bahrain

Formula One -Derland: Bahrain 2014

by Jamie Sanford on April 8, 2014

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Photos are from Planet F1 unless otherwise noted.

Holy crap, this was probably the best Formula One race I’ve ever seen. It’s definitely in the top 3 races I’ve watched in my short few years as an F1 fan. It was NUTS.

Nico Rosberg managed pole position over Lewis Hamilton. Daniel Ricciardo came third, but had a 10-place grid spot penalty so would start 13th.

Race day arrived, and Jenson Button was celebrating his 250th race! He’s the most experienced driver currently racing. I couldn’t help but think of how it was probably a bit sad for Jenson given the sudden passing of his father back in January.

Luca di Montezemolo of Ferrari made this face after a meeting with Bernie Ecclestone. He would later be making much sadder faces during the race, while watching Ferrari cars get outperformed in a big way.

The race was dramatic from the start, with Lewis Hamilton quickly managing to get in front of his teammate, Nico Rosberg. Lewis would lead almost the entire race. Meanwhile, contact somewhere in the back with Jean-Eric Vergne and Pastor Maldonado.

(source) A look at the amazing track, lit up during this night race, seems appropriate here.

The race was clipping along with quite a few battles going on between cars, and then they cut to show us Esteban Gutiérrez‘s car, showing that the camera mounted on the top was missing. Then the replays started as the safety car came out.

(source) I have not seen something this scary since I started watching Formula One. The car came down on its head twice, and it was SCARY. Luckily, Gutierrez managed to get out of the car on his own. It was Pastor Maldonado who hit him, after hitting Vergne earlier in the race. Maldonado received a 10-second stop/go penalty during the race, then afterwards, received a 5-spot grid penalty for the next race and 3 points on his superlicense. Mostly everyone I follow on Twitter who watches/is involved with F1 thinks that this is absolute BS. Romain Grosjean was suspended from a race for causing a collision, and all Maldonado gets is some penalties?

Not to mention that Maldonado shouldn’t even have a car anyway. He is a MENACE on the track, and the story I’ve constantly heard is that the sponsors that he has in the form of Venezuelan tourism is the main reason he continues to have teams that want to add him to their F1 driver lineup. However, at some point, he’s going to run out of teams that are this desperate for cash.

(source) There were not many laps to go after the safety car, and the rest of the race was just absolutely mental. Possibly made more fun by the fact that throughout the race, we had seen teammates fighting it out like mad, and it continued right until the end. I was Skyping with my dad and brother during this last bit, and we were all yelling at the TV together. It was great.

(source) While we know they are not BFFs, Nico and Lewis did have a cute moment of wrestling with happiness after getting out of the cars. It looked like they had a great time fighting one another.

While the Mercedes cars were dominating the race, Sergio Perez of Sahara Force India managed the third spot on the podium. He isn’t my favorite, but good for him. Unfortunately, my boy Nico Hulkenberg, Sergio’s teammate, was on the harder compound tire and just couldn’t get the pace at the end. However, he did score good points, and Hulkenberg is third in the driver’s championship points, which is amazing.

I highly doubt that we will get another race like this anytime soon, but I’ll keep my hopes up. China in less than 2 weeks!

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Formula One -Derland: Testing in Bahrain

by Jamie Sanford on February 25, 2014

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Be sure to check the Formula One wiki for more complete results, or visit Planet F1.

Photos are from Planet F1 unless otherwise noted.

Testing resumed in Bahrain this past week, and it was nice to see the Lotus and to have more time to focus on the colors and liveries for 2014. They are definitely all not final, and I’m even thinking we will see major changes before the first race.

Here’s one of the stories from the BBC on how Mercedes is looking great while Renault-powered teams are not doing so well, at least so far.

Caterham – Lovely green, it totally stands out. The sponsorship logos almost look too subtle.

The Ferrari is as ostentatious as ever, just taking a trip to Logotown. I love the added fun of all of the measurement devices.

Here’s a shot of the aero measurement net being used on the Lotus.

With Pastor Maldonado on board, it is no surprise to see a big Venezuela tourism banner on the back wing of the Lotus.

The Lotus is also insane with logos. The color scheme remains the same as last year.

Marussia, being one of the smaller teams, doesn’t appear as focused on making the most available space for advertisers.

McLaren is launching without a title sponsor, which makes for a pretty naked look.

The Mercedes looks very similar, but I like it even more with the orange lines on this tire compound. (All of the tires have different bands of color to make them easy to identify.)

The Red Bull still has one of the best color schemes, but it just isn’t running too well. Here’s Vettel getting out on track.

Here’s a good shot of the FlowVis paint used on the cars to see how the air behaves.

Sahara Force India has 2 new drivers and lots more black in the livery for 2014. I think this looks way sexier than last year’s car.

The Toro Rosso continues (rightly, I guess) to be the low-rent, sad version of the Red Bull livery.

Williams has Martini has a new title sponsor, but they haven’t updated the car yet. I’m expecting to see a lot more white on the car once they introduce that branding.

Just a few weeks to go until the first race in Australia. This season is looking like it will be FUN.

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Formula One -Derland: Bahrain 2013

by Jamie Sanford on May 14, 2013

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Be sure to check the Formula One wiki for more complete results, or visit Planet F1.

Bahrain

Before another long break between races, we go to Bahrain for race 4 in the season.

All photos of this race in Bahrain are from Planet F1. Go here to see their whole gallery and enjoy the site in general.

Nico “Not Really The Number One Driver” Rosberg managed to obtain pole position!

Lewis “Swag Party” Hamilton, hanging out during qualifying.

Fernando “Eyebrows” Alonso, just chilling in the garage.

Mark “Can’t Catch A Break” Webber was celebrating his 200th grand prix. Unfortunately he would be starting it with a grid penalty for last week’s contact during the race.

The race start – Nico Rosberg managed to hang on to the race lead for about 40 seconds before being passed by Sebastian “AGAIN?!?” Vettel.

Sadly, Alonso was faced with a stupid broken DRS wingflap, resulting in extra pit stops that ruined his chances for a win.

The race had some exciting moments, a few between Jenson “Cute As A” Button and Sergio “Spicy Mexican” Perez, who are on the same team! Perez was all over Button and then got into it with Webber later in the race. Crazy.

Meanwhile, my boy Paul di Resta managed a 4th place finish! I have a special affinity for Paul since he started as a regular Formula One drive when I started watching. I hope he gets on the podium soon.

The same exact result from last year. Vettel was first, Kimi “Has No Feelings” Räikkönen was second, and Romain “Former King of Race Contact” Grosjean in third. The best part of this picture is that Red Bull sent a woman up onto the podium to accept the constructor’s trophy for the race. Go Gill Jones!

Spain in a few weeks.

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Formula One -derland: China and Bahrain

by Jamie Sanford on April 26, 2012

Formula One in 2012 is AMAZING so far, and China was no joke. I had been hurting for some racing action in the 3 weeks between Malaysia and China, so I was super excited to watch practice, and of course, qualifying. I also had a connection that allowed me to watch the race coverage from the BBC, which is way better than the Speed coverage, which has commercials! During the race! WTF!

China

Anyway, I half-watched practice coverage for the Chinese Grand Prix from Speed, and then was pretty surprised during qualifying, when Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg claimed pole position, with his teammate and F1 legend Michael Schumacher in 3rd position on the grid. Lewis Hamilton split them up, but he’s been doing well in quali all season so this was not surprising.  Lewis would be dropped to 7th on the grid though, as he changed a gearbox and so had to deal with the penalty.

The grid. Photo from PlanetF1.

The Mercedes cars had a wonderful start and Nico Rosberg started to build his lead very early, with Schumacher holding back the rest of the pack quite well. That lead would last throughout the whole race, Rosberg only losing the number 1 spot due to the staggered nature of pit stops.  Unfortunately, a pit stop sidelined his teammate, Michael Schumacher, who devastatingly had to retire from the race when his front right tire was not actually attached to the car when he pulled away.

Nico managed to maintain his lead, while there was a massive competition for the following podium spots. There was a train of cars throughout the race which I have not seen in my short time as an F1 fan, and tire strategy ruined podium opportunities for both Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel, who tried stopping only 2 times only to have their tires just fall off the cliff, with no grip or performance left.  Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton from McClaren, and then Mark Webber from Red Bull, ended up passing Vettel toward the end of the race, but the victory was all about Nico Rosberg, who was 21 seconds ahead.  It was Nico’s first Formula One victory, and was fun to watch him celebrate.

Go Nico! This picture is also from Planet F1. Click the link to see their whole gallery of photos from the race.

Bahrain

The Bahrain race was dramatic weeks before it even took place. There was a lot of questioning around the race due to the ongoing political unrest there, a situation that caused last year’s grand prix to be cancelled.  Bernie Ecclestone was not about to lose any money, so he said that the government of Bahrain ensured that everything would be OK.

Things were obviously not all sunshine and flowers, because some Force India mechanics left Bahrain before the race, after being subjected to a close call with some molotov cocktails thrown by protesters. The Force India team ended up skipping the 2nd free practice session, apparently to get all of their team back into their hotels before nightfall.

So, onto the race. After a slightly mediocre start to the season, the 2-time champion Sebastian Vettel managed to claim pole position during qualifying. His stupid finger pointing came back with a vengeance, because you know that he missed it. Ugh, I am still not a fan of him at all. Usual suspects Lewis Hamilton and Mark Webber rounded out the top 3. My boy Paul di Resta made it into Q3, but didn’t take part and would start 10th.

Barf. But PlanetF1 is cool and this is their photo.

The race was a combination of what we saw in 2011 and so far in 2012. Sebastian Vettel led from pole and maintained his lead throughout the race (except for weirdness during pit stops), but the rest of the podium was filled with Lotus drivers Kimi Raikkonen and rookie Romain Grojean. Raikkonen had some close calls where it looked like he would pass Vettel, but unfortunately, he just didn’t have enough.

2012 so far is still amazing. 4 races, 4 different winners, and a large number of different people who have had podium spots, instead of just Red Bull, McClaren and Ferrari all the time. There are enough drivers to have a different winner for every race of this year, but I find it unlikely that an HRT driver will be winning a race this year.

Spain in 3 weeks!

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