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  • Matthieu Piekarski

#7 Bahrain GP Review



Let’s begin by praising the Bahraini organizers for procuring us two years in a row a fantastic F1 Grand Prix. Ever since they decided to make it a night race, the GP has never failed to be one of the best of the season. The aerial night shot just illustrates the beauty of this circuit and let’s not forget about the sparks from the cars.

The sparks were absolutely amazing to watch, even Jenson Button (sadly didn’t take part in the race and was a spectator) tweeted “Loving the sparks from the cars”. This brilliant idea (little anecdote: it was proposed by Mercedes AMG) to change from Tungsten material floor material to Titanium skid block is and will boost television audiences and interest for the sport. The only downside now is that we have to wait until September to appreciate these sparks again at night.


In regards to the race, I was 3.38 seconds away from being right about Kimi winning the Grand Prix. Had Kimi stopped perhaps one lap earlier on his second stint, it would have been evident he could have overtaken Lewis. Lewis and Nico, both in the last 10 laps of the GP were starting to suffer with brake issues (notably due to being in the dirty air of the lapped cars). Either way both Mercedes and Ferrari gave us a strong and exciting battle, something to look forward to for the rest of the season, as now the pressure will only escalade in the development race once back in Europe, in 3 weeks times.

Several analyst stated that Nico Rosberg had shown this weekend he could up his game with aggressive overtakes and was gaining momentum. Sadly, I do not agree with them.

To me, Nico lost the world championship in Bahrain. Starting with his qualifying, where bizarrely he was more pre-occupied with saving his tires for the race the next day than pushing to get pole. David Coulthard while commentating right before Nico started his qualifying lap in Q3: “This lap is decisive for his 2015 Season Championship”. It’s hard for me to say this because at the beginning of the season I was convinced Nico would be the 2015 World Champion. His recent media stunt to destabilize Lewis (he cannot deliver on track, yet he likes to complain to the media) failed completely, he lost ground in qualifying where normally is where Nico beats Lewis and last but not least he is unable to challenge Lewis on track. These reasons are why I lost hope that Nico will be WC 2015. I just don’t see this fighting energy on track, wanting to risk it or even the confidence to succeed. I hope I am wrong and that in three weeks’ time we will see a new Nico. The momentum is with Lewis at the moment and he seems yet again unstoppable.

Moving on with other teams, Lotus. Thanks to Romain Grosjean, the team scored points for the second race in a row. They could have scored more if Pastor Maldonado hadn’t made a stupid mistake while entering the pits on an aggressive three stop strategy. I know it’s the not the first time I say this about Pastor, but bringing millions from Venezuela to race in the end is costing more to Lotus in valuable points and as well in car reparations. I am lost for words why F1 teams like Lotus keep a driver that has had a one-time luck win at the Spanish GP. It’s a good spectacle for us fans to see a driver making errors as it spices up the entertainment, but ultimately you feel bad for the team, knowing they are struggling financially. With the accumulation of these errors from Pastor, is this the last season we shall see him in F1?

On a more positive note, a driver that’s impressing me more and more is Felipe Nasr. Sauber have always been a team which early on could identify talented drivers (Schumacher, Kimi, Massa to name a few). Nasr already set a record of being the youngest Brazilian driver to score in an F1 race. His overtaking moves are impressive and he seems to find a way to bring out the best in the car, Alonso style. A driver to watch out for the rest of the season!

Renault engine cars struggled once again this GP, with Daniel Ricciardo crossing the line with a fuming Renault engine. These are tough times for Renault fans, but there might be light at the end of the tunnel. According to sources, the CEO of Renault (Carlos Ghosn) has approved to buy a F1 team to better promote the brand and bring back the glories of the old days. Now the question is which team will it be between Toro Rosso and Lotus that will be bought by Renault?

McLaren is as well slowly seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, the team has increased its race pace steadily every Grand Prix. With new updates rushing in during the European leg of Formula 1, we hope to see them increase in competitiveness. It can only be beneficial for the show and race interest. How good would it be to see McLaren disturbing the championship between Mercedes AMG & Ferrari?

We, F1 fans must now be patient for three weeks until the next race in Barcelona. Expect numerous news spicing up Formula 1 in the coming weeks as always. Starting with Renault buying back a team as stated previously, some Lewis Hamilton & Ferrari 2016 rumors, and one that I believe will concretize into something serious is Audi coming to F1 (replacing Red Bull). With Ferdinand Piech (Chairman of VW Group) most likely stepping down from his position, this will open the way to Audi joining F1. Numerous reasons make it obvious Audi will join F1:

· The primary one is to battle with its main competitor Daimler, which is gaining too much media attention.

· Enter the development race of hybrid commercial engines, where Audi is not a frontrunner.

· The third one is increasing the brand image and awareness, the VW group is too dependent of the Chinese market and needs to penetrate markets like the US.

Last but not least, Ferdinand Piech hates Bernie Ecclestone and previously said that as long as he is chairman of the VW group, they will never enter F1. Once Piech announces he is stepping down of the VW Group, things will accelerate very fast.

In the meantime to help you pass time faster, UBS launched a competition #UBScarpartcomp to win a car part of the Mercedes W04. Just click on this link to take part in the competition:

https://twitter.com/UBSf1/status/590508876728037378

Enjoy the little F1 break. Until next time.

Take care,

MP


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