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2010 Bahrain Grand Prix (Sakhir, Round 1, Grand Prix)

March 14, 2010

New layout for the Sakhir Circuit. © FIA

On Sunday, the reshaped circuit decreed that the race came in at 49 laps and of the top 10, it was Adrian Sutil who looked like he might spring a surprise as he started from 10th place with the harder tyres; unfortunately contact from his team mate Antonio Liuzzi spun the young German down to back of the field.

The Renault of Robert Kubica also spun exiting turn 1 where he joined Sutil. Both Sutil and Kubica showed very good pace during the race, so to be handicapped so early in the event made sure that points would not be coming their way. An interesting return to racing for the 7-time World Champion Michael Schumacher as he finished in 6th place, behind Rosberg; however the returnee still managed to get to the line ahead of the defending champion Jenson Button.
For the new teams, it was a mixed series of results as both Lotus cars managed to finish the race – an excellent result in itself – made even better by Kovalainen beating Buemi by the flag. Chandhok retired following contact with the barrier on lap 2, while both Virgin’s and the second HRT of Senna retired with mechanical problems.

Another shame for the race was Vettel dropping back with a cracked exhaust – a failure that nullified the battle at the front, as the Ferrari duo of Massa and Alonso appeared to settle into engine saving mode once the Red Bull was out of the way. Alonso stretched his legs and won the Grand Prix by quite a large margin ahead of his team mate, with Lewis Hamilton in third place – Vettel eventually finished in fourth place. It was quite noticeable during Alonso’s slow down lap that his fist was out and he was waving his hands in celebration – to no one. There were absolutely no grandstands or general admission areas in the middle of the track and apart from a few marshals, there was absolutely no one around – it was a very eerie sight.

All in all, it was not a great race, but then again Bahrain has rarely produced stunning Grand Prix. It also doesn’t help that it is very hard to tell any of the corners apart in the middle of the desert track and it only makes me want the Australian Grand Prix to come around quicker. The next race takes place in Melbourne in two weeks time. It should be interesting to see if Ferrari and Red Bull can continue their Bahrain pace. My thanks to ICON, Kartographie Huber and Hot Maps for supplying the extremely detailed map of the Sakhir circuit above – their website should anyone want a swift look around can be found at hot-map.com.
ICON Website
Kartographie Huber Website
Race Rating: 2 out of 5

Sakhir, Bahrain Grand Prix (Round 1, March 14th)
1. ALONSO Ferrari 49 Laps
2. MASSA Ferrari +16.0s
3. HAMILTON McLaren +23.1s
4. VETTEL Red Bull +38.7s
5. ROSBERG Mercedes +40.2s
6. SCHUMACHER Mercedes +44.1s
7. BUTTON McLaren +45.2s
8. WEBBER Red Bull +46.3s
9. LIUZZI Force India +53.0s
10. BARRICHELLO Williams +62.4s
11. KUBICA Renault +69.0s
12. SUTIL Force India +82.9s
13. ALGUERSUARI Toro Rosso +92.6s
14. HULKENBERG Williams +1 lap
15. KOVALAINEN Lotus +2 laps
16. BUEMI Toro Rosso +3 laps
17. TRULLI Lotus +3 laps
R. DE LA ROSA Sauber +21 laps
R. SENNA HRT +32 laps
R. GLOCK Virgin +33 laps
R. PETROV Renault +36 laps
R. KOBAYASHI Sauber +38 laps
R. DI GRASSI Virgin +47 laps
R. CHANDHOK HRT +48 laps

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