Rate the race: Bahrain Grand Prix

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Jenson Button takes his third win of 2009 from fourth on the grid. What did you think of the Bahrain Grand Prix? Rate it out of ten and have your say below.

Rate the 2009 Bahrain Grand Prix out of 10

  • 10 - Perfect (3%)
  • 9 - Fantastic (6%)
  • 8 - Great (16%)
  • 7 - Good (30%)
  • 6 - Not bad (18%)
  • 5 - A bit dull (14%)
  • 4 - Often tedious (4%)
  • 3 - Boring (7%)
  • 2 - Rubbish (1%)
  • 1 - Terrible (1%)

Total Voters: 1,848

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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...

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45 comments on “Rate the race: Bahrain Grand Prix”

  1. This had to be one of the most exciting starts to a GP ever.

    It ended a bit boringly, but boy, was I out of my chair and cheering on the first three-four laps!

  2. Great start then it was boring. Another race ruined by Trulli being completely useless and forming a Trulli train to ruin the race

  3. I would have rated it more than 4/10 last year, but this year, it’s a sad throwback to 2008.

    Double Diffusers = bad. Speed difference through tyre calls = artificial. The only thing that could have salvaged this would be KERS for everyone (or no one), and more points difference within the podium positions, and between 3rd and 4th.

    After all, Vettel was content to sit behind Hamilton for the longest time! First really normal race of the year and it’s back to normal, albeit with different teams at the front…

  4. 3/10 – boring.

    Aside from the first 3 laps, I think I ended up daydreaming on my bed.

    It’s quite disheartening to hear Martin Brundle say half way through the race that the Toyotas ‘Might have to pass someone to win the race’ rather than loitering around waiting for pit stops.

    And that’s exactly what they did. Hamilton following Vettel following Trulli for god knows how many laps was no fun, and shows that these new regulations have done nothing to spice up the action where there is a lack of rain or incidents that draw out the safety car.

    Can’t wait for next year when they’ll only need to spend 3 seconds in the pits changing the tyres

    I was hoping for something more from Bahrain, which has, along with Spain, China and Hungary, has been traditionally the most dull track and race, and especially the worst of the Tilkedromes. But sadly, I clearly got my hopes up too much. I really hope they can think about reverting to decent, and capasity-crowded tracks that provide exciting racing.

    Well done Button for finding your way to the front, just a shame it was so, so dull.

  5. Great start, then a very dull race. Not a favourite track of mine but I was hoping for something a little better than this…boring.

  6. I thought FIA was trying to make F1 more interesting. Then why have we assisted for three wins out of four races from the same driver?

    1. David (Brazil)
      26th April 2009, 15:42

      And FIA wanted to award the WDC to the driver with most wins! I know it could and probably will change, but at this rate Button would win in August (Spa), leaving 5 more or less meaningless races to close the season.

  7. All these rule changes and all they really needed to do was ban Jarno Trulli from racing

  8. Not bad for Vettel. :) 18 points in two “normal” races

  9. Boring dull track made for a lifeless race apart from the first few laps. Looking forward to good European tracks now :)

    1. Three cheers for that, but I don’t know if Barcelona would be included in that count ;)

  10. the overall was boring!
    but the pit out’s were exciting!
    and good for Ferrari! they finally got points

  11. 7 points………..

  12. I think if KERS didn’t have such stringent limits on it’s functionality, the KERS teams would be doing much better, to the extent that the other teams would struggle on tracks like Bahrain

  13. Not the best of races this year, but the start was fun, and tyhe strategies added some interests. But i don’t like the track really. I can’t believe that Donington, Silverstone, the A1Ring in Austria and The french GP are struggling (or have disappeared) while this boring track will be a regular stop for years to come…
    Bourdais finished before Massa !
    Well done J. Button, but I hope the year will be more than a Button/Vettel fight.

  14. Wow tough crowd. I seem completely opposite to most votes here. I don’t like rain races with their fake spectacle, but I loved this race:
    – Great honest F1 strategy
    – lots of overtaking
    – lots of fights going on over the whole length of the grid
    – great drives from Button, Hamilton and Raikkonen who seemed to perform better than would be expected from their cars.

    I’ll take a proper race like this over any rain soaked “lottery spectacle” any day.

    1. Hear, hear. I gave it a 7 – a very enjoyable race. Lots of interest throughout and just because cars weren’t hitting puddles and spinning off every lap didn’t make it boring.

      Also, I quite like the track. I think it makes for good and different viewing having a race in the desert. And although people complain about the large run off areas, how often were they actually used? I thought all the drivers did a great job of keeping it in the track.

    2. hitchcockm00
      27th April 2009, 19:34

      I don’t see how rain races are spiced up artificially. The excitement, drama and mistakes come from the drivers skills truly being pushed to the edge lap after lap. There’s no time to relax, no time to just sit behind another driver for a few laps until you pit (like we have at every dry race).

      It’s not a lottery if the most skilled wet drivers come to the front with some spectacular driving and the poor ones make mistakes and crash.

  15. An amazing start with so much overtaking, cars ducking side to side defending and attacking was very entertaining.

    For me the race remained good, wishing button along for the win!

  16. 5/10 probably a little harsh, since the start was great, but I was just a little disheartened to see the cars unable to make much ground after the first few corners of following each other. They mostly drifted into oblivion once they couldn’t pass after a lap or so, main exception being Glock behind Kim at the end, and Trulli holding up a few others while on less optimal tyres.

    Is it a problem with the track? They seemed to be passing each other ok in Sepang.

  17. I thought it was alright. There were a few interesting battles:
    1. Webber vs. Kova, though the director didn’t show much
    2. Raikonen vs. Glock over a few corners
    3. Barrichelo vs. Piquet (I thought Piquet defended very well)
    4. Massa vs a ForceIndia (Fisi?) :D
    5. And f course, the first 3 laps, which were the best in a long time.

    But I did think it was surprising difficult for a faster car to pass a slower car. Maybe the nature of the passing hairpins allows easier defending because the exits are so much slower.

    1. I think it was mostly the KERS cars that were difficult to overtake. Piquet, Raikkonen, Hamilton and Kovalainen al could put up a fight against faster cars because their KERS gives them an edge.

    2. Agreed – I felt quite sorry for Barrichello, he was massively faster than Piquet’s mobile chicane pretty much everywhere, but all Piquet had to do was press the big red button on the exit of each corner…

  18. The first third was fantastic, particularly when the cars in the midfield in the first 3 or 4 laps were passing each other left right and center but
    Toyota spoiled what could have been an interesting race by going with the prime tyre in the middle stint, which led to Trulli holding up Vettel and allowing Button to have it easier than he might have done. Had they stuck with the option for the middle stint it may have been closer and more interesting towards the end.

    I actually think Bahrain is one of the better modern tracks, usually a good amount of overtaking and at least the country and organisers are genuinely passionate about the sport. Of the newer tracks Valencia, Istanbul, Shanghai and possibly Malaysia and Singapore are all much more boring, and of the older tracks Barcelona and Hungary are pretty uneventful.

    1. Good post bud, but the organizers in any country are pretty passionate about the GP- otherwise they wouldn’t be organizing it ;) As for the country being passionate, I have never been to Bahrain, but it’s so small and well-controlled that perhaps it is easy to get people to come out to the event. Kudos to them for having some full grandstands, but I doubt the passion there would ever approach the venues in Europe and North/South America.

  19. BORING, but what else can you expect from a boring circuit! in the midle of a boring dessert. they don’t have tree’s, f1 fans (exept Clapton with a ferrari cap) , girls and last but not least no alcohol…. and i don’t like Herman Tilke tracks….. with all the safety zones….. where is the danger and adrenaline ? after 2 laps its completly gone…..

    1. I did get a kick out of the Eric Clapton deal.

  20. Yes, I felt the Toyota decision really was a factor in making the race much less exciting than it could have been, which was disappointing for me personally really.

    Thinking back, the start was fantastic, and there was much overtaking initially, but as I said, once the cars were stuck behind a slower car for a while, didn’t feel like that was much that could be done if the driver in front stayed error free. Probably had my expectations raised unrealistically. Race wasn’t that bad though, after thinking more about it.

  21. i’m loving this season so far. also thought di montezemolo emerging from his stronghold to give everyone a kick in the butt was hilarious. raikkonen really was faster today. maybe LDM should attend every race..

  22. I feel a bit generous giving it 6/10 but I’m giving it the benefit of doubt seeing as I fell asleep :)

    At least Ferrari have scored, it’s not all bad.

  23. 5/10 as the start was brilliant, but it descended into a dull race, but at least Ferrari scored.

  24. At last a proper race. Button and Brawn were awesome today, they had the best race pace even though they had to compromise their pace for cooling. Button’s overtake on Hamilton was mega, pure outbraking and it was on a KERS car!. I would take this boring race over China. I want a race not a circus.

    1. How is a wet race a ‘circus’?

  25. Mouse_Nightshirt
    26th April 2009, 16:21


    Based virtually all on the opening laps – some of the best fighting I’ve seen on a first lap for a while. F1 Focus had 1st lap footage from Webber which showed how crazy it was at the back.

    I guess I’m quite a fan of the strategic side of things. The question mark over Button’s strategy made it quite interesting for me.


    1. If he was that awesome he would have been on the podium. He was merely alright.

  27. Some great hairy action up the back in the early laps – and another fantastic pass by Jenson, this time on Lewis. But otherwise, another event ruined by nerdy strategists trying to keep the cars apart on the track.

    Bring on the refuelling ban, 4/10.

    BBC’s onboard view proved its worth today – watched the start from Lewis’s car, and was able to see Rubens getting more and more wound up behind Piquet! Great stuff.

  28. I recorded the race to watch after work… ended up falling asleep on the couch with about 20 laps to go. Woke up just in time to see the podium.

    I get the feeling my dreams were probably considerably more entertaining the the race unfolding on the screen in front of me.

    Personally though, I’ve never been a fan of Bahrain or the GP’s run there. So, more of the same for me.

  29. Bigbadderboom
    27th April 2009, 10:47

    I recorded it and watched it Sunday night (Kids wanted to go mountain biking!!) I though it was ok, Bahrain is a pooor circuit as a spectacle, but the racing was good, F1 is more than overtaking and crashing, it’s currently more about strategy and quick thinking on the teams part. Brawn are the masters at the moment and I enjoy that element of it all. It will be diffeerent nest year

    1. F1 is more than overtaking and crashing….

      I watched the Sprint Cup race at Talladega later in the day, and was reminded of that. They are really lucky drivers and/or spectators don’t get injured there every time they race.

  30. Good race overall- certainly not great, but a good start and a few good battles. I was disappointed that Nakajima couldn’t finish the show, as it would have been neat to see every car finish on a good day.

  31. A few highlights – Alonso on Trulli springs to mind. But overall I found it a bit dull.

    I think its the featureless track in the sandpit – it just sucks the life out of the race, so it could be the most exciting race you’ve ever seen but it will still look dull at that awful place.

  32. Well for me, this was the first really exciting race of 2009. For the grid to be seperated by just 0.7s 1st to 20th in qualifying really shows how things are changing. Lewis Hamilton proving that he is the real star, not his car, by taking a convincing fourth when his car clearly wasn’t as fast as that. Sebastian Vettel, another young driver, making Formula 1 more exciting by throwing some of the more experienced drivers a wake up call, and great qualifying for Toyota, just a shame that they don’t have the strategeic genious of Ross Brawn behind them, or they would have taken 1-2 for the first time.

    Well done Jensen, for me, he is the real hero of F1. He’s put up with countless failures, bad cars, traffic and reliability problems, and now, given the right machinery, and up aginst a more than capable team mate in Rubens Barichello, he is proving that he was worth the wait and the investment, and its great to see the other drivers rejoice in Jensen finally making good on his potential.

    Don’t care what everyone else is saying above, for me, this was the best race for years, exciting all the way through.

  33. I gave it a 5/10 because of the track. Some good bits of racing thou. Looked like there were more track workers & pit crew than spectators.

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