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Ferrari’s Back!! – Dominate Bahrain Grand Prix

by F1Fan on March 14, 2010

Ferrari finish one two at the Bahrain Grand Prix with Fernando Alonso winning his debut race for Ferrari joining the very small select group of Ferrari Drivers, Fangio, Mansell and Raikkonen who also achieved the same feat.

Alonso’s race winning move took place right after the start, lining up 3rd on the grid behind his team mate Felipe Massa, Alonso had a great start, taking outside line around the first turn, carrying enough momentum to claim the inside line for turn 2 forcing Massa to concede the position and allowing Alonso to move into second place behind Vettel.

For the early part of the race Vettels pace was the class of the field, leading from pole position Vettel quickly built a commanding lead that lasted for just over three quarters of the 49 lap race. Then on lap 34 Vettel reported a loss of power and visibly started to slow. The Ferrari’s of Alonzo and Massa quickly over ran Vettel with Lewis Hamilton doing the same a few laps later. However Vettel didn’t give up and drove well enough to nurse his RB6 home into fourth place ahead of the Mercedes GP cars of Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher.

Initially Red Bull reported that they believed the issue was a cracked header, but upon further examination after the race it was discovered that the problem with the engine was electrical caused by a bad spark plug.

Bahrain Grand Prix Results (Top Ten)

PositionDriver
Nationality
DriverTeamCurrent
Points
1SpainFernando AlonsoFerrari25
2BrazilFelipe MassaFerrari18
3GBLewis HamiltonMcLaren15
4GermanySebastian VettelRed Bull Racing12
5GermanyNico RossbergMercedes GP10
6GermanyMichael SchumacherMercedes GP8
7GBJenson ButtonMcLaren6
8AustraliaMark WebberRed Bull Racing4
9ItalyVitantonio LiuzziForce India2
10BrazilRubens BarrichelloWilliams1
last updated Mar 14, 2010
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Once Alonso got past Vettel there was no holding him back and it looked like he had been conserving his tires a point that he confirmed during the post race interview:

“I had some pace in the pocket at that time of the race but I was concentrating on managing the tyres. We knew that we had to do 35 or 36 laps with the tyres. I was waiting the time to attack Vettel, maybe waiting for the last 10 or 12 laps. But suddenly he had a car problem and he was dropping and we had the chance to overtake him a little bit earlier than expected. I think he was very quick, especially with soft tyres at the beginning as I could not follow him at all, but with the hard tyre maybe we had a little bit more pace but difficult to know.”

Vettel wasn’t the only one of the front runners to have problems Felipe Massa’s car was apparently suffering a overheating problem causing him to have to back off and conserve fuel for some 25 plus laps of the race if Massa hadn’t let the cat out of the bad during the interview:

“The race was really good and fantastic for us. It was a bit strange for me. I did not have a good start and I lost a position, an important position, to Fernando at the first corner. The race was just great for me, the car was perfect. I could manage to follow him for the whole time on the soft tyres and then we put the hard tyres on, I was so quick straight away and I caught him in a very good way. Then I started to have a problem, definitely the whole race in terms of temperature in the car. That made a lot of fuel consumption, so I started to save fuel maybe in the last 25 laps, even 30 laps to go. I was saving fuel and there was nothing to do anymore. I was also lucky with the problem with Sebastian Vettel to pass him and gain some more points and I was lucky that Lewis was not so quick at the end, so I could manage to save a lot of fuel and also hold the position.”

I for one would never have guessed, yes Massa was slower than Alonso, but I put that down to fatigue after being out of Formula one for 8 months due to the serious head injuries he suffered in the freak accident at the Hungaroring. With Alonso’s comment: “I had some pace in the pocket…..” and Massa’s fuel conservation pace, it certainly looks like the Ferrari F10 may well be the car to beat this year.

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