131 kWh


En­ergy dis­si­pated

Turn 1 Statis­tics

Ini­tial speed Fi­nal speed Stop­ping dis­tance Brak­ing time Max­i­mum de­cel­er­a­tion Max­i­mum pedal load Brak­ing power 333km/h 62km/h 156m 1.76 sec 5.2g 155kg 2233kW

On a scale of 1 to 10, the level of dif­fi­culty on the brakes at Bahrain is 9. The four most chal­leng­ing brak­ing sec­tions at Bahrain all have a de­cel­er­a­tion load greater than 4.4g and a ter­mi­nal (pre-brak­ing) speed of 300 km/h or slightly less. The harsh­est of these is the Schu­macher curve (turn 1), where driv­ers ar­rive at some 330 km/h, and ex­pe­ri­ence a 5.2g de­cel­er­a­tion. Wil­liams left Bahrain with ques­tions as to their con­sis­tency. In the gag­gle be­hind Fer­rari and Mer­cedes, any lack of pace, or any ques­tion­able strat­egy will trans­late into lost po­si­tions with so many ea­ger, swift ri­vals around.

Wil­liams’ choice of ex­tended stints on Pirelli medi­ums for both its driv­ers was just such a call, in the con­text of Red Bull, Haas and Toro Rosso ma­jor­ing on softs and su­per­softs.

Each of these mideld hus­tlers had rea­son to be cheerful this week­end, but what of Fer­rari, self-an­nointed Mer­cedes-de­niers in 2016? It was an­other mixed bag. Seb Vet­tel suf­fered an en­gine fail­ure on the warm-up lap, which, fol­low­ing Räikkö­nen’s mo­tor-re­lated re­tire­ment in Aus­tralia, sug­gests re­li­a­bil­ity con­cerns for the Scud­e­ria that have al­ready un­der­mined their ti­tle hopes. Two races down, 50 points adrift.

Räikkö­nen, mean­while, started poorly, blam­ing his “ngers slip­ping” on the steering-wheel­mounted clutch pad­dle. His tar­di­ness and Vet­tel’s ab­sence cleared row two for Bot­tas to take the sling­shot into T1 that would prove so signicant for the even­tual top-three plac­ings. But Kimi has con­sis­tently ex­celled at this cir­cuit over the years, and he re­cov­ered with a de­ci­sive, drama-free run to sec­ond, ten sec­onds be­hind Ros­berg. It was his eighth Sahkir podium since 2006, though none of them have been as win­ner.

Be­hind the likely ti­tle con­tenders came the ever-charg­ing Daniel Ric­cia­rdo. He had al­ready per­formed with élan in qual­i­fy­ing to start from P5 in a car less pow­er­ful than those ahead and im­me­di­ately be­hind; to gain a race place when all around are los­ing theirs in­di­cates yet again that Red Bull and their star driver have lost noth­ing in per­for­mance, de­spite the on­go­ing decien­cies of the TAG-Heuer/Re­nault power unit.

They will, though, be look­ing over their shoul­ders at the emerg­ing threat of Haas F1. Yes, re­ally. Ro­main Gros­jean, start­ing from an ad­van­ta­geous P9 (giv­ing Haas a free tyre choice for the race, un­like the rst eight, who must wear their Q3 tyres to the start line) was char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally eet and er­ror-free on a charge to P5 crafted around an ag­gres­sive strat­egy of three sets of su­per­softs, plus one soft. “It’s an Amer­i­can dream,” said Ro­main post-race. For all but Haas’s big­gest and best-funded ri­vals, they’re rapidly turn­ing into an Amer­i­can night­mare.

And a de­but point for Stof­fel Van­doorne, last-minute sub for an in­jured Fernando Alonso? This was the stuff of cham­pi­ons.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.