Questions & Answers about the F1 race in Sachir


( – Lewis Hamilton celebrated the 95th victory of his Formula 1 career at the Bahrain Grand Prix, but the race in the Sachir Desert near Manama was overshadowed by a serious fire accident by Romain Grosjean. The Haas pilot apparently survived this with relatively minor injuries.

Lewis Hamilton celebrates victory with the two Red Bull drivers Zoom

After the first TV pictures, concern about the health of large jeans was great. However, when it was shown how he could escape the flames himself and was sitting in the medical car, the Formula 1 paddock breathed a sigh of relief. Tears had flowed within the Haas team before.

In view of the accident, sport initially took a back seat.

Hamilton finished the race, which was neutralized in the closing stages, ahead of Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon (both Red Bull). The tragic hero was Sergio Perez (Racing Point), whose power unit burned down in third place.

Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) came 13th after a messed up afternoon.

On the subject:
Race result
World Championship stand driver
World Cup booth designers
Re-live: The race in chronology

How is Grosjean?

Fortunately, relatively good. He was fully conscious at all times and was flown by helicopter to a nearby military hospital to receive treatment for his injuries after the accident.

The Haas team initially reported minor burns on their hands. The team later announced that there was a suspected broken rib.

How did the accident come about?

As is so often the case, the first lap of the race was confusing in midfield. The TV replays showed a part of another car hitting Grosjean’s right front wheel just before the accident occurred. It didn’t look like that caused the accident.

Ultimately, the decisive factor was that Grosjean switched from the left to the right side of the lane and apparently did not look in the rearview mirror. So it came to a contact with Daniil Kwjat (AlphaTauri).

He says about the accident: “At first I was pissed off. I just thought to myself, how can he pull over there? But when I realized the scope, of course I changed my mind.”

From that point on, the father of three was just a passenger. His Haas turned right and crashed into the guardrails at almost a 90-degree angle at high speed. Both the guard rails and the car were then completely destroyed.

Reactions to the Grosjean fire accident

The experts agree: “Halo may have saved his life today,” says Damon Hill, for example. And George Russell is certain: “No doubt that it would have turned out differently without Halo.”

How long did Grosjean sit in the fire?

About 26 seconds.

Inspection of the Grosjean accident site

On the subject:
Kwjat: Grosjean himself to blame for the accident
Did Halo save his life?
Medical car driver reports on the rescue
Explains why there was a fire
Hamilton: Fortunately, Grosjean was not beheaded

Did Hamilton have to fight to win?

From the outside it looked like he had the race under control at all times. But immediately after crossing the finish line he said on the pit radio: “It wasn’t as easy as it looked!” And later in the first TV interview: “It was really very physically demanding. With the long break after the accident you run the risk of losing concentration. You drive out, have a good start – and then you have to wait an hour. There are you out of the zone quickly? “

But even if Hamilton says that the Red Bull was “very fast”, the victory was ultimately sovereign. The different planning strategies (medium-medium-hard at Hamilton, medium-hard-hard at Verstappen) did not lead to any notable difference for Red Bull.

Did Verstappen really not stand a chance?

At the beginning of the race he complained on the pit radio: “My car is jumping like a kangaroo, I swear!” But he had already overtaken Valtteri Bottas at the first start, and after the second he was at least halfway able to follow Hamilton.

On lap 19, Hamilton had his first tire change. There was no chance of this. But with the second one. Verstappen came in on lap 34, one lap ahead of Hamilton. After his crew had already needed 2.8 seconds for the first pit stop, this time it needed 5.1 seconds.

Interview with Lewis Hamilton after the race

This is all the more bitter as Verstappen was only 3.6 seconds behind after Hamilton’s stop. Without the botched pit stops, one could speculate, it might have been tight.

In the finish, the Dutchman picked up new tires because his lead over Perez was big enough and allowed him to do so without losing his position. With a fresh set of mediums, he still secured the bonus point for the fastest lap.

“It is as it is,” he radioed when crossing the finish line.

Why was Bottas only eighth?

The Finn didn’t get off to a good start from the dirty side of the road. Because he was then trapped between two opponents, he was only in sixth place when the race was stopped because of the Grosjean crash.

But for the second grid, the sequence when crossing the second safety car line was used, so Bottas had fourth place on the grid. But then everything went wrong.

First he had to come to the pits earlier than planned because of a puncture. Later he was back in sixth place, but still had a pit stop ahead of him.

In the finish he suffered a puncture. Nevertheless, he kept eighth place because the tire only broke on the last lap and the safety car was on the track.

Why was Vettel so angry about Leclerc?

Vettel was actually further behind, but was allowed to restart in tenth place. Then he was unlucky when Kwjat and Lance Stroll (Racing Point) collided in front of him and the Racing Point overturned. Vettel had to take off the gas and lost some positions.

At the very first start he was very upset about his team-mate Charles Leclerc: “He can’t do that! He pretends I wasn’t there. Just like in Austria. Honestly. Maybe this time I would have a crash The whole morning we talk about how we should give each other space, and then the guy sticks into the smallest gap that doesn’t exist and speculates that I’ll make room. “

This was preceded by a hairy situation at the start in which Leclerc pushed ahead of the Germans. That obviously threw Vettel off the concept. After a spin it even fell back to the last position. In the end he finished 13th.

Leclerc was tenth.

On the subject:
So Vettel rages over Leclerc

Who was to blame for the Stroll vs. Kvyat?

In the eyes of the race stewards Kvjat. He was given a ten-second time penalty for this. A decision that ‘ORF’ expert Alexander Wurz can understand: “Justified in that case. He could have backed off a bit to leave the space for Stroll’s rear tire, and he had enough time to think about it.”

It is hardly surprising that Kvjat sees it differently. He says, “I had no space. My car was on the inside curb. He on the other hand knew I was there. But he still took the corner like I wasn’t there. So I’m a little angry about that Decision because it ruined my race. “

Kwjat finished in eleventh place.

On the subject:
Kvyat criticizes the decision of the FIA ​​commissioners

And Gasly?

Pierre Gasly drove a strong race but found himself in a difficult position when he was fifth on old tires and the opponents came closer and closer from behind. Come to the box or not? Gasly stayed outside, had to let both McLaren drivers overtake, but finished seventh.

Was there a team order at Renault?

Yes. On lap 29, Daniel Ricciardo radioed: “Why are we racing against each other? I think we should think about something.” A few moments later, Esteban Ocon let him through. The tires were practically the same age, but Ricciardo’s hards held up better than Ocons Medium’s.

After the pit stop, Ocon was back in front of Ricciardo, but the Australian passed again and finished seventh. Ocon finished ninth.

Where did Raikkonen damage his front wing?

Kimi Raikkonen finished 15th. He had to fight with a loose front wing at the beginning of the race. He was also a victim of the Stroll-Kwjat collision, because the Alfa Romeo drove over small pieces of wreckage. Later he was off the track once, but he wouldn’t have had any chance of scoring points anyway.

Who was the tragic figure of the race?

For us: Otmar Szafnauer. When Perez’s power unit was smoking up and third place vanished into thin air, and the engineers had long since left the command post, he was still sitting all alone at the pit wall and processing his emotions.

Perez took it with more composure: “On a day like today, the only thing that matters is that Romain is well.”

When the Mercedes engine began to smoke, Perez refused to admit it. He let a Williams through first, but was still brisk and was ahead of Albon. Only when his car started to burn did he park it.

Another dangerous situation arose. Because in order to extinguish the car, a sports attendant crossed the track. Fortunately, McLaren driver Lando Norris was able to avoid it.

How are you going now?

Back in Bahrain in a week. Driving is not on the Grand Prix circuit, but on the outside version of the track, often incorrectly referred to as “oval”.

More links:
F1 paddock live: Race Sunday in Bahrain
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