Bahrain GP: thoughts on the start

Posted on

| Written by

With a new face at the front of the field in Robert Kubica, the fast Ferraris starting on the dirty side of the grid, and Lewis Hamilton especially disappointed at not being on the front row, we could be in for a dramatic first corner at Bahrain.

Robert Kubica will lead the F1 field around the formation lap for the first time in his career. It’s not likely he’ll find that especially challenging, but will he get the BMW off the line quickly enough to keep Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton behind him?

If he’s light on fuel, as many expect, it’s essential that he preserves his advantage at the start of the race.

Conventional wisdom suggests the Ferraris, second and fourth, are going to struggle as they have to start on the dirty side of the track. As Jenson Button said yesterday: “It’s nice to be ninth and on the clean side of the grid, here it makes a big difference.”

But is that going to be the case? In both the GP2 Asia races this weekend the driver second on the grid made a better start than the pole sitter. In fact in this morning’s race it was the driver who started 10th who took the lead!

Lewis Hamilton said his qualifying lap should have been better, which may indicate he also has a fairly light fuel load and needed to qualifying better than third. Right behind him on the grid is Kimi Raikkonen, who many expect to be heavily fuelled, and if Hamilton gets stuck behind him it could ruin his race.

There are two other drivers in interesting places on the grid: Jenson Button, ninth, aiming to score Honda’s first points of the year. And Mark Webber in 11th has the benefit of running whatever fuels strategy he likes in a Red Bull that looked very quick in Sepang.

The F1 Fanatic Live Blog for the Bahrain Grand Prix is starting imminently – keep an eye on the front page of the site for the live blog window.

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.