Sakhir GP (Bahrain2)

 

 

Round 16/17 – Sakhir, 4 to 6 December 2020

 

All times UK  

Day

Session

Times

Sky

Channel 4

Fri 4th

FP1

1330 to 1500

1300 to 1515

-

FP2

1730 to 1900

1715 to 1915

-

Sat 5th    

FP3

1400 to 1500

1345 to 1510

-

Qual

1700 to 1800-ish

1600 to 1830

Recording: 2130 to 2300

Sun 6th    

Race

1710 to 1940-ish

1530 to 2030

Recording: 2200 to 0030

 

TYRES

Pirelli allocations per driver for this race are:

2 sets of white-marked hard tyres,

3 sets of Yellow mediums, and

8 sets of Red softs.

 

FP1:

Weekend changes: Russell driving Hamilton’s Mercedes; Aitken driving Russell’s Williams; Fittipaldi driving Grosjean’s Haas.

Surprised: McLaren so far down.

Not surprised: Russell fast; AlphaTauri’s fast (Honda power); Fittipaldi and Aitken at the bottom.

Pos

Driver

Car

 

1

Russell

Mercedes

54.546s 

2

Verstappen

Red Bull-Honda

 

3

Albon

Red Bull-Honda

 

4

Bottas

Mercedes

 

5

Kvyat

AlphaTauri-Honda

 

6

Gasly

AlphaTauri-Honda

 

7

Ocon

Renault

 

8

Vettel

Ferrari

 

9

Ricciardo

Renault

 

10

Leclerc

Ferrari

 

11

Stroll

Racing Point-Mercedes

55.558s 

12

Perez

Racing Point-Mercedes

 

13

Sainz

McLaren-Renault

 

14

Raikkonen

Alfa Romeo-Ferrari

 

15

Giovinazzi

Alfa Romeo-Ferrari

 

16

Norris

McLaren-Renault

 

17

Magnussen

Haas-Ferrari

 

18

Latifi

Williams-Mercedes

56.766s 

19

Fittipaldi

Haas-Ferrari

 

20

Aitken

Williams-Mercedes

57.187s 

 

FP2:

·      Running wide anywhere through the wiggly new section can damage a car significantly. Indeed, both McLarens suffering a bunch of mechanical problems mainly caused by running over the rough ground! They didn't get any meaningful running throughout.

 

·      Bottas also learned that and had many of his fast lap times, including his fastest lap deleted for exceeding track limits, and all the time appeared to be a man over-driving the car and getting scrappy desperate not toilet the new boy get a fastest time!

 

·      Leclerc had a half-shaft failure early on and never got back out of the garage. (What pity the SkyF1 commentators don't know what a half-shaft is!  I like the idea of Sky broadcasting all the sessions and the coverage they give to interviewing personalities in the pits, but their commentators (barring Martin Brundle) talk utter rubbish sometimes – well, most times actually.)

Pos

Driver

Car

 

1

Russell

Mercedes

 

2

Verstappen

Red Bull-Honda

 

3

Perez

Racing Point-Mercedes

 

4

Ocon

Renault

 

5

Albon

Red Bull-Honda

 

6

Kvyat

AlphaTauri-Honda

 

7

Stroll

Racing Point-Mercedes

 

8

Ricciardo

Renault

 

9

Gasly

AlphaTauri-Honda

 

10

Sainz

McLaren-Renault

 

11

Bottas

Mercedes

 

12

Raikkonen

Alfa Romeo-Ferrari

 

13

Giovinazzi

Alfa Romeo-Ferrari

 

14

Magnussen

Haas-Ferrari

 

15

Latifi

Williams-Mercedes

 

16

Vettel

Ferrari

 

17

Norris

McLaren-Renault

 

18

Fittipaldi

Haas-Ferrari

 

19

Aitken

Williams-Mercedes

 

20

Leclerc

Ferrari

 

 

FP3:

·      McLaren reported they had “made changes” to their cars and they did a little better than yesterday.

·      Vettel missed the last 15 minutes as the team reported they needed to do a “precautionary” engine change in his Ferrari.

·      The track speded up during the last 15 minutes or so, witnessed by drivers like Giovinazzi popping up in second before everybody others took advantage – not including the Mercedes drivers who appeared to be setting up their practice starts and things in the last few minutes instead of going for times. Leclerc was already in the garage and Ricciardo had damaged the underneath of his car going over a kerb in the wiggly bit. Having said that, Verstappen was looking pretty masterful out there and will take some beating in qualifying.

·      This track is so short and so fast Q1 is going to be b=very interesting…

Pos

Driver

Car

 

1

Verstappen

Red Bull-Honda

54.064s 

2

Bottas

Mercedes

 

3

Gasly

AlphaTauri-Honda

 

4

Ocon

Renault

 

5

Norris

McLaren-Renault

 

6

Albon

Red Bull-Honda

 

7

Russell

Mercedes

 

8

Perez

Racing Point-Mercedes

 

9

Stroll

Racing Point-Mercedes

 

10

Sainz

McLaren-Renault

 

11

Giovinazzi

Alfa Romeo-Ferrari

 

12

Kvyat

AlphaTauri-Honda

 

13

Leclerc

Ferrari

 

14

Ricciardo

Renault

 

15

Vettel

Ferrari

 

16

Raikkonen

Alfa Romeo-Ferrari

55.171s 

17

Magnussen

Haas-Ferrari

 

18

Latifi

Williams-Mercedes

 

19

Fittipaldi

Haas-Ferrari

 

20

Aitken

Williams-Mercedes

55.670s 

 

Q1:

·      Weather: Dark!!

·      Bottas confirmed that he has got his act together today.

·      They were all very well behaved and it wasn’t the chaos many had predicted.

Pos

Driver

Car

 

1

Bottas

Mercedes

53.904s 

2

Verstappen

Red Bull-Honda

 

3

Russell

Mercedes

 

4

Norris

McLaren-Renault

 

5

Gasly

AlphaTauri-Honda

6

Perez

Racing Point-Mercedes

7

Leclerc

Ferrari

8

Vettel

Ferrari

9

Ocon

Renault

10

Kvyat

AlphaTauri-Honda

11

Ricciardo

Renault

12

Sainz

McLaren-Renault

13

Giovinazzi

Alfa Romeo-Ferrari

 

14

Stroll

Racing Point-Mercedes

 

15

Albon

Red Bull-Honda

54.620s 

16

Magnussen

Haas-Ferrari

54.705s 

17

Latifi

Williams-Mercedes

 

18

Aitken

Williams-Mercedes

54.892 

19

Raikkonen

Alfa Romeo-Ferrari

 

20

Fittipaldi

Haas-Ferrari

55.426s 

 

Q2:

·      Norris and his team messed up the timing of his run, going too soon the first time and too late the second.

·      Vettel didn’t seem at all at ease with his car. I’m beginning to feel a little bit sorry for him.

Pos

Driver

Car

 

1

Verstappen

Red Bull-Honda

53.647s 

2

Perez

Racing Point-Mercedes

 

3

Bottas

Mercedes

 

4

Sainz

McLaren-Renault

 

5

Russell

Mercedes

6

Leclerc

Ferrari

7

Stroll

Racing Point-Mercedes

8

Kvyat

AlphaTauri-Honda

9

Ricciardo

Renault

10

Gasly

AlphaTauri-Honda

53.941s

11

Ocon

Renault

53.995s

12

Albon

Red Bull-Honda

13

Vettel

Ferrari

 

14

Giovinazzi

Alfa Romeo-Ferrari

 

15

Norris

McLaren-Renault

54.693s 

 

Q3:

Leclerc surprised a few with his 4th place on the first run, and probably even himself as he didn’t go out for the second run – probably knowing he couldn’t improve!!  As it happened neither did anyone else.

Pos

Driver

Car

 

1

Bottas

Mercedes

53.377s 

2

Russell

Mercedes

 

3

Verstappen

Red Bull-Honda

 

4

Leclerc

Ferrari

 

5

Perez

Racing Point-Mercedes

6

Kvyat

AlphaTauri-Honda

7

Ricciardo

Renault

8

Sainz

McLaren-Renault

9

Gasly

AlphaTauri-Honda

10

Stroll

Racing Point-Mercedes

54.200s

 

GRID:

·      After Grosjean’s crash it comes as no surprise that the car not only did Fittipaldi have a new chassis to play with, but new practically everything else so will be planted at the back whatever happens!!

·      Norris had to have a change of engine so he was also penalised.

Pos

Driver

Car

Pts

 

1

Bottas

Mercedes

22

 

2

Hamilton

Mercedes

20

 

3

Verstappen

Red Bull-Honda

19

 

4

Leclerc

Ferrari

18

 

5

Perez

Racing Point-Mercedes

17

6

Kvyat

AlphaTauri-Honda

16

7

Ricciardo

Renault

15

8

Sainz

McLaren-Renault

14

9

Gasly

AlphaTauri-Honda

13

10

Stroll

Racing Point-Mercedes

12

11

Ocon

Renault

10

12

Albon

Red Bull-Honda

9

13

Vettel

Ferrari

8

 

14

Giovinazzi

Alfa Romeo-Ferrari

7

 

15

Magnussen

Haas-Ferrari

6

 

16

Latifi

Williams-Mercedes

5

 

17

Russell

Williams-Mercedes

4

 

18

Raikkonen

Alfa Romeo-Ferrari

3

 

19

Norris

McLaren-Renault

2

Penalty

20

Grosjean

Haas-Ferrari

1

Penalty

 

RACE: 

·      What happened to Leclerc and Verstappen? There was the expected bottleneck into the first corner and Verstappen had to drop back to avoid a collision. They arrived at the end of the straight still jostling for position behind Bottas *Russell was way ahead by now) and Perez was able to draw alongside Leclerc (who had Verstappen just behind) on the outside going into the corner. Perez moved to negotiate the corner leaving enough room for Leclerc on his inside. Leclerc locked up going onto the corner, hit Perez (who spun around) and went wide leaving Verstappen nowhere to go but across the overrun, under-steering into the barrier. Perez pitted for tyres, came out at the back, and started a masterful come back to third before the Mercedes debacle.

·      What was the Mercedes debacle? The safety car was called out when Aitken hit the wall, lost his front wing and left debris on the track, so Mercedes called both cars in for a ”safety stop” to change to fresher tyres. Russell was in front and Bottas stacked behind. Russell was out pretty quickly but when Bottas got into the box they realised they had illegally put his front tyres on Russell’s car. They then had the put Bottas’ old tyres back on and he spent 27 seconds stationary. Russell meanwhile was recalled to the pits to rectify the error and came out in 5th. When the safety car came in and they started racing under the green lights again he worked his way very well up to 2nd and was closing on Perez to retake the lead, but got a rear puncture and returned to the pits, coming out in 15th. He fought back well to get 9th and fastest lap. Bottas dropped to 4th after his slow stop and with old tyres was picked off by four cars in fresher tyres! That's what happened but how did a team such as Mercedes mange to put the wrong tyres on Russell’s car? Toto Wolff claimed it was an intercom problem and the correct message didn't get through to the tyre mechanics. This story probably has credence as the stewards chose to only fine the team and not penalise Russell.

Pos

Driver

Car

Laps

Pts

1

Perez

Racing Point-Mercedes

87

22

2

Ocon

Renault

87

20

3

Stroll

Racing Point-Mercedes

87

19

4

Sainz

McLaren-Renault

87

18

5

Ricciardo

Renault

87

17

6

Albon

Red Bull-Renault

87

16

7

Kvyat

AlphaTauri-Honda

87

15

8

Bottas

Mercedes

87

14

9

Hamilton

Mercedes

87

14

FL

10

Norris

McLaren-Renault

87

12

11

Gasly

AlphaTauri-Honda

87

10

12

Vettel

Ferrari

87

9

13

Giovinazzi

Alfa Romeo-Ferrari

87

8

14

Raikkonen

Alfa Romeo-Ferrari

87

7

15

Magnussen

Haas-Ferrari

87

6

16

Russell

Williams-Mercedes

87

5

17

Grosjean

Haas-Ferrari

87

4

18

Latifi

Williams-Mercedes

52

3

Oil leak

19

Leclerc

Ferrari

0

2

Accident

20

Verstappen

Red Bull-Renault

0

1

Accident

 

 

 

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© Ian Bushnell, 2020