The Bahrain Grand Prix has ended and with it we have a season first. Jenson Button has finally won under race pace. Many folks said the wanted to see Vettel win a race in the dry. I said forget that, I want Button to win at over 50 mph. That is exactly what happened. Brawn GP took victory with Jenson Button and took a further lead in both title races. Sebastian Vettel put on a stellar show and Jarno Trulli sat in the press room looking as though he could not figure out what went wrong.
The temperature played a huge role for this race as many of the cars were suffering heat damage to the body of the car. One such example was the rear end of the Toyota’s was actually melting and becoming discolored because of the 100+ degree Fahrenheit heat. The super soft tires were also coming apart in chunks once again as the FIA continues to choose the wrong compounds in an attempt to further irritate Fernando Alonso. Surprisingly however, the super soft compound was very quick and lasted for most of the stints.
Another noticeable difference was the massive variable KERS turned out to be. As stated in our race preview, we thought that KERS may be best suited for the Sakhir circuit. Lewis Hamilton used the system to get a lightning start and then continued to use it in order to make it nearly impossible for Sebastian Vettel to get past. Lets stop right here for one second though. There is one thing KERS did that was very very bad. The FIA was trying to adjust regulations for overtaking right? Well it did not happen with the KERS usage this weekend. The super heavy battery system made it impossible for the cars to overtake while all of the drivers continuously pressed their “special” buttons. So the moral of the story is that KERS is taking away from the very spectacle the FIA want to create (Surprise surprise).
Other notable happenings this weekend was the first points scored by Ferrari this year. A total of 3 actually were scored by Kimi as he wound up P6 and teammate Felipe Massa finished P14 or something like that. Why the difference in performance? Well, the car only showed slightly more pace in part due to the testing done there at the beginning of year. It could have been a double points paying race for the team, however Kimi decided it best to take the front wing off of his teammate going into the first corner (again surprise surprise).
For the first true race where we could see the actual pace, a few things became apparent. The RBR is better than the Brawn for quali and race pace, Williams continues to underachieve, Toyota still cannot plan a strategy, and BMW are just plain terrible. Alas, all is not lost however, the big teams such as Ferrari and BMW are bringing massive upgrades to their cars for Barcelona in a fortnights time. Some upgrades may be as much as a whole new chassis design for Kimi’s F60. BMW need something to put them on track, leaving a potential title winning car last year for the next year’s model and getting blown out must not be sitting well with the Bavarians.