Its been awhile since my last post. F1 has started with a bit of a bang this year and i think we will have a cracker of a season. Personally, my life has been pretty busy and hence the lack of activity here. Actually learned to cook the other day (well, blend is more accurate really), and no damage so far. Might try it again next year. :p
Anyway, the below is my preview going into the Bahrain GP. Catch us all on ESPN Star Sports
There will be a few unknowns going into the fourth leg of the 2012 Formula 1 season. A lot has been said in the media over the past few weeks about whether F1 was actually going to make the trip to Bahrain after it was cancelled last year.
And the real truth was that no one really knew if anything would happen until the Monday after the race.
So let’s not discuss the political implications, and instead focus on the racing.
The circuit is about a kilometer less than when we raced there two years ago and the only data teams have will be from the refueling days when cars ran a lot lighter over the course of a race.
It will also be the first time Pirelli will have been to Bahrain and this lack of previous data, should mean that we will see some teams getting the setup and strategy right and some who may get it horribly wrong.
Bahrain has 4 major breaking areas from over 300kph and this will mean brake and tyre wear will be an issue this weekend.
Tyre wear was the big talking point in Shanghai with most people, including myself, believing that Mercedes would have issues with their rubber and that Nico Rosberg would struggle to match his qualifying performance.
It was a nice surprise to see that this was not the case and Rosberg drove superbly, managed his tyres beautifully and dutifully won the race in style.
It was the first pole followed by the inaugural win for Mercedes since 1955 and it perfectly illustrated how open this season will be.
In my view, this year’s championship will go down as the most open and competitive of all. The mid-field teams have never been closer to the front teams and with only 3 tenths of a second separating the top 10 going into Qualifying 3 in Shanghai.
We should see more surprises as the year goes on. We have already seen Sauber finish 2nd at Malaysia and I expect them to go well in Bahrain too. Another mid-field team to watch out for has to be Williams. Their race pace has been good all year and if they qualify well, they will be a true threat to the top four teams.
When I say top four, I mean McLaren, Red Bull, Mercedes and Lotus. Ferrari I omit at the moment as they are still struggling for pace and it will be no different in Bahrain.
They are keenly hoping that the big update package planned for the following race in Spain will deliver the performance they desperately need.
Especially Massa – he delivered an improved performance in Shanghai but he is still struggling against the fantastic Fernando.
Perhaps the updates planned by Ferrari, will give him the confidence to deliver the performances that we know he is capable of and thus keep him employed at the Prancing Horse.