm that Maurizio Arrivabene showed in Raikkonen displacing Rosberg at the start proves that he’s the perfect man to lead Ferrari in their quest for a title, something that has eluded the team since 2008.
After a dejected-looking start to his 2015 F1 title challenge, Nico Rosberg silenced his critics in Bahrain with a couple of sensational overtakes on both Ferrari cars. He showed the speed he had in 2014, the speed that saw him just miss out on the title at the end.
One man keen not to show his 2014 was Kimi Raikkonen, whose speed went missing for too long last year. Thankfully, we got the Kimi of old, bullying Rosberg into a mistake at the end of the race after some fantastic tyre management and a different strategy.
Even Pastor Maldonado was back to his, er… best? He picked up a penalty for accidentally lining up 18th on the grid, when he should have been 16th.
Anyway, the pointy end looks like a genuine two-horse race between Mercedes and Ferrari. If Vettel hadn’t damaged his front wing, it might have been a three-way fight for the second podium place; all that the blonde trio need to do now is reel in Lewis Hamilton. Which is easier said than done.