After a long, tense and unpredictable few days, we finally got a race yesterday at the Bahrain Grand Prix. For four hours, I avoided as much Formula One information as I could as I (im)patiently waited for the highlights show to start on the BBC. As things turned out, I should have avoided all sports for the day, due to my football team (Manchester United)'s inability to beat bloody Everton. But this is a Formula One piece, so I will try to keep my grieving on the low. Anyway, after a successful wait, the highlights began and I was hoping a great race with a British winner would lift my spirits.
|Felipe Massa had another successful race|
Was the race worth all the hoo-ha that had gone on in the week leading up to it? Of course not. Should the race have gone on at all? I still think the race should have been postponed, not just because Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button picked up just four points between them, but because of politics and shit.
Which is more than can be said for the BBC.
|Screw you Bernie Ecclestone.|
Maybe the race was worse than we were made to believe, but every now and then, five or so laps would just be cut from the race and I found it extremely frustrating. Was I the also one who didn't see Grosjean pass Webber for third place early in the race? In mitigation, I may have missed that due to a combination of an inability to pay attention and my own myopia.
I don't want to always moan at the BBC. Their coverage is pretty good and is apparently better than Sky's, according to Lao from China (Youtube it). By the way, Lao has now been given an executive position in the BBC's marketing team. The BBC didn't have much choice in jettisoning much of the live races; when Rupert Murdoch comes knocking, there isn't much you can do except turn your phone off and pray. After all, the BBC also needs to satisfy their partisan Songs of Praise fanatics, and the Formula One was getting in the way. Oh well, at least the beeb have the rights to show the whole European Grand Prix from Valencia live. Oh goody.
Anyway, the race!
|Vettel once again had a race of his own. |
I wasn't able to see it all
The race was like a throwback to last year as Sebastian Vettel led almost the entire Grand Prix. It was just like 2011 and merely served to confirm the worst of my most paranoid of fears: That Sebastian Vettel is faster than time.
Despite a rally (no pun intended...OK, it was intended) from Kimi Raikkonen midway through the race, Das Finger looked comfortable throughout and he took the win to give himself the chance to showcase the second worst hand gesture to come out of Germany.
And just like that, he leads the championship. How on earth did that happen?! This is precisely what wasn't meant to happen! Although only ten points separate the top five drivers, the sight of Vettel at the top of the championship makes me shiver just a little bit. As I may have said before, despite everything, I really like Vettel, which is a real shame.
As for the aforementioned Raikkonen, his Lotus team had a very good weekend, with Raikkonen second and team-mate Grosjean third. Both drivers had pretty quiet races in the end, which will be a relief to Lotus after Raikkonen's finish to the Chinese Grand Prix. Kimi has settled right back into Formula One, which is great because I really like him too...I think I just like everyone...except Maldonado, due to his freakishly small head. I don't know why I like Kimi because he is incredibly bland, but also a bit extrovert at the same time, two things that I am not...
|Vettel's famous "finger" celebration|
|How it should be done|
Further back, Mark Webber finished fourth. Again.
Right behind Webber was last week's race winner Nico Rosberg. Webber must have been breathing a sigh of relief as he finished ahead of Rosberg. This is because after getting his first taste of victory champagne the week before, Rosberg must have convinced himself he was his compatriot Michael Schumacher. Now only ninety race wins behind Michael, Nico took it upon himself to drive like him. First Hamilton and then Fernando Alonso were forced off the track to try and overtake him. The race stewards saw nothing untoward with Rosberg's racing, which leads me to believe that I must have been stewarding the race, due to their blindness. How on earth you can simply shove a car off the track and then complain they went off the track when overtaking is almost admirable. It isn't, but at least Rosberg has finally grown a pair, what do you think Nico?
Later, still in true Scottish style, when Englishman Jenson Button was closing in, Di Resta held position long enough to force Button to have a problem. My theory is that Di Resta employed Dick Dastardly tactics and launched something sharp from the back of his car or just some good old-fashioned anti-Anglo feeling. On the day before St Georges day too. Brilliant!
Speaking of Button and the McLarens, they had a terrible race. Starting their cars second and fourth, there were high hopes for strong finishes, owing to an apparent focus on race-pace over qualifying performance. As it turned out, the McLarens burned out their rear tyres so quickly, any chance of a victory had long gone, even before the man operating the left rear tyre twice forced Hamilton into slow stops. It was also the left rear tyre man who scuppered Button's chances of victory last week. So who is left rear gun-man? Three options:
|Any option from the right|
Martin Whitmarsh: Seems determined to ruin McLaren after taking over from Ron Dennis
Fernando Alonso: Because it would be kind of funny
Paul Di Resta: The Scottish thing
McLaren, for the first time in years, have started the season with a car quick enough to challenge for race victories, yet find themselves behind the Red Bull - whose car is at it's most uncompetitive since 2008 - when David Coulthard drove it - in the constructors championship. One win from four races with arguably the fastest car is not the start the Woking team had in mind, but luckily, there are still 67 or so races to turn it around.
So, Formula One approaches another boredom-inducing break of three weeks. What are we going to do with our Sundays?! As Formula One fans, we are often a bit of a lonely bunch, and I don't want to have to follow Manchester United for the next few weeks due to the reasons mentioned in this - and other - pieces.
The next race is in Spain in Barcelona. Usually, this is a really, really boring race as no-one can overtake, but I have high hopes for it next time, mainly because I always have high hopes for races, hopes that are rarely justified. In the meantime, we face a wait more awkward than Coulthard and Jake Humphrey running into Martin Brundle on the F1 Forum...a meeting made more awkward by Humphrey's clear depression at not being invited to dinner with the big boys. Yeah, sorry Jake.
Anyway, the race that maybe shouldn't have gone ahead is finished, and I barely spoke about the bad stuff, I'd rather leave that to the people who pretend they know what is going on in Bahrain and the middle-east. As usual, I have done the bare minimum in terms of research and don't intend to change now.
With fifteen races to go, it's all to play for still.