Thrilling Bahrain GP gets best rating since 2012 finale

2014 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Ferrari made the question of how well the public is responding to the new Formula One a major point of debate when it sent out a press release a week ago claiming 83% of fans did not like the new rules.

Despite the many obvious and serious flaws in Ferrari’s methodology and interpretation their poll was taken at face value by many in the media and reported without question or criticism as an accurate reflection of fans’ views.

But there was no room for debate over what most fans made of Sunday’s race. The Bahrain Grand Prix proved a hit with fans, recording the fourth-highest score on Rate the Race since it began in 2008 (fractionally lower than the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix), the best since the 2012 season finale.

Whether it was thanks to the new rules, the tyre compounds or a helpfully-timed Safety Car, this race instantly undermined the complaints of those who had criticised the sport mere hours before the start was given.

And perhaps the track configuration should take some of the credit: Bahrain produced the highest-rated race of 2013 and unless one of the remaining rounds can top that humdinger of a grand prix, it looks like it will do again.

But to conclude based on this race that all is well in the world of Formula One would be to make one of the same mistakes Ferrari did with their poll. The Rate the Race results for the first three races of 2014 present a mixed picture.

F1 is still capable of thrilling us the way it always has. But how good the races to come will be depends on whether the two Mercedes drivers remain this closely-matched, and if the team’s rivals can reduce their daunting margin of superiority.

Team orders

A loud thank you to the teams for keeping team orders to an absolute minimum. They seem to have learned the lesson, and despite the nail-biting moments for them, when their drivers battle it out against each other, they let us enjoy the show and the drivers get to compete fairly.

The absence of team orders, the new formula of F1 and the Safety Car provided us with a race to talk about for years to come.

This is different to 2011-2013 – while we have one team which is undeniably stronger than the rest, we seem to have two drivers who are relatively evenly matched and who are allowed to race. No ‘Multi-21 here’.

At the moment, Rosberg is leading and on the pace, though I think Hamilton is the more complete racer.

In previous years how many times was Mark Webber anonymous in races where Vettel ran away with it? This reminds me more of Prost versus Senna in 1989 or Hill versus Villeneuve in 1996 than Schumacher in 2000-2004 or Vettel in 2011.

One-team domination

The only reason I gave this race a nine is because it didn’t give me that final tick that I give races ten out of ten for. It’s difficult to put my finger on it, but I’ve given 10/10 to races like Canada ’11, Valencia ’12 and Brazil ’12. I couldn’t quite rekindle that feeling during this race.

Not saying that the race was boring. Far from it. Battles all the way down the field, and a conveniently timed safety car which bunched it all up with 10-12 laps to go to show us what the cars can really do.

Mercedes walkover? Maybe, but surely this now gives us a similar scenario to ’88. The top team has two great drivers who will want to do anything they can to win. That’s only going to result in great battles for the lead at various moments throughout the year, which can only be good for the fans.

And if they both retire? Then that just means the epic scrap we had between Force India, Williams, Red Bull etc… is for first place rather than third.

This really is shaping up to be one of the best seasons of F1 ever.

I look at it this way the FIA introduced these new rules to cut spending but if you look into it Mercedes have spent a awful lot of money on the new engine. Formula One is no longer exciting any more if we keep seeing Mercedes dominate this season and the next what would these new engines have achieved.

On this site a lot of people are giving the race ten out of ten but I am confused as to why they would. After ten laps at the start of the race Mercedes where way out front to me that is not exciting racing at all.

They had this lead all the way up to the Safety Car, where after that they pulled out a 20-second gap in another ten laps. Yes there were some great battles behind but still there where just two drivers from the same team battling at the front. For me that is not entertaining motor racing.

The Ferrari fan inside me is crying in the deepest corner of my heart.

But the F1 fan inside can’t stop smiling for what I consider to be one of the best 100 minutes of my life.

Absolute brilliance!
Fikri Harish (@Fihar)


Politics aside, there isn’t the interest there for F1 and that was very apparent in the half-empty stands. You can hear the crowds this year and in any traditional F1 country they would have been deafening with action like that!

Here’s something you won’t hear very often:

Thanks, Herman Tilke.

I truly believe the track layout made this race: start/finish straight, another straight, then the quick left-right. That first half of the lap might not be the most inspiring layout in terms of one lap, but for a race it makes for fantastic viewing and has done for a few years now

The new rules

Awesome. Ten out of ten and I’m not a Hamilton fan. Can we shut up about the sound now? Thanks.
Liam McHugh (@Cluckyblokebird)

After this fantastic Formula One grand prix, please stop showing us the likes of Luca di Montezemolo, Adrian Newey and other frustrated guys. Let Ferrari build a better car and power unit and Renault also built a better power unit. The rules are the same for everybody.

Listen to Ron Dennis, Paddy Lowe, Toto Wolff, Pat Symonds. Let the others learn and improve their packages.

I’m an Alonso and Ferrari fan and that race was a ten out of ten. Most exciting in years. It was about the performance differences between teams, that’s why team mates were together and we don’t get that many intra-team battles in a single race… ever. Super fun to watch and can’t believe Rosberg couldn’t get past and keep position despite being on softs.

Previous rate the race results

2014 Bahrain Grand Prix

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80 comments on “Thrilling Bahrain GP gets best rating since 2012 finale”

  1. In 10 of the best races, 7 UK winners with Button and Hamilton, and none Vettel Win…
    I thinks that’s normal beeing a global site but with a big percentage of UK viewers, anytime a UK pilot wins the rate comes up…

    1. Correlation =/= Causation

      1. @looseasagoose
        I’m just appointing facts…fact top 10 races, 7 UK pilot wins…

        1. @hipn0tic I don’t believe the poll result would have been any different if Rosberg had managed to squeeze past on the last lap to finish first. Do you?

          1. To add some more complete numbers to this debate, I split the rate the race results since the ratings began into British and non-British winners, and the overall picture looks like this:

            Average rating for British winner: 7.5
            Average rating for non-British winner: 6.6

            While this doesn’t prove that British winners lead to higher ratings for this site (as previously noted, correlation =/= causation), the margin is quite large and highly statistically significant (p ~ 0.0005). I can’t think of a good reason to believe that British drivers are more likely to win races when they are exciting, but I can imagine voters on a UK site enjoying races won by British drivers more. So, given the observed difference I think it is extremely plausible that a British winner does inflate race ratings beyond what they would otherwise be.

            So Bahrain 2014 would likely still be considered a very good race by the majority, but perhaps an 8-8.5, rather than a 9.

          2. How about, this. Vettel’s wins have mostly been boring races where he lead from start to finish. Might that have something to do with the average rating of racers won by non-british drivers?

            The rating is influence much more by “distance in the lead”, “number of overtakes during the race” and “win yet again by current point leader or a surprise podium”.

          3. Well we never know that…

          4. @patrickl

            “How about, this. Vettel’s wins have mostly been boring races…”

            It doesn’t really fit. The average rating of race-wins by Vettel is 6.5, which is little different from the non-British winners who aren’t Vettel (6.7). Vettel’s races don’t appear to have been considered any worse than any other non-British driver.

            Again, I’m not claiming British/non-British is *the* deciding factor of whether or not a race gets a high rating, but it does appear to inflate ratings, whilst races being won by Vettel do not actually seem to be too detrimental to the rating when compared with other non-British drivers.

        2. Michael Brown (@)
          11th April 2014, 18:20

          I’m just appointing facts…fact top 10 races, 7 UK pilot wins…

          7 UK drivers winning the 10 highest rated races is a fact. The popularity of the races due to the site being a domain is not a fact.

          If that were true, the 2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix would have a low rating considering Hamilton retired from the lead and Vettel snatched the podium from Button.

    2. I find the fans on this site more objective than most, although noone is immune to a bit of bias so it could have some affect. But can you name a Vettel victory that should feature in the top 10? Not his fault, but most of his victories have been relatively straightforward. Also, i’d argue that Abu Dhabi 2012 is on the list mostly because of Vettel’s drive from the back of the grid to the podium, even though he didn’t win.

    3. A British winner in Malaysia resulted in a rating of 5.8, 1 point lower than when a German won in Australia.

      In recent years Vettel has won his races in dominant style, with no real challenge to his position. That doesn’t excite most people so his race wins haven’t garnered high ratings.

      In Bahrain we had one of the most exciting battles for the lead I can remember. And to add to the tension the battle was between team-mates, which is something we’ve seen most teams try their hardest to avoid in recent years.
      When the lead battle lulled, there were scraps throughout the pack behind, and then a spectacular crash.
      All of those things are the reason this race was rated highly, the nationality of the winner matters only to people such as yourself who seek to discredit the results.

      1. @mark-hitchcock
        First of all you don’t know me, so don’t make any observation of my personnality, i was not rude to yourself or to anyone else here, so please don’t be like that for me, this is a forum, and giving me a fact i analysed that, my opinion is such as valid like your’s, and honnestly i hope you can see that….I’m not seeking anything…

        Second – I haven’t referred to the last race, i refereed the top 10 best rated races…just that…and in the top10 rated races there are 7 UK wins, just THAT. It can mean a lot of things, but beeing a uk resident site, i say it’s normal when a UK pilot wins too a race be more rated…it’s a fair view, you can have another….

        1. @hipn0tic I disagree that it’s a fair view. You strongly implied that the ratings are skewed higher when a British driver wins, ignoring any other reasons for the high ratings.
          Look back at the race reports of the top 10 races and you’ll see the reasons they got high ratings, the nationality of the winner is NOT one of those reasons.

          I would also argue that it is a little rude to imply that UK F1 fans are unable to enjoy or appreciate a race without cheering on a British driver.

          Didn’t mean to offend you though, apologies.

          1. @mark-hitchcock
            Other point of view is that UK pilots are made to win crazy and awesome races too, it’s another reading point of the facts…

            Since 2008 were held 115 GP with 33 UK wins 28% Wins, with this rate UK drivers took 70% of the top best rated GP

            I didn’t inteend to be rude or to imply “that UK F1 fans are unable to enjoy or appreciate a race without cheering on a British driver.” and i’m sorry for the poor choice of words,

            Cheers mate no harm done

      2. A British winner in Malaysia resulted in a rating of 5.8, 1 point lower than when a German won in Australia.

        I was going to comment, but that said it all. No one can deny that the races in the top 10 are the best 10 races of the last 6 years.

      3. Mark Hitchcock…..excellent points, which some will find hard no matter what, to grasp.

        1. Yep, I am Kiwi living in Australia. I cheer on a British driver driving a German car at a Middle Eastern track. Does not my score of 10 count for something other than British bias?
          The Race was awesome, me and my son were cheering on every great move and block by every driver…. then we boooed Maldonado.

          From another perspective, i work shift work and in Australia the race was on in the middle of the night, I was at work during the race (was I recording it to watch the next day with my son) my work kitchen was full of my work mates who are very very casual F1 fans. While i was avoiding the TV and had my ear muffs on in the office next door i could still hear the cheers as the race unfolded. This room full of Aussies loved the race regardless of who won.

    4. @hipnotic until you realuse the Australian and American traffic here probably outnumber that of theI UK when combined (OK, e got to verify that, but if I’m wrong on the latter that doesn’t change the fact that the Australian and American traffic here is probably bigger than you think)

      1. I’m on the spotlight here..@davidnotcoulthard you probably right, and this is a Global site has i said in the 1st post

    5. petebaldwin (@)
      10th April 2014, 13:23

      @hipn0tic – I did some stats about this ages ago but I can’t find where they are. Basically, if you look at the race ratings for the last few years, the best rated races tend to have Hamilton, Alonso, Kimi or Button winning. Other than that, the other highly rated races have first time winners (Maldonado in Spain, Rosberg in China, Vettel in Monza)

      It’s not to suggest that the rating is based solely on who won, but it certainly heavily affects it.

      1. Thank’s @petebaldwin, i sure find that curious….

      2. I think as well drivers like Hamilton often tend to make it difficult for themselves – I’m referring specifically to Germany 2008 (yes safety car didn’t help) and Canada 2012. The way in which he/his team have often made strategic calls, assuming that even if he falls behind due to a pit stop he will regain positions anyway. Vettel and Red Bull’s policy has always been a far more sensible approach, often taking a more defensive strategy in order to protect his position. The former is much more entertaining than the latter.

        Just the way I see it anyway. I never used to like Vettel very much, but you had to admire the way he would coast to victory in his Red Bull. On a purely entertainment level, though, the drivers you mention just have a knack of winning races in a more exciting way.

        1. petebaldwin (@)
          10th April 2014, 17:00

          @jonny705 – Yeah there definitely is an element of that. Vettel does tend to have dull races when he wins…

          But let’s look at the facts. Here are the top 5 rated races and the winner of those races over the last few years.

          Canada – Hamilton (McLaren 1-2)
          Australia – Button
          Belguim – Hamilton
          China – Button (McLaren 1-2)
          Turkey – Hamilton (McLaren 1-2)

          They were the only races won by British drivers all season and were the top 5 rated races. None of Vettel’s 5 wins made it.

          China – Hamilton
          Canada – Button
          Germany – Hamilton
          Hungary – Button
          Britain – Alonso

          5 wins between Britsh drivers and 4 of them are in the top 4 positions. Only Hamilton’s win at the horrible Abu Dhabi track after the WDC had already been claimed failed to get into the top 5. None of Vettel’s 11 wins made it.


          Brazil – Button
          Abu Dhabi – Raikkonen
          European – Alonso
          USA – Hamilton
          China – Rosberg

          7 wins for British drivers but only 2 in the top 5! Luckily, a driver winning his first race and 2 of the most popular drivers on the grid filled in the spaces instead of Vettel who managed 5 wins. Needless to say, none of them got anywhere near the top 5.


          Bahrain – Vettel
          Australia – Raikkonen
          Hungary – Hamilton
          Germany – Vettel
          China – Alonso

          It looks like the tide is turning and Vettel is winning people over? No. There were only 6 races that Vettel didn’t win and 3 of them made the top 5! Hamilton, Raikkonen and Alonso all managed to get in there!

          See what I mean? To sum up, these percentages show how many of these driver’s wins over 4 years were voted as one of the top 5 races of the year:

          Raikkonen 100% – 2 out of 2
          Hamilton 63% – 7 out of 11
          Button 62% – 5 out of 8
          Rosberg 33% – 1 out of 3
          Alonso 27% – 3 out of 11
          Vettel 5% – 2 out of 34

          Raikkonen has 100% but only won 2 races. Considering he’s the most popular driver on F1F (, it’s not surprising his rare wins are celebrated.

          Next you have both British drivers who both won decent amounts of races and who have over half of their wins converted into very high race ratings.

          Then you have Rosberg who only has 3 wins and Alonso who despite his popularity, only managed 27%.

          Vettel, despite what you may think of him, only got 5%. That’s 2 races out of his 34 wins. That’s the same amount as Kimi despite winning 17x the amount of races.

          There are lots of factors that go into this but it would be hugely naive to discount the fact that people support drivers and when they win, they enjoy the show more.

          1. I’m quite sure the ABV vote was alive and well in the last 3 years, add to that the fact that any race not won by Vettel had to be exceptional in 1 way or the other, eg. the Williams/Maldonado race in which only the Williams car was a perfect match for those tyres on that track, Monsoonal Montreal etc.

          2. Cheers @petebaldwin, this was exactly what i meant…

          3. So you have deduced that Vettel wins boring races, wasn’t that the point of much complaining already?

    6. This race was just that good, I guess. Don´t know why China 2011, US 2012 or Abu Dhabi 2012 are so high up there, though. But that includes a Kimi-win, and I really like him, so I don´t think this is all too much about the winning driver. Only a little bit. Vettel is too good for exciting races most of the time, if he wasn´t that much faster than Webber was (whom I rate as good as Rosberg), races would have been more interesting…

      1. Oh, and I do miss Hungary 2011 in the top-10… which was won by a British driver.

      2. And don’t forget how often Vettel cruised 20 seconds ahead of all the drivers cruising 2 seconds apart to save the tyres.

    7. You can’t say that Vet didn’t play a role in Brazil 2012. From being spun out receiving damage to coming back to still capture WDC. Whether you were pulling for Vet or not you were biting your nail, is he going to gain enough positions to get the championship. Or will the damage to his car affect him to where he loses it in thelast race. So really iI dont believe its fully down to who wins it even though that is quite a coincidence.

    8. I look forward to seeing the seven Vettel wins you think are better than those in the top ten.

    9. Zantkiller (@)
      11th April 2014, 1:33

      If you do a ‘best of’ season where all the Grand Prix since 2008 are represented by their best race then Hamilton will win the season by 13pts from Fernando Alonso who is a massive 53 pts ahead of Vettel.

      Lewis has won 8 out of 22 races, Fernando has won 4 while Vettel has only won 2 (2008 Italian grand prix and 2013 Indian grand prix)

      Spare a thought for Timo Glock though who has been in all but two of the best races and never scored any points.

      1. This is a great piece of statistical work! Had me giggling out loud!

    10. GB (@bgp001ruled)
      11th April 2014, 1:45

      take for example last race: in the global picture who cares that lewis won? it was one of the best races ever because of the fighting in the front, in the midfield, the crash, the safety car, the heart-attack-finale!!! not because a british driver won!

  2. With the exception of 2010, Bahrain Gps seem to be getting better and better ratings. Perhaps some tilkedromes aren’t so bad after all.

    1. Well, maybe it’s a coincidence, but the track layout for 2010 was different from all the other Bahrain GPs.
      Maybe it’s not a coincidente, the 2010 layout was awful.

      1. I agree, no clue why they used the endurance layout that year. The grand prix layout isn’t called the grand prix layout by accident after all, it’s the best configuration for F1 races

        1. The ruler decreed it and thus it was so. I think this is what they are protesting about in Bahrain when F1 comes to race, i.e. monarchical rule rather than parliamentary based democracy.

          1. The events in Bahrain cannot be so easily summed up (or resolved). The issue is based around the different “sects” of the Muslim religion (“sect” is the wrong word and no offence is intended) and the fact that the bulk (all?!) of the country’s power (and wealth) is held by one sect but the population is dominated by the other. And that is an outrageously simple description of it.

            The Monarchy isn’t really the problem, it is the apparent misalignment of wealth/power throughout the population.

        2. Not even the World Endurance Championship uses the endurance layout… I guess they didn’t bother putting any lights up there.

    2. well Bahrain is one of the few tilke tracks that doesn’t have it’s longest straight preceded by a very slow hairpin (ie Abu Dhabi, COTA, Korea). In Bahrain you have a medium speed corner you can attack before the main straight. the design is much more simple all around, and it works.

    3. It was quite refreshing to see drivers overtaking all over the track, not just waiting for a DRS zone.

      1. It’s not really overtaking when they are 1.5 to 2 seconds a lap faster. When they just simply drive around the outside it’s like they are passing a backmarker.

    4. As Hamilton/Rosberg demonstrated well, along with the GP2 support races, is that there’s enough space on track where you don’t have to take the racing line. It was really nice to see the drivers cutting back on the driver in front in order to get better traction on the exit, even though the one in front may have had a cleaner entry/apex to the corner. While it’s a well-known tactic, I don’t think I’ve ever seen it used so much as I did in this year’s GP.

      While narrower circuits are cool just to see the drivers precision when they’re on the limit, it’s cool that the wide track allowed for different lines/approaches into corners and that drivers were not only limited to overtaking in the DRS zones (I especially loved the overtakes in corners 5-7, the S-bends).

      Never really thought much about the Bahrain circuit until a couple of years ago, so it’s great that one of the new Tilkedromes is able to produce a great race. The night race was a cool factor, but I’m glad that that wasn’t the only talking point of the weekend.

    5. I fell like Bahrain is the track that has benefited the most from Pirelli tyres/DRS. Due to the multi line nature, marbles are really interesting and moves are not simply done on the straight. Both tend to work well and not seem too gimmicky and it is at a point in the year where teams generally seem pretty competitive with each other.

  3. Was a fantastic race, but let’s not forget just how dull the first few were and completely jump the gun, here..

  4. I’d be slightly concerned that this is a one off display masking an inherent issue in F1. The reason for this concern is, possibly many teams had reached their planned quota of races on the first engine, this was one less aspect of the car to be nursed, this would have allowed drivers push harder. I’m not sure that’s the case but it’s possible enough to be a concern.
    Also as stated, the track layout lends itself to plenty of overtakes. And teams with Mercedes engines would have been well aware that a good performance would quash the anti-new rules movement. It can’t be a coincidence that we saw far more racing between team mates now when that movement had gathered pace.
    I’m going to reserve judgement on the new rules until after China and Spain, hopefully the teams won’t revert back to play it safe processions..

    1. This would assume teams run the same engine 5 races in a row.

      Reality is they don’t. It could be an engine with 0,1,2,3 or 4 races on it that they used. There is no rules the engine has to be used in consecutive races.

      On the other hand, there is a chance that these were engines on their last race allowing the teams to push harder. If it was the case, then i am glad for it, no blowouts and pushing drivers guaranteed for another 3 races this year :)

      I agree with reserving judgement, European races may completely change the scene

    2. @twentyseven

      Keith alludes to your point on the current state of F1 in the article

      But to conclude based on this race that all is well in the world of Formula One would be to make one of the same mistakes Ferrari did with their poll.

      I don’t understand your point on engines though, if they were nearing the end of their expected life then surely the teams would be conserving rather than running flat out? Or do you mean they were already using their second engines? As far as i know, they were not.

      It can’t be a coincidence that we saw far more racing between team mates now when that movement had gathered pace

      This i don’t buy, it absolutely could be coincidence. There’s only been 3 races this season so we have no idea what the ‘normal’ races will be like. Do you think Rosberg was just toying with Vettel in Malaysia because he had been told not to attack Hamilton then, and otherwise would have been up there with him? And what about the teams who are ‘anti-new rules’, such as Redbull? They also allowed their drivers to race (at the end when strategies had been played out).

      Of course you are right to reserve judgement until later in the season, personally i would wait until at least summer to see on balance how the racing is under the new rules.

    3. I’d be slightly concerned that this is a one off display masking an inherent issue in F1.

      Well, sort of, I think. But that issue isn´t a new one and has nothing to do with the new rules or new engines, I rather believe it´s still difficult to follow someone through long mid/high-speed-corners, so same old aero-issue. Bahrain hasn´t got too many of them, so it´s a good place for a good race. Canada will be good as well. And a dry Malaysia looks just like what we have seen, a dry Spain will probably look the same.
      Only Australia suffered a bit from the new engine rules, and that wasn´t about how these new rules are, but more the simple fact they are knew, teams have to learn for reliability, which robbed us from some possibly entertaining drivers and made them go conservative.

    4. I find it odd that no one has picked up on the fixed gear ratios this year with an added 8th gear… Surely this is a big change from previous years… Some cars will inherently have the gearing for fast circuits over slower twisty circuits… Just that it was strange to see Mercedes in 7th gear along the straights yet red bull and others were on the limit in 8th… Longer gears me thinks!! So could this give the bulls more advantage in Europe?

  5. In a few years a lot of people will look back to this race and they’ll say this was probably “The most overrated race ever” with China 2011 too.

    1. It depends, if this year shows a battling Rosberg and Hamilton to have either become WC with minimal points difference, then it will become one of the classics

    2. Agreed, there’s no way this race was as good as Canada 2011. The rating is somewhat understandable though, it was the best race in quite a while and people tend to get more psyched and overrate when a good one comes along. @cocaine-mackeine

      1. @robbie Because in some way other people complained about the ratings of the race. I f you look the result of Rate The Race 2012, you can see that users were saying that China was the “most overrated race in history” and it lookslike this race is going the same way.

        1. @cocaine-mackeine Still don’t get your point, nor how there is any evidence that it looks like this race is going the same way. Speaking for myself personally this last race will stand out for me for a long time. And the other races that have rated this highly have not really stood out tha much, especially Canada 2011 which for me just became a crapshoot that was too heavily affected by weather, safety cars, red flags, and DRS.

          In general for me if races contain too much in the way of passing through DRS or simply through vastly different tire phases that drivers are in, leaving another driver defenseless due to that, not to being out driven, then those circumstances do far less for me than what we saw last weekend which was pure apples to apples out and out racing, and great comraderie afterwards.

          So I personally will not be considering this race overrated.

  6. I was on a trip this weekend and have only wathced it today but …waaaauw! What a race! Such a shame I wansn’t ableto see it live.

    I think I even prefer it to other epic races like Suzuka 2005 or Spa 2000. These two races were marked by a battle for the lead until the last few laps but at Bahrein we saw not only a battle for the lead but a battle for position in the entire field. It was truly awesome.

    The only thing that concerns me is the gap the Mercs have over the others, I would love another team in the mix.

    It was also also a fantastic race for the battle between team mates. Checo proved he can match the Hulk, Ricciardo can match Vettel, Raikkonen can match Alonso, Massa can match Bottas and Rosberg and Hamilton are quite evenly matched too.

    I really hope we can see other races like that this year.

    1. Yes it was a fantastic race. There really is nothing better than really good racing, and I say that for any form of motorsport. Nothing beats it. What made the race last Sunday so terrific was the fact we had a great battle for the lead throughout, and we haven’t had that for a very very long time in F1 from what I can remember. Of course I never want any team to be dominant, but I’d prefer Mercedes to be dominant over Red Bull every day of the week, purely because the Hamilton-Rosberg battle is bound to be much closer than Vettel-Ricciardo.

      I’d disagree with your point that this race was better than Suzuka 2005 though. The 2005-2008 era was my personal favourite. The appearance of the cars, the sound, the flat out racing.. to me F1 had the “wow” factor. You know, even watching a couple laps onboard I always say “wow I love everything about those cars”. That’s what I feel, of course it will be different for others. But yeah, Suzuka 2005 is definitely ahead of Bahrain 2014 in my eyes. I don’t know if it’s just me, but the races I most enjoy are the one’s which continually build up the suspense and tension until the climax. Those races are my favourite. Japan 2000, Suzuka 2005, Spa 2008, Turkey 2010, to name a few. They don’t have to be action packed throughout, but when it’s all very close and it builds up to a stunning finale, I absolutely love it.

  7. Australia was “taxi-cab” driving, Malaysia was excessive on the tyres and therefore arguably not the greatest race either, but Bahrain was like Bahrain, the artificial fuel, tyre and DRS rules didn’t overshadow the gp, the safety car would’ve had it actually made any difference. As a fan of F1 I like the new rules, the new cars and the racing this season, but there’s no denying that the questionable Ferrari poll is right and that ratings and spectators feedback back that up.
    So stop trying to stop free speech, if people don’t like it stop silencing them with the excuse that you know better than people therefore they they are wrong to dislike F1(speaking of Sky in particular). In the midst of all this talk there are other factors that could influence public assumption, for instances Ferrari Red Bull and McLaren are in tatters, much like 2009 there’s a new order and racing was great and “purer” in 09 and that didn’t stop rule changes that produced more artificial racing, first with the refueling ban then the DRS and the Pirelli tyres. F1 will have more and more rule changes the more the FIA tries to impose in order to “fix” F1, this is all because the people that make up the bulk of the viewership won’t watch F1 unless there’s a good fight for the championship.
    People prefer the illusion of great racing to actual great racing and are incapable of recognising greatness, if they did they wouldn’t dis Schumacher, Vettel, Ferrari or Redbull, because they deserved to win, this is the sentiment of Mercedes as well because they want to praised for the work they did and not criticized and stripped of their work because the others are too far away but above all one might remember that all this is pure hypocrisy. As little ago as last season Lotus, Ferrari and Force India were stripped of their hardwork because RedBull and Mercedes had no way but to force their will on F1, illegal test or not they thought they would benefit with a new tyre and they got it, now both fighting for opposite causes are pleading there will again. My conclusion is Formula 1 can’t be on the hand of the teams, nor the tv rights holders and definitely not the FIA, double points race or not F1 only needs one ruler and that ruler must only be Bernie.

    1. @peartree, sorry but I can’t see rhyme nor reason in your comment or its conclusion.

      1. @hohum F1 is discussing the repercussions of the new rules, I’m saying that no one inside F1 is capable of expressing an honest assessment of the current situation or the future and that’s because of the multiple conflict of interests. There’s a need for a third party, a ruler I ask. I’m saying that F1 would benefit from Bernie buying his way back the sport, as rumoured.

        1. Sorry, but I see Bernie as the problem, not the solution, but I take your point about the vested interests @peartree

    2. Agreed with Australia, but in Malaysia there was just conservation of tyres AND fuel. If you remember Hamilton was told during the whole race to just save fuel and to push only if neccesary (to make a faster lap or open the gap). Just let the season evolve, I know that in the end everyone will get satisfied with this new Formula, Bahrain was just the beginning.

  8. If this was only the 4th best race in the last 4 years, what on earth are people talking about when they say F1’s been going down the drain for years?!

    1. We’re talking about the races that are not even close, don’t have some fluke of circumstance to spice up the results or are total borefests with drivers avoiding racing to preserve their tyres.

      1. But the rules of football aren’t changed every time there is a dull 0-0 draw @hohum . In all sports there are one or two truly brilliant events a year, and most other sports have a lot more events in total. Most of the races are somewhere in between what we see in Bahrain and what you talk about but that’s how it should be. Otherwise we wouldn’t appreciate a great race like Bahrain as it would just be expected.

        1. Most of the races are somewhere in between what we see in Bahrain and what you talk about but that’s how it should be. Otherwise we wouldn’t appreciate a great race like Bahrain as it would just be expected.

          I think that hits the nail on the head, in a way.

          I rated this race 10. It was exciting from start to finish, with battles up and down the field. I loved it.

          I have to wonder, however, if I would have said the same about it 10 years ago, or even 5. Has my overall expectation changed over time?

          I don’t think there is really anything anyone can do about this. Our lives are coloured by our experiences. If there was half a season of incredibly dull races followed by one which, by historical standards, is OK, it would likely get a very high rating. People adjust the scale of their lives to match what is going on around them.

          In the end we just have to accept that these ratings are subjective. They will be influenced by a lot of things: How good were the last few races? How did your favourite team/driver do? (I know we are supposed to put that aside, but it will have an influence.) Did you have a hangover from the night before, were you just dumped, or did you just get a promotion or start a new romance?

          All these things, and more, will colour your opinion of a race. Those who want to be fair will try to put them to one side, but most will not completely succeed. So all we can do is accept that the rating is subjective and view it as a guide.

        2. @jleigh, you are right the rules of football are not changed just because there are a few dull races, the reason F1 has been going down the drain is because the rules are changed, DRS, gumball tyres. all on top of taking engine development out of the equation.

  9. With so much negativity on this year’s ruling and after two boring races Bahrain is a big hit. Somehow the new cars suited the track with close racing. The intra team battles were great. Then the safety car came, thanks to Pastor, the last 10 laps was high octane adrenalin even when the Merc pulled over 20 secs from the rest without fuel conservation. That’s flat out racing, now that’s what we liked as there were no tiptoeing. Have to wait for China and see what happens, knowing Merc will be on top again. Enjoy while we can. Race by race we will judge this season.

    I voted 9, doesn’t feel like a 10.

  10. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    10th April 2014, 14:18

    A perfect race? So it should be 5, considering it’s just a half-points race :P

    And where I can see the list of the “top ten races”?
    Maybe a short review of all of them would be really fair, given I don’t have a computer memory o nmy brain. People say China 2001 and I really don’t remember what exactly happened (let me try Wikipedia)

    1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      10th April 2014, 15:26

      Ouch! I’ve just noticed the list with all 10 reviewed. Nevermind.

  11. Anyone saying 2014 will be good or bad is jumping the gun. We had 3 races, 16 to go.

    1. I agree. Look at the first two races in 2013 for instance and then look at how that season turned out. I’m trying to remain positive though.

    2. I dont think so, it will almost certainly be either good OR bad ;)

      Of course, if it settles exactly in the middle of the line of good and bad then it is neither good nor bad, or both good and bad, depending on your personal preference.

  12. @keithcollantine

    I am not really a big fan of mean estimates for representing the final rating from these highly skewed histograms. On the contrary, it’s straight forward to use median value as ideal (unbiased) estimator while you come with final ratings, unless those distributions are symmetrical. So comparing them makes no sense.

  13. Interesting that in the top six we have Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, and Valencia. Some of F1Fers’ favorite tracks to dismiss. Personally I always enjoyed the Valencia races even when they were somewhat processional. Of those three I’d much rather see Valencia back on the calendar over the other two, but alas they lack oil money.

  14. I thought this race was pretty good throughout but there is no denying that the last 10 laps were the icing on the cake. What is it about a safety car comeing out around 2/3rds race distance that ratchets the racing up a gear, the answer is new tyres that will last until the finish. When are the rulemakers going to admit that degradable tyres are making the racing worse and give the drivers tyres that they can drive aggressively with without fear of needing extra pit-stops, if they did that races would become more exciting like they do when the drivers dont have to worry about the tyres lasting to the finish.

  15. Dennis the menace (@)
    11th April 2014, 2:39

    and Malaysia was one of the most boring races I have even seen. Although the rule changes have turned the field on its head so to speak I don’t attribute these changes for Bahrains excitement. (Those in favor of the changes are using Bahrain to erroneously justify the changes just as Montewhatshisname is using his poll to erroneously justify getting rid of some of the reg changes.) Bahrain just panned out to provide really good racing and without the safety car Hamilton may have well cruised to another Vettelesque win. Good racing doesn’t change the fact that the cars still sound like lawn mowers but simply emphasises that we enjoy good racing more than we enjoy just listening to a car scream off its head. (Afterall if it was just about sound we are better off going to the Drag strip and watching top fuelers and funny cars.) Bahrain was a bloody good race though and it would be great to see more of the same. Perhaps having Mandonaldo in the field is a good thing afterall.

  16. I think it’s preposterous to equate one somewhat exciting race in Bahrain with ‘So much for Ferrari’s complaints about ‘taxi-cab driving’’. The race in Bahrain was very peculiar for a variety of reasons, the surprisingly equal tyres and the very long safety car situation being the most prominent. If anything, the fact that about 10% of the race in Bahrain was run under safety car conditions, which no doubt played a part in allowing the cars to give that little extra, makes complaints about saving tyres and fuel in normal races seem more valid. But anyway: Bahrain being amusing doesn’t mean Australia and Malaysia didn’t happen!

    As an aside, I have trouble understanding how anyone could rate a race where the safety car caused such havoc to be anywhere close to a 9/10, but that’s neither here nor there.

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