2020 Bahrain Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: Let's be honest. When we all initially saw that crash from the faraway camera on the F1 feed, we all must have thought that was unsurvivable. The fact that Grosjean literally walked/leaped away from that is a combination of excellent safety measures and luck. The latter, because a lot of things did go wrong and all the safety measures in the world could not take into account all those elements which went wrong.
EVENT: The atmosphere was the same as when fans are allowed at Bahrain...
TRACK: One would never think a newer Tilke designed track could conceivable have a design flaw that nearly killed a driver. But, it just goes to show, a race car can always find a bad spot on a track.
QUALIFYING: Hamilton and Mercedes keep rolling along, Albon finally qualifies right behind Verstappen, Perez is strong while Stroll falters, Ferrari is back to staying in Q2, and Russell goes 36-0 against teammates.
RACE: The first full race lap didn't occur until lap nine. After that, it was smooth -- and quick -- sailing ... until lap 55. Fittingly, it finished under the Safety Car.
START 1: Bottas drops like a rock, Verstappen and Perez jump right into the top three, Giovinazzi starts a new streak, and then it's all overshadowed by the horrifying Grosjean crash.
START 2: This time Verstappen gets a slow start from that P2 spot, but he and Perez form a wall preventing Bottas from gaining, and then Stroll flips over.
GROSJEAN: The luckiest man on the planet today.
HAAS: As if this season hasn't been bad enough for them, especially financially.
VAN DER MERWE: Alan was the busiest driver of the day. And the most heroic.
DR. IAN ROBERTS: Talk about going into the fire. He took the hypocratic oath to a whole new level.
HAMILTON: We don't care how good you are or how good your car is. To be able to brush aside what happened and get back in the car is something else, like all the drivers. To be able to maintain your concentration to win, is exceptional.
BOTTAS: Another putrid race. Is it too late to promote Russell or hire Perez or Hulkenberg? Just saying...
VERSTAPPEN: He's now only 12 points behind Bottas for second.
ALBON: Finally got another podium. But let's be honest. Alex was soundly beaten by the guy who wants his seat.
RED BULL: The last time Red Bull had a podium at Bahrain was in 2013 when Sebastian Vettel won.
PEREZ: Bad luck aside, Sergio once again made a huge statement for that Red Bull seat.
STROLL: Any other time, Lance's crazy crash would have garnered all the headlines.
RACING POINT: The story of their season -- once again threw away a boatload of points.
MCLAREN: For a team that didn't have the apex speed compared to Renault, they sure turned it on in the race.
GASLY: Pierre was able to ... with a bit of luck ... make a (virtual) one stop strategy work.
KVYAT: A magnet Daniil never wanted to be. Twice.
FERRARI: Not their track. And the second configuration this weekend will be terrible for low horsepower cars.
FIA: All those people who ridiculously criticized the halo should now profusely apologize to the FIA. And end all critical talk about the halo forevermore.
F2: Mick Schumacher's lead shrunk from 22 points to 14 over Callum Ilott. But, there is only one weekend left. Schumacher finished fourth in the feature race after starting 10th while Ilott took second. In the sprint race, Schumacher finished seventh while Ilott was out of the points.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Thankful.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 53 -- The amount of G's Grosjean's car impacted the Armco barrier, breaking through it and cutting his car in half.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: The images of Grosjean's towering inferno brought back memories of Gerhard Berger's crash in the 1989 San Marino GP at Imola, the last time such a scene occurred. On the fourth lap, mechanical failure caused his Ferrari to go off at the Tamburello corner at 180 mph. After hitting the wall, his car was covered in fuel which soon ignited. Knocked out, Berger remained motionless in the car. Fire marshals got there in 16 seconds, putting out the fire in 10 seconds, for a total of 26 seconds, under the 30 seconds race uniforms are supposed to protect drivers. Berger suffered broken ribs and second degree burns. After the race was stopped and restarted, Ayrton Senna won the race in a McLaren-Honda over his teammate, Alain Prost. Alessandro Nannini finished third in a Benetton-Ford, a lap down.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Amazing that Romain Grosjean originally disparaged the halo. He has certainly changed his mind now, "I wasn't for the halo some years ago but I think it's the greatest thing we brought to Formula 1 and without it I wouldn't be able to speak to you today."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Medical Car driver Alan van der Merwe stating the obvious which still needs to be said, "I've never seen that much fire in 12 years."
SCHEDULE: We are really looking forward to the unique configuration to be used at Sakhir this weekend. Under one minute laps. Super fast. The closest F1 will come to an oval since AVUS in the 1959 German GP or the hybrid Monza configuration last used in 1961. It should be a thriller. Even if the inevitable Mercedes runaway occurs because it will be all about horsepower. Unless, tire wear gets to play a factor with such fast laps.
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