Vettel takes second Bahrain win on disastrous day for Ferrari

2013 Bahrain Grand Prix review

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For the second time this year victory for Sebastian Vettel came on a day when his arch-rival Fernando Alonso suffered a poor race.

The Ferrari driver’s race was ruined when his DRS jammed open five laps into the grand prix.

As Alonso slipped back into the back the two Lotus drivers used their superior race pace to join Vettel on the podium, recreating the same top three from this race 12 months ago.

Rosberg under attack

For the second time in his career it was Rosberg’s responsibility to lead the field on the formation lap. As he approached the grid the Mercedes driver slowed down to back the cars behind him up.

As the start was given Vettel and Alonso were instantly on his tail at the first corner, the Ferrari driver squeezing past the Red Bull. But Vettel stayed within range and he out-accelerated Alonso from turn four to re-take second place.

Behind him the other Ferrari of Felipe Massa collided with Adrian Sutil, damaging the F138’s front wing and giving Sutil a puncture which wrecked his race.

As they dropped back Mark Webber took up fifth behind Paul di Resta, followed by the McLarens of Jenson Button and Sergio Perez, the latter having made up four places.

DRS glitch ruins Alonso’s race

Vettel was pressing to find a way past Rosberg at every turn, with Alonso in turn latched onto his tail. It seemed inevitable that Vettel would pass once DRS was enabled, but he got the job done ahead of that on lap three.

Two laps later Alonso got within range of Rosberg on the pit straight, activated DRS and passed him easily on the run to the first corner. But the wing failed to close again and he continued around the rest of the circuit with the flap still open.

Alonso continued onto lap six with the wing still stuck open. Rosberg was struggling so much that instead of capitalising on his rival’s problem he was passed by Di Resta.

He finally came in at the end of lap seven to have the problem seen to, Ferrari taking advantage of the opportunity to change his tyres. The wing was pushed back into place but as Alonso passed Jules Bianchi on his out-lap it stuck open again. That forced another return to the pits and the decision was taken not to use it for the rest of the race.

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Massa’s misfortune

Alonso wasn’t the only driver to head for the pits at this early stage. Webber had been stuck behind Massa, who started on hard tyres, and the Red Bull driver pitted early to try to get ahead of the Ferrari. As he began reeling off fastest sector times the rest had to react, including Vettel who came in on lap 11.

Di Resta assumed the lead followed by Raikkonen, the pair both planning to pit twice. The Force India driver was the first of them to come in on lap 15, followed shortly afterwards by Raikkonen. That promoted Vettel back into a lead he never lost again.

Alonso had fallen as low as 18th following his DRS drama. Now it was the other Ferrari’s turn to hit trouble. Massa was running sixth during his second stint when a right-rear puncture forced him back into the pits.

Having returned to the track race engineer Rob Smedley urged him to “just drive flat out” and pit when he needed to. But he suffered a similar failure again later on, which destroyed his chances of finishing in the points.

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Mercedes’ mystery problem

Rosberg continued to lose places in the opening stages. On lap 20 Button attacked him at the first corner and squeezed down the inside of turn tow to take the place.

Grosjean also took the Mercedes at turn four. The Lotus driver was moving up from 11th on the grid but had compromised his strategy by pitting early due to debris in his radiators which caused his temperatures to climb worryingly high.

The other Mercedes driver was also struggling. Hamilton was told his pace looked good but replied “it doesn’t feel that way, man.” He was also frequently being told to “lift and coast”, as he had in Malaysia when he was short on fuel.

But after coming in for his second pit stop Hamilton found his car’s pace was transformed. “We’ve got some thinking to do,” admitted Ross Brawn to both his drivers after the race. He added to Rosberg that “when it was hot, we were nowhere,” giving a clue to the cause of their trouble.

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McLaren duo do battle

Rosberg briefly re-passed Perez but both McLaren drivers came past him on lap 24, beginning a fierce tussle between the two which did not always look like it was being contested between team mates.

Perez carelessly clipped the back of Button’s car at turn four at one point, threatening to puncture his team mate’s tyre. “He just hit me up that back,” an increasingly irate Button complained on the radio. “Calm him down.”

Perez came back at him a few laps later and Button responded in kind, squeezing Perez onto the dusty run-off at the exit of turn four. But it was Perez who prevailed as Button over-stressed his tyres and became the first of several drivers to make a fourth pit stop.

Webber’s last-lap slump

Vettel had little trouble from behind for the rest of the race and indulged in his usual habit on these occasions of securing the race’s fastest lap as well, on the 55th tour.

Raikkonen passed Di Resta on the road – a straightforward DRS move on the main straight – towards the end of his second stint. He was called into the pits straight afterwards, somewhat to his surprise as he’d felt able to keep going. But the move ensured Di Resta would not jump him at the final round of stops.

The second Lotus of Grosjean caught and passed the Force India in the final stint having run a three-stop strategy. Di Resta admitted afterwards that Grosjean’s extra fresh tyres left over from qualifying made him difficult to keep behind.

Behind Di Resta the battle for fourth place was fierce. Hamilton appeared to settle it early on when he passed Webber. But he ran wide at the final corner, gifting the place back to the Red Bull driver.

Webber, struggling with his tyres having been forced to run longer stints because of his earlier pit stops, fought hard to keep Hamilton behind. He made his defensive moves as late as he could get away with and used the full width of the track when the rules permitted him to.

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But on the final lap Hamilton wrested the inside line for turn one from him and made a move stick. Further around the last tour Perez demoted him a further place to take sixth. He’d come out on top of another bruising scrap, this time with Alonso.

Perez had claimed the inside line for turn four and obliged Alonso to make use of the run-off area at the exit. This was no more than Button had done to Perez a few laps earlier but it infuriated Alonso. “He pushed me out,” he complained on the radio.

“It’s very clear,” race engineer Andrea Stella responded. “I think Perez will have his problem with the stewards.” He did not – for the second race in a row one of Perez’s rivals took exception to his driving but the stewards clearly felt he’d done nothing wrong.

Four-stoppers Rosberg and Button completed the top ten followed by Maldonado, who’s also been in four times. Hulkenberg, 12th, had suggested it but his engineers stuck with their planned three despite struggling with poor rear grip.

Following their first-lap collision and other calamities Sutil and Massa finished 13th and 15th, Valtteri Bottas in between them.

Toro Rosso came down from the high of China with Daniel Ricciardo down in 16th, saying he lost a lot of time under braking. Jean-Eric Vergne was the race’s only retirement after clipping Bottas and then being hit by Giedo van der Garde.

Charles Pic made the most of the Caterham upgrades to beat not just both Marussias but also Esteban Gutierrez, who crossed the finishing line half a second behind him.

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Vettel’s payback for 2010

Three years ago in Bahrain an exhaust failure on Vettel’s car handed victory to Alonso at this track. Now Alonso’s misfortune helped Vettel on the way to his second victory of the year and second in a row here.

Alonso had looked on the opening four races as his chance to make a big improvement on his 2012 performance, where he struggled in the opening races with the problematic F2012.

But he heads to Spain with just four points more than he has 12 months ago – certainly less than he will have hoped for. Vettel has increased his tally by 24 points over last year and both Raikkonen and Hamilton separate them in the points standings. Alonso may have to worry about more than one rival this year.

2013 Bahrain Grand Prix

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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...

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82 comments on “Vettel takes second Bahrain win on disastrous day for Ferrari”

  1. I was quite a big supporter of DRS when it first arrived, despite thinking they often put them in stupid places (like Spa and the long straight in China.)

    Today though Alonso’s fightback showed me that it’s simply not needed at this time in the sport. The tyres and the changes of the rules show that we can have plenty of overtaking, and better overtaking, without it.

    1. Not enough information to support such a claim. Alonso could have been much higher up if his DRS was repaired.

      The nice thing about DRS is it gets faster cars past slower cars, effectively preventing those dreaded “trulli trains” that we all used to complain so much about for so many boring years.

      1. But with these tyres we wouldn’t have “trulli trains” as drivers would pit to make the undercut or do something else with strategy as there’s so many more options with the more aggressive tyres.

      2. Alonso could have been much higher up if his DRS was repaired.

        The main reason was that all the other cars had a functioning DRS. Get rid of it for al the cars and I think Alonso would have been even more successful.

        The Trulli trains were in the era of Bridgestone rock hard tyres, huge aero bits, small front wings, massive rear wings, very dirty diffusers (ahem), etc… We simply don’t need DRS, but until they put on a race without it we won’t know for sure.

        DRS is just plain wrong.

    2. Alonso’s fightback showed me that it’s simply not needed at this time in the sport

      I agree entirely. Races like India last year show that DRS alone cannot produce good races when the tyres are conservative. It’s the aggressive tyres which have made the races more exciting. DRS just serves to make passes too easy. It was no good before and this year it’s been absolutely terrible.

      1. @keithcollantine You have to remember that DRS also exists to stop teams spending more on race-specific aero packages, now everyone runs with maximum downforce just about everywhere.
        That’s the reason why, when the FIA decided to ban free use of DRS in qualy, they chose to add an extra zone on each circuit. I also wouldn’t mind getting rid of DRS, but unfortunately is not as simple as it first seems.

        1. @mantresx

          DRS also exists to stop teams spending more on race-specific aero packages

          I don’t remember that explanation ever being put forward by those in charge. And the top teams bring aero changes to every race so if that was the case it isn’t working.

          1. Well I do remember it!! like I said that’s the reason (or at least one of the reasons) they now have at least two zones on every race, also I reckon top teams would bring incremental AND special upgrades if they paid off, with DRS that’s simply not necessary.

          2. @mantresx

            DRS alone does stop teams from spending money on aero parts just because it is easier to overtake. Those “incremental AND special upgrades” would give them benefits if DRS didn’t exist, just as much as the current new aero parts brought to every race by the big teams do, now that DRS is in place.

            New aero parts give teams benefits and big teams bring them to every race, regardless of whether DRS exists or not.
            It’s not like: “Okay, it’s easy to overtake now, so let’s not worry about bringing aero updates anymore.”

            Sorry, but that claim is completely rubbish.

          3. DRS alone does NOT stop teams from spending money on aero parts just because it is easier to overtake. Those “incremental AND special upgrades” would give them benefits if DRS didn’t exist, just as much as the current new aero parts brought to every race by the big teams do, now that DRS is in place.

            New aero parts give teams benefits and big teams bring them to every race, regardless of whether DRS exists or not.
            It’s not like: “Okay, it’s easy to overtake now, so let’s not worry about bringing aero updates anymore.”

        2. @mantresx
          The reason that they added the second DRS zone after banning free use in qualifying, was because they wanted DRS to still be interesting and useful for the teams to set the cars up to use it efficiently, for example about deciding on the gear ratios. With less gain from DRS, the teams could opt to set the cars up with focus on not using DRS, since most of the weekend is spent without using it anyway.

          Now DRS is still useful for the teams and it’s also useful to develop the system and the rear wing for optimal performance.

      2. @keithcollantine Agreed. And that’s not to mention the virtually lost art of defensive driving.

      3. @keithcollantine, I think the rules regarding how many defensive moves are permitted work with the drs to make it so easy. If the following driver is allowed a moveable wing to reduce drag, the leading driver should be allowed to aggressively defend. As it is they make their defensive move, and then they are a sitting duck because the rules dictate they must then leave a car width. Alonso proved drs isn’t needed, and if the other cars had no drs he would have sliced up a few more, once he caught the mclarens there was three cars ahead of him using drs on every straight. I rated this race an eight, but with no drs I am confident it would have been a ten. There would have been so much more excitement, and proper wheel to wgeel racing /rant

      4. @keithcollantine precisely ! It just kills defensive driving . I was enjoying Rosberg’s defense and even Hamilton’s in China . However , that was short lived and pop , someone uses the post box opening to glide by . Horrible !! However on the flip side , I think if there were no DRS , cars like the red bull will be harder to pass but hey ,still possible. Essentially , there is no defensive driving today . All you can do is try maintaining the gap , but then you have the tires to worry about .

    3. I think the way in which Vettel managed to pass Rosberg also showed it’s not necessary. The tyres do a much better job of helping make passing possible but still exciting. DRS just kills the fun.

      I’ve always wondered though why the FIA don’t either trial a race without DRS or just actually ask the fans what they want – from what I’ve gathered most hate DRS and the way it’s implemented!

      1. @vettel1
        Should we call an election?

        If they decided to have DRS then they should stick with it for the whole year. And not just choose random races to not run DRS. That could put some drivers at disadvantages.
        (Let’s say, in a race without DRS a Force India is fighting for the podium but could not overtake because there was no DRS – They are going to wonder why in that particular race)

        I don’t particularly like DRS, but we need to keep things consistent.
        Or should we run Bridgestones in a trial race to see if it is really the tyres that are making the difference?

      2. @Vettel1

        Generally I dont like DRS but the example of vettel’s pass on Alonso does not prove anything against DRS … It was a great move by Vettel.. But not sure how that move would actually prove anything against DRS .. I am pretty sure a move like that would nt have been possible at that corner if it was not immediately after the start of the race( unless the driver infront has an issue or makes a mistake)…

        1. @puneethvb – I referred to his pass on Rosberg actually!

          That move thought was probably an unlikely event to re-occur but since you’ve said that actually there was a lot of passing at turn four before the exit into the essess section I felt, which of course was not assisted by DRS!

      3. (@vettel1)

        just actually ask the fans what they want – from what I’ve gathered most hate DRS and the way it’s implemented!

        I don’t have any statistics to back this up, but I’ll half disagree with you here. I was discussing DRS with a friend who enjoys F1, but only really has a rudimentary knowledge of it – i.e he called Rosberg ‘rubbish’ in the race, unaware that the Mercedes’ race pace was dire. He says he likes DRS, and although I have no way of knowing if this is representative of the mass of ‘casual’ fans, I have a suspicion that DRS is actually relatively popular outside the hard-core forum involved fans.

        Again I stress I don’t know this or have polls to back this up, but my feelings are that the FIA will have done research and polls in this, and found that the majority of casual viewers prefer DRS. Despite what is basically a strongly held consensus on forums calling for it to be banned, we still represent a minority of the viewing public (i.e, where they get their viewing money from). Would be interested to know if anyone has any info on this either way.

        1. @sgt-pepper that is entirely possible yes, and it’s the casual fanbase that probably makes up most of the viewing figures. They also don’t traditionally voice their opinions on the issue, so perhaps a poll wouldn’t give an accurate representation of the whole viewing public.

          Still though, I think the Pirelli’s do a good enough job and as Keith said make for much more interesting passing which Alonso proved. Even if I put myself in a casual fan’s shoes, I fail to see how someone cruising by with a 10/15 km/h speed advantage even before the corner can be more exciting than what Button and Perez were doing at turn 4!

    4. On balance I’d say it’s best to keep it in that we may one day be in a situation where tyres don’t allow overtaking. Shorten the zones/get rid of them altogether in some places is what I think they should do. The most worrying factor is that they now have a couple of years worth of data so know which tracks it was too easy to pass on, yet let the problem persist and in some cases, worsen it. In any case let’s not forget the whole turbulence behind another car thing still exists.

    5. Completely agree with that @tommyb89, we have had hints of this before, but there really was no need at all to have it here, as Alonso showed he was quite fine battling without it, and not unable to pass a slower car.

    6. Keith I read somewhere that sutil was faster than anyone else from lap 2 till the pls provide more analysis on it

      1. That’s not right, he was fastest on some laps and set the second-fastest race lap, but as you can see here there were other drivers quicker than him on individual laps:

        2013 Bahrain Grand Prix lap times and fastest laps

    7. Watch this (Or the whole race, to be honest):
      Without DRS there would have been no fight here, and we saw this throughout the race, the attacking car having to make the move on the brakes! DRS worked brilliantly this race!

      When crowed morality takes over actual facts people then only see and remember what is necessary for them to confirm their opinion. The good old confirmation bias.

      Just the same as a performance artists (psychics) make people think they know all the stuff and get everything right, even though they are basically randomly guessing and getting almost everything wrong.

      The same situation here. Brilliant multi-lap scraps made possible by DRS, only couple of passes(which would have been as easy without DRS, except it would have happened at the end of the straight not second part, because of the big speed differential in those cases).

      In the olden days when racing was actually comparatively boring, with much more team orders, fuel saving, tyre saving and so on but without the on track action between drivers people where not complaining about such things as now because they did not hear or properly understand any of it, because the information that flooded media was less then a percent of current flood of information on the special channels, blogs and so on. Yet people still do not understand the basics of racing. It is about efficiency and precision, going fastest from Start to finish, not throwing a car way to fast into the first corner blasting past everyone else. I mean, in the so much praised turbo era people spent most of the race at say 70% of the cars performance to save fuel and engine…

      Even in the refueling era people constantly had to save tyres and fuel. When will people start to understand that you don’t go slower to go slower, you go slower to go faster?!

      I guess it is because 1) People always find something to complain about, even I am complaining about people complaining.
      2) Most people don’t posses the intellect actually needed for racing.

      To give you an example: I am driving in the city at 60k, I see red light in front of me, I approximate hove long will it take to switch to green. I coast to 40k, then roll towards the line. While I am doing this there is always somebody in a rush that blasts past me at 60, only to then stop at the line. Then as a roll at 40k closer the light turns amber, I accelerate gently back to 60 and cross the line at 60 as the light goes green blasting past a car standing still that was going faster using more fuel beforehand and brake material, then will use even more fuel to get two tons of metal moving and in the end will be much slower as I never see them in the mirror again. (Sometimes I even brake 100 meters before the lights and then roll to give more time for the lights to change, and in this way I pass many many cars without ever going or accelerating faster that any other car at any time, slower IS faster!) Yes there are no junctions on racetrack but it is about the same thing: intelligent management of tools and equipment to reach the destination in the fastest possible way.

      That is what I mean, people consider that guy in my story the racy driver, but in actual fact they are just overall slower, more aggressive, wasteful unintelligent drivers and those are not the qualities of a top racing driver but people don’t understand that because they are “that guy”.

      1. @mateuss “Crowd morality” and “confirmation bias” have nothing to do with it.

        The point at stake is whether the new approach to tyres since 2011 has made the introduction of DRS in the same year redundant. Alonso’s inability to use DRS during the race gave us a rare chance to observe whether drivers can race for position with the current generation tyres but without DRS. And as we saw, they can.

        Not only that, but the quality of passing was better. I’ll take one gutsy, DRS-free lunge at turn eight over a hundred boring motorway passes on the straight with DRS.

        1. I don’t disagree with your statement that ten passes are more exciting than one tough move, that’s for sure, I simply see the whole picture differently. But would you not agree that those two(of many this race) examples of overtaking in the videos were not exciting and fiercely fought? And they they would not have been possible without DRS? (Damn, they are taken down as always… I hope you saw them, they were onboards of Hamilton’s last laps and Perez’s fights, with Rosberg I think, who not only were on same strategies, but pitted fighting and came out and fought further for more than a lap, and what was clear in both cases is that cars that were behind would not have caught up on the straights to have a go, and then fallen way back for sure, same as some years ago)

          Firstly, You can not rely on fragile tyres to give exciting racing, because tyres are a very much a dark art, and behave very differently depending on many factors, to guarantee similar behaviour they would need different compounds for each track, for each track surface condition, for each temperature range and so on, not to mention teams learn to use tyres better, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly… It is unreliable to rely on tyres for excitement. The compounds used in Canada 2010, were the same compounds used throughout that year, not to mention the end of last year.

          Secondly, fights that are possible because of tyres are made possible because two (or more) cars are on different levels of tyre condition, mostly meaning that they are on different strategies, racing not for position but for clean air and free track space. (Or falling pathetically backwards when tyre strategy fails, like Kimi in China 2011, to give an example) Whereas DRS enables cars that are on similar strategies and performance to fight for position, as can be seen in the videos and other fights that happened on Sunday. And what is important is that those fights would not have been possible without DRS, yes a lot of the moves was done into the second part of the twisty stuff, but that only happened as the cars with DRS was wheel to wheel at the end of main straight, then switching back, then switching back again, then starting to fall behind in the dirty air.

          I don’t disagree that in some races DRS has been too strong, yes it has, but in most of those races (except one of the Indian races if I remember correctly) there were also a lot of wheel to wheel out braking in the zones and other exciting racing on other parts of the track.

          DRS definitely has to be managed better, but it can be managed much easier than tyres without the teams needing to change their whole car geometry, if only the race directors (?) would set their targets for the desired effect correctly and then set the zones Friday evening or something, based on latest data from FP1 and FP2, but to get rid of it, and to say that we are worse off with it now as it is, would be a mistake I think.

        2. @keithcollantine Just to be clear: I think DRS worked very well this race, but it has not been that case consistently in previous races, therefor it has to be managed better.

  2. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    21st April 2013, 20:03

    I think DRS shpuld keep the detection point and the activation point very separated, as we saw today.
    Vettel must keep an eye on Raikkonen. Impressive consistency, he is about to break Schum’s record.
    And great battles by Perez. Aggressiveness was asked by McLaren. They overestimated the kid’s reaction.

    1. On that subject, Vettel’s scored in every race since Monza and on only two occasions has he been off the podium since then, that’s not bad consistency either @omarr-pepper ;)

      1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        21st April 2013, 20:19


        1. @omarr-pepper Your avatar is weird… Half Vettel- hald Kimi… took me a moment to sort it out

          1. In Dragon Ball, to fight evil Majin-So then super Vettel and super Raikkonen join as super Vettenen.

    2. Dont forget, theres points for 9th and 10th these days. schumi pent most of his career with points finishes that end at 6th or 8th

      1. ..and with double budget off course.

        1. And way less reliable age of cars and real wet weather racing. If it been the old system of points, Kimi wouldn’t even have a chance of breaking that record. It means nothing to me, really.

          1. With the new system, Schumi DID not even able to win!

          2. In the new system, Schumi podium percentage = 1,7%
            Kimi podium percentage = 41%

          3. In the old system, (2001 Hungarian Grand Prix–2003 Malaysian Grand Prix), changing engine and gearbox more possible, still you could running light and bridgestone at your disposal.

          4. @bimo – Back then you still typically had more car failures in the races though. And comparing their podiums since 2010 is hardly representative of their whole careers, especially with Schumacher.

          5. To make even funnier, Schumi’s streak was stopped by WET CRASH.

  3. why didnt they tell him to stop using DRS after he come in first time. It was pretty obvious it was going to get stuck again. He probably would of been 3-4th without the 2nd stop a lap later

    1. Maybe they didn´t knew if was going to fail aganing, and though everything was fixed after the pit stop…Or maybe now we have to talk about a conspiracy from Ferrari to his 2 drivers… they are punishing Alonso to go out and have dinner with Webber, and they are punishing Massa just because it is Massa… :P

      1. The smart move would have been to not use it until he was near his next pit stop window, so then if it did get stuck again, at least he was due to pit anyway.

        1. Though easy to say from a far i said exactly that when he came out of pits first time. Seemed a no brainer. Esp as he was likely to be not using it often passing lower down cars.


    2. I was suprised there wasn’t a guy taking a quick picture of it at the pitstop. They could have then done a quick analysis and informed him after a couple of laps whether the ‘flapper-stopper’ had broken. I guess in the heat of the moment it’s not the first thing that crosses your mind, but perhaps the teams should have someone ready to do this for bodywork damage?

    3. It struck me as a silly move by Ferrari- almost self-inflicted.

  4. Does anyone else think Alonso was a little foolish to open his DRS the lap after it failed? I said to my Bro at the time “that’s a bit risky”, and so it proved. If I were the team I would have asked him not to use it until he was in the next pit window, so that if it did fail, he wouldn’t lose much time pitting to get it fixed.

    1. Exactly what I thought and I thought again ‘Yeah, I don’t think it’s going to close again’ *doesn’t close and loses an odd 18-20 seconds boxing again. Alonso probably assumed that his DRS failure was a one-off.

    2. Yes, it was another big mistake of Alonso but no journalist notice it. Strange…

      1. how can alonso be to blame for that? really come on how?? maybe if he got out the car and fixed himself then maybe but from the footage i saw that never happened.

    3. Drop Valencia!
      22nd April 2013, 1:06

      I thought the exact same thing, but to be fair the top flap does inherently have downforce on it, even when open, so it is unusual that it could get inverted like that, even without anything holding it down. It’s lucky he didn’t lose much downforce with it like that, but the drag would have been horrendous!

  5. Why was Alonso allowed to keep on going with DRS open for a number of laps? The rules are quite clear when an open rear wing is allowed. Sure, it probably lead to a slower lap time so he is not directly gainng an advantage, but it still held up others. Di Resta said that it was impossible to overtake Alonso – he was very slow in the corners where you can’t overtake but then very fast on every straight.

    1. @mike-dee Two questions in relation to that comment: one for the FIA for not giving Alonso the black and orange flag for a mechanical problem and the other for Ferrari for allowing Alonso to lose so much time with the flap open. Surely the telemetry, if not their screens in the garage and on the pit-wall, would’ve been enough to inform them that his DRS has some kind of a fault.

      1. Surely the telemetry

        Ahem. Probably best not to mention that one to the FIA at the moment ;)

        1. Ferrari International Authocheating

    2. Di resta may have had trouble, but Alonso and vettel both proved you can overtake without drs. If do resta was so much quicker through the corners and couldn’t get past, that’s his problem, drs doesn’t help a lot at corner exit, so i was baffled as to why they couldnt just pass in the corners, a lot of other guys passed cars that weren’t limping through corners. I agree ferrari should have pulled him in right away, and told him not to use it till his next in lap.

    3. The DRS being open was a disadvantage. It slowed him down pretty significantly each lap. There would have been little point in penalising a driver for a mechanical fault he can do nothing about (if it isn’t overly dangerous).

      1. Showing Black-Orange does not imply a penalty!

  6. Three years ago in Bahrain an exhaust failure on Vettel’s car handed victory to Alonso at this track. Now Alonso’s misfortune helped Vettel on the way to his second victory of the year and second in a row here.

    Nice job @keithcollantine , see you have being reading the comments on rate the race post… Yes, every driver is do to some back luck sooner or later, just that we don´t like to remember when it isn´t our favorite driver the one making a comeback after a serious of unfortunate events…

    1. Mr win or lose
      22nd April 2013, 0:08

      Exhaust failure? Vettel was just low on fuel three years ago in Bahrain, so he had to save fuel at the end of the race. It’s an extremely common issue nowadays.


      Behind Di Resta the battle for fourth place was fierce.

      Battle for fifth place, as Di Resta was fourth.

      1. Drop Valencia!
        22nd April 2013, 1:10

        Actually it was a faulty spark plug, very very rare these days!

      2. It was a Spark Plug failure Funny how people claims against Vettel even when he had probelms.

        1. @harsha Damn if he does, damn if he doesn´t at this point most clains are just silly

  7. i think that the redbulls still have more pace on all other cars, and vettel with luck at 100% still winning while others have problems, just watch the redbull of vettel or webber in this race, tv pod camera, watch how compared to other cars , that the redbull has an edge, like more power when exiting a corner while shifting, it’s a little detail but giving an advantage over the others

    1. The RB9 is fast, but not to the extent where you can tell by watching a driver who limped home in 7th.

      1. (@david-a) Without his grid penalty caused by the chain of events of being screwed over by his team, Webber would’ve most likely been running for a podium spot too. It’s not 2011 level difference, but the RB is clearly the strongest car, as shown by how Vettel was literally able to drive round everyone on the outside on the first few laps, and subsequent comfortable gap he could pull out.

        1. @sgt-pepper

          here’s the cold reality – if Vettel was driving Webber’s car from a 7th place start, he would have put it on the podium. There’s a reason why Marko made the comments he did about Webber – there are days he shines, and then most races he doesn’t. Alonso going from last to right behind Webber in the Ferrari w/o DRS should tell you something.

          And if Vettel was in Webber’s car, he would’ve qualified P2 and the 3 place grid penalty would have only shoved him back to P5. So probably would have won the race anyways.

        2. @sgt-pepper – Webber didn’t even qualify in a podium position, he qualified 5th before his grid penalty, so that excuse flies out of the window. And then there was little, in fact, nothing, that he showed in this race, that suggested he had pace to fight for a podium, exactly like Massa in Shanghai last week. Both Lotus cars (and the superior Lotus drivers) were faster than him, and MW was beaten by Perez and Hamilton.

          But hey, the Webber fan still ought to bang on about RBR having the clearly strongest car, and make his driver look even worse.

          1. (@david-a) I don’t disagree with you that it was a relatively poor race from Mark. I’m not particularly a ‘fan’ of anyone, and the RB was clearly the fastest car, which does make Mark look even worse. By contrast, it was clearly an amazing drive by Alonso, who I’m not a ‘fan’ of either. And despite having a marginally slower car, the quality of Alonso’s drive proves Alonso>Vettel, and once again Vettel succeeds through a mixture of luck, and having twice as much downforce as everyone else.


          2. @sgt-pepper

            And despite having a marginally slower car, the quality of Alonso’s drive proves Alonso>Vettel, and once again Vettel succeeds through a mixture of luck, and having twice as much downforce as everyone else.

            I’m not going to dispute that Alonso had a good race in Bahrain, and you’re entitled to believe that Alonso is the better driver.

            But yesterday’s didn’t at all “prove” that Alonso is better than Vettel, given that Vettel passed Alonso without DRS early on, and dominated the race, with no way of knowing that Alonso would have finished ahead. In addition, your tiresome assertion that Vettel won through “luck and having twice as much downforce as everyone else” is equally ludicrous. The latter claim has zero substance (as usual, M Dickens), and qualifying well, passing your opponents, and commanding the race isn’t luck.

          3. So, because Alonso can catch Webber who’s having a bad day, Vettel is a worse driver then Alonso for winning with the same car? What kind of logic is that. Not to mention the Red Bull hasn’t got anywhere near twice as much downforce.

    2. Oh please, Alonso with 2 stops more to fix the DRS, which then stopped working and in traffic scored a solid points finish. Kimi after starting from 9 and Grosjean from 11 both on the podium. Kimi even on a 2-stopper… Certainly the Red Bull isn’t slow (allthough you may have a talk with Mark Webber about that), but don’t be ridicolous.

      1. Agree Gary @ BBC has a nice piece about it

  8. I really don’t understand why the drivers get penalized for non-racing incidents. Hamilton’s gearbox change? Why is he dropped five places for something that was neither his nor the team’s fault?

    I thought about this for a sec, and may be a better system would be to penalize the team in some way without getting the driver(s) involved. Let’s say that the team had to change the gearbox before the 5-race life was over. I do not believe the driver should be penalized. Rather, the points should be taken away from the team but not the driver.

    Example, if McLaren was sitting on 100 constructors championship points, and Button’s gearbox has to be changed. Button was sitting on 70 points, Perez 30. Button should be free to race w/o getting penalized, but the team should be penalized a number of points. The financial incentive will still be there to make sturdy gearboxes, but the driver – and the fans as well – will not needlessly suffer a penalty they did not deserve.


    1. Drivers are part of the team so team penalty = driver penalty. Obviously that’s not always the case (2007 Macca was DSQd from WCC but drivers still kept their points) but if you start interfering then where do you draw the line seeing how any driver penalty also penalizes the team. Poor teams shouldn’t suffer for driver mistake? Seems simple enough to me. People complain far too much about this nowdays.

    2. The current system works fine and was implemented to save costs. If a team can opt out to get the penalty for the driver than “richer” teams can give their driver an advantage in the WDC if the WCC standings allow it and that would defeat the purpose of this rule.

    3. @thepostalserviceisbroke
      We have discussed a lot about this subject on this site:

      The problem is that teams care about WDC points only when it comes to top drives, who have a chance to claim the championship. Whether their driver is 6th or 7th in the championship standings, isn’t really important. Whether the team is 3rd or 4th is a lot more important. Thus most of the teams would choose to risk it, when they have a gear box problem, and gear box rule would lose it’s meaning. On the other hand, such rule could benefit some championship contenders over other at the end of the season, if a team has already secured it’s WCC standing.

      I also think that it’s a bit artificial to separate teams and drivers on one issue. The performance and reliability of the car, something that is out of drivers’ hands, is the biggest part of a driver’s success (or a lack of success), so I don’t really see why gear boxes should be a different thing.

  9. I like Vettel and I’m pretty sure I’m among the few who don’t mind his finger thing but that picture of him is exceptionally terrible. Just makes me cringe. From the front page I first thought his fingers were cut off.

  10. Three years ago in Bahrain an exhaust failure on Vettel’s car handed victory to Alonso at this track.

    If I remember correctly, the problem was initially diagnosed to be an exhaust failure, but later corrected to a faulty spark plug.

  11. Why do Mercedes keep having to ask their drivers to save fuel all the time? Or is it only their messages broadcast? It seems last few races they are being asked to coast in some way. I understand with Malaysia they were hoping to take advantage of the rain but shouldn’t have been that necessary in Bahrain should it?

    1. maybe they pulled a virgin and put in too small a tank to cut down body size, lol

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