Alonso still has to “learn”
The returnee expects a “difficult race” because of the conditions. But he is happy anyway. At the same time, however, he also makes it clear that after a two-year Formula 1 break, he still has to “learn” about things like tire management. He expects to need “three or four races” before he can call up his maximum. Today you can not only look ahead from P9 but also have to keep an eye on the “faster” cars like Perez behind them.
Vettel: Punishment doesn’t matter
“We were far behind anyway, so it doesn’t make a difference,” shrugged the four-time world champion in view of his penalty. His goal today is simply to get as far forward as possible. “I’m looking forward to the race,” he explains. He hoped that the strategy might also be able to take one or two leaps forward.
Perez: Can you catch up?
The Mexican explains that days like today are particularly important for the World Cup. He must try to take as many points as possible after the messed up qualifying. What gives him hope: The result did not fit yesterday, but he made a “big step” in understanding the car better. Let’s see what is still there from P11.
Hamilton: “Like in the wind tunnel”
The world champion talks about the wind, which could become an issue today. It is “like in a wind tunnel,” he reports. In other words, it’s pretty blowing. It won’t be easy for the Mercedes W12, which is apparently quite sensitive. But the conditions are of course the same for everyone, and Hamilton says he is looking forward to the fight against Red Bull. “It will be a tough fight,” he predicts.
Bottas: Advantage Mercedes?
“I am optimistic that we can still win the race,” said the Finn. Background: You have two cars in front, Red Bull (as so often in the past) only one. Perez only starts from P11. “That is without question an advantage”, Bottas is certain. Strategically, this could open up opportunities to put Verstappen under pressure.
Only two hours until the first start of the Formula 1 season in 2021! We are slowly shifting our focus to racing. In a few minutes we expect the first previews of the pilots directly from the track. There are of course here with us in the ticker!
Slower than the tests
Exciting: The majority of the teams were slower in qualifying yesterday than in the test drives a week earlier. How can that be? On the one hand, this can be due to different track conditions. The piste was probably not in quite as good condition yesterday as it was in the tests.
In addition, the softest C5 tire compound, which is not used at all at the Grand Prix, was allowed to be used during the test drives. Here the C4 is the softest tire. Of course, that also costs several tenths. Here is the overview:
New starting line-up
One person’s joy is another’s sorrow. Vettel moves back from P18 to P20 because of the penalty, so logically the two Haas drivers each move up one place. Mick Schumacher will then tackle his Formula 1 debut from P18.
The rationale in full
“Car 9 spun at Turn 1 in the last moments of Q1 bringing out a double yellow flag in the marshalling sector. Bottas, Vettel, Perez and Russell approached the scene and drove past Mazepin. Bottas, was immediately instructed by his team to abort his lap in accordance with the Race Director’s Event Notes (Point 7.1). Perez and Russell had received the chequered flag, and were instructed to slow, with Russell receiving the additional information that it had been a double yellow sector.”
“Vettel did not abandon his lap. He explained to the Stewards that he saw the smoke ahead of him, but was unsure if it was a lock-up or a stopped car until he was quite close to the car and the smoke was lifting. The Stewards observed that he had already passed the signal panel when it illuminated as he approached the scene, and that the marshals in that turn had not yet reacted with a yellow flag. Nevertheless, Vettel was approaching a car that was stopped sideways on the track and by the rule this would necessitate a double yellow flag.”
Vettel disregarded double yellow flags in turn 1 after a spin by Masepin at the end of Q1. There are also three penalty points for this. According to the reasoning, Vettel admitted to having seen the smoke in front of him. But he was not sure whether a car had flown off.
Curious: The stewards explain that Vettel did not disregard any yellow flags in the classic sense, because they had not yet been waved at the time. According to her explanation, Vettel should have expected yellow flags because a car flew off in front of him and stopped.
According to his own statement, Vettel did not know that at first. He is also accused of not having stopped his round afterwards.
Vettel has to start from behind!
The decision is there: Sebastian Vettel loses five starting positions because he disregarded yellow flags in qualifying. Afterwards he has to start from the very back!
Before we get into the hot phase …
… I can once again recommend our qualifying analysis to you. By the way, no news yet from the Vettel front. The stewards take their time.
Vettel really that bad? Red Bull favorite?
We apologize for the picture problems in this video and hope that the intact audio track as a quasi podcast can compensate for it More Formula 1 videos
Red Bull ahead of historic victory?
If Max Verstappen wins today, it would be Red Bull’s first victory in Bahrain since 2013 and even the first win in the opener since 2011! Most recently, Sebastian Vettel triumphed for the Bulls ten years ago at the Australian Grand Prix in an opening race into a new season. In the end he was known to be world champion …
This is the starting grid for the Bahrain GP
This is the starting grid for the Bahrain GP in 2021 (video length: 55 seconds).
Comparison 2020 vs. 2021
We took a look at how much time the individual teams lost yesterday compared to qualifying in Bahrain last year. Haas was hit hardest, Ferrari lost the least. This shows that the Scuderia has apparently made the biggest leap in their new car, while Aston Martin and Mercedes are suffering from the new rules.
FIA wants to take harder action
The race management will tighten the thumbscrews a little in 2021. Michael Masi has announced that this year we will look more closely at incidents in the first round. “Based on feedback and discussions with drivers and team bosses, there was the feeling that with the ‘let them race’ principle, we had to backtrack a bit in terms of incidents on the first lap,” he explains.
All the backgrounds are here!
Alonso: Everything was very different …
An Alonso interview with the BBC recently caused a sensation. When asked whether he is still as good as his competitors in Formula 1, he replied: “No, I’m better.” Now he makes it clear: “I have probably misunderstood the question.” He interpreted the question as whether he was still as good as in 2018 when he left Formula 1. And in the comparison he was “better”.
He didn’t want to compare himself to other drivers.