The Bahrain Grand Prix this year was full of action, excitement, disappointment and glory. And it’s only the first race!
It was certainly an incredibly exciting race at the Bahrain Grand Prix. With many fans loathe to see Hamilton win yet again, they did appreciate that Red Bull Racing driver, Max Verstappen, made him work for it. Nothing was guaranteed this race and there were plenty of upsets and surprises.
Lewis Hamilton was shocked but ecstatic with how the race went, “It was so difficult. For the first race… I was not expecting we would be in that position.” Hamilton seemed very pleased with the challenge afforded to him and excited for what 2021 will bring. Bottas also scored the fastest lap time of the night before finishing in third place.
Red Bull and Verstappen look like they are really taking the fight to Mercedes this year looking more competitive than ever. After battling it out for the whole race, Hamilton got out ahead in the last three laps after Verstappen was faced with a time penalty for going too far off of the track. “It is what it is,” said Verstappen, “In a way I’m disappointed about today but last year we would have been happy with a race like this. It also shows how much we have grown, and it is still a positive start to the season.” Fans online have been deriding the decision to penalise Verstappen given that Hamilton also veered off track many times with no penalty given.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lM0vYxDQ3s – Verstappen giving Hamilton back 1st place after running too far off the track.
After an electrical problem before the race even started, Perez from Red Bull made a terrific comeback, finishing 5th, aside from that he stated, “Everything is clicking better.” We can only hope as it looks like Formula 1 podiums will finally be contested further by teams other than Mercedes.
For the most improved team we can look to Ferrari. After last year’s disastrous season, Ferrari look like they’re back in competitive form with Charles Leclerc finishing 6th. “It’s been a good race overall,” said Leclerc. “We were lacking a little bit of pace in general compared to Lando (Norris). Otherwise, it’s been quite a good race. [It’s] especially good progress compared to last year which I want to keep in mind for this race. It’s only a 6th place but compared to last year it’s a good result. I’m really looking forward to the next race.” It’s fantastic to see the iconic brand back in action.
It wasn’t a good showing for everybody though. Despite McLaren’s good positions, Daniel Ricciardo says he and the car were struggling. “I struggled quite a bit in the race,” he said. “I couldn’t really extract the pace from the car and when I did I could do it for one or two laps and then it would quickly drop off again. I struggled then with the tyres and the balance. Yeah, I just didn’t feel like I had good race performance.”Lando Norris and Ricciardo finished 4th and 7th respectively.
Things were disappointing for the newly branded team, Aston Martin. “We just didn’t have the pace,” said Stroll just scraping in the top ten. Things were worse for his teammate, Sebastian Vettel, who suffered a collision with Alpine driver, Ocon. As he tried to recover his position, things just weren’t working. “We had a good first lap but then, yeah we decided to do something a bit different with our strategy. I don’t think it paid off in the end, but we had to try,” said Vettel. Vettel placed 14th, well below expectations. There was so much optimism for Aston Martin this year given their brilliant 2020 season as Racing Point, but this first race has been quite disappointing.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izZKgn_u4Jw – Vettel and Ocon collision
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-rwZnc9HVM – collision from Vettel’s POV
But if things were bad for Aston Martin, things were even worse for Haas. On the first lap, in the third corner, NikitaMazepin spun out and crashed in a glory of dust, ending his debut incredibly early. Speaking on the accident, Mazepin stated “I made a mistake, and the tyres were cold.I got in the car took too much throttle and spun. Totally my mistake. Very sorry for the team because they deserve to do much better than that. Very angry with myself and I’m very sorry to the team.” Haas just cannot seem to be able to catch a break over the last few years. However, hopes were set high with the addition of new driver, Mick Shumacher. But Schumacher made the same mistake with the throttle as his teammate early in the race and couldn’t catch up with the leaders, finishing in 18th place. Dead last.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=em2vpIQSsMA – Mazepin spin out and crash
With so much excitement in the very first race of the 2021 season we can only guess at what the rest of the season has in store for us. Will Ferrari maintain their pace and remain competitive? Will Aston Martin live up to their promise? Can Red Bull dethrone Mercedes? Can Haas gain any points? We’ll have to wait for the next race in Italy on the 18th April!