Pastor Maldonado, Max Verstappen, Bahrain International Circuit, 2015

Top ten pictures from the 2015 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Ten of the best pictures which tell the story of the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend.

Will Stevens

Will Stevens, Manor, Bahrain International Circuit, 2015

There’s not much more Will Stevens can do with the Manor besides beat team mate Roberto Merhi. He managed it again in Bahrain.

Red Bull

Red Bull, Bahrain International Circuit, 2015

The Red Bull pit stop crew’s gear is laid out ready for action.

Daniil Kvyat

Daniil Kvyat, Red Bull, Bahrain International Circuit, 2015

An early ejection from qualifying in the first round made for a difficult race for Daniil Kvyat.

Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez, Force India, Bahrain International Circuit, 2015

Sergio Perez couldn’t emulate his team mate’s feat of reaching Q3…

Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez, Force India, Bahrain International Circuit, 2015

…but he was able to eke out his tyres to make just two pits stops, and finished in the points.

Pre-race anthem

Drivers, Bahrain International Circuit, 2015

The drivers assemble for the pre-race performance of the national anthem.

Pastor Maldonado and Max Verstappen

Pastor Maldonado, Max Verstappen, Bahrain International Circuit, 2015

Sparks under the night sky added extra drama to the side-by-side action in Bahrain.

Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel

Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Sebastian Vettel, Bahrain International Circuit, 2015

A battling performance from Nico Rosberg saw him pass Sebastian Vettel on three occasions. This was the second, as the pair caught Lewis Hamilton, the eventual winner having just pitted for the first time.

Nico Rosberg and Kimi Raikkonen

Nico Rosberg, Kimi Raikkonen, Bahrain International Circuit, 2015

He also dispenses with Kimi Raikkonen early in the race, but ended up losing second place to the Ferrari drivers due to a brake-by-wire problem.

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Bahrain International Circuit, 2015

Despite a similar drama, Hamilton made it three wins out of four at the start of the season – and his second in a row in Bahrain.

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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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33 comments on “Top ten pictures from the 2015 Bahrain Grand Prix”

  1. Is it true that titanium skid blocks were used specifically for sparks?
    If thats true, thats lame. I am starting to hate the fact that everything in this sport is becoming artificial – in the name of “the show”.

    1. @sd I may be wrong but I think they moved the blocks to a different position this season because there were concerns that they would easily come off, which happened a couple of times before.
      So in theory it wasn’t entirely for the show, but again, I could be wrong.

    2. But it’s an easy and cheap thing to do which for a lot of people does improve the spectacle. Most die hard fans will see through it but I for one thought Rosberg and Vettel sparking behind Hamilton as he left the pits made it look a lot more dramatic. Each to their own but there are probably worse things they could do in the name of improving the show

      1. Switching to the titanium skid blocks is actually just returning to the way it was in the late 80s and 90s. So while it may be slightly artificial, it looks awesome and is a return to way things used to be.

        1. @sd @clustr1 I don’t see the problem with it. Titanium was used because it is the better material for the job, best for performance. Different rules were “artificially” introduced to save costs and minimize part usage and ruin the fun.

          With this change, they sort of went back to the way they had it.

          @sd It is not at all clear what your definition of artificial is, because everything about racing since the wheel was invented has been artificial (made by humans).

          But I much rather have them artificially have them create rules that allow the cars to be faster, more powerful, more advanced and pushed to the max, ran lower to the ground etc. Rather than them artificially sucking every little bit of fan out of it by purposely slowing them down, and dropping the BAN HAMMER on every single peace of new and amazing stuff the engineers come up with, such as double diff users, exhaust blown floors, F-ducts, clever suspensions, flexi wings and so on and so on.

          I hate it, every time I see something new and interesting, I immediately get anxious because the FIA is out to ruin the fun and drop the ban hammer once more, as soon as they can, as soon as they get to hear about it.

          1. My proofreading is worse than Maldonado’s driving, full of unnecessary, stupid and unexpected mistakes.

          2. This is not true. Tungsten is better then Titanium because it wears less so teams could run the cars lower and still pass the post-race test.

            The FIA made a decision to re-introduce Titanium to counter teams running the cars too low.

            there were some other things that also led to them switching to Titanium but that´s the main cause.

          3. Was that officially discussed?

            Looking at it, tungsten has about 3.5 times better wear properties, but titanium is 5 times less dense, so I’am not sure.

          4. I agree wholeheartedly!!! This is something that has always bothered me about the “pinnacle of motorsport”. Motorsport is unlike other, more traditional, sports in that the athletes must rely on such a technologically driven (no pun intended) piece of equipment for their results. It has never ceased to irritate me that as soon as some bright engineer makes a breakthrough, you can count on it being immediately banned by the FIA. Why!? Isn’t that a major part of what the sport is supposed to be about? One of the reasons WEC is gaining so much popularity is the freedom the designers enjoy to make advancements. I for one LOVED the DeltaWing because it was such out of the box thinking and I can’t wait to see the Nissan GT-R LM race. I love the fact that Porsche, Audi, Toyota and now Nissan all have different engine solutions and they are all competative. F1 supposedly prides itself on the Constructor Team, and yet we move ever closer to spec series racing, with any innovation immediately squashed. Couple that with Bernie’s apparent vendetta against historic circuits and the sport will eat itself.

    3. It’s pretty much only for the show. However, as a diehard fan myself, I actually like it. Not because of any retro look, or anything of the sort. It’s simply because it looks cool, and doesn’t harm the racing quality at all.

    4. http://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/titanium-skids-for-safety-not-sparks-fia/
      Have they started using the titanium blocks yet? The article says next year.

      1. Are you okay? It’s 2015 now.

        Article published:2014-07-15.
        And a quote from the article:
        “After tests on a couple of cars were carried out during Austrian Grand Prix practice last month, the FIA has now committed to introducing new rules for 2015.”

        1. My bad, should have been more careful

      2. Thanks for that, it confirms that there was a sensible reason behind the new titanium blocks.

    5. Not totally,
      This article(Chasing sparks) says the following:

      The use of titanium for skidblocks was added to the regulations for two main reasons: To stop teams running below-regulation ride heights and for safety reasons. The old skidblocks were made of heavier, harder-wearing metals and the teams placed them around the measuring holes on the plank to protect it from wear, thus allowing the car to run lower and still pass scrutineering. On occasion these heavy lumps of metal would become detached and pose a safety risk, so the FIA decided to take a stance and make titanium mandatory. Titanium wears roughly 2.5 times quicker than the previous metals used for skidblocks and is also significantly lighter, therefore killing two birds with one light-weight stone. It just so happens it also helps to convey the forces acting upon an F1 car in a most spectacular way.

      Sorry for not typing my own answer, kinda hard to better that :)

  2. some great choices here (from, i suspect, a lot of good’uns). the Stevens one is a bit weird, but i applaud giving them some coverage. i have a conspiratorial theory that FOM is intentionally giving them essentially zero air time. i know they’re not really in the race but it feels like the directors are simply not showing them intentionally. in malaysia i thought merhi had dropped out.

    tin foil hat out.

    1. @frood19 – In all fairness, what reason do they have to give them coverage? They aren’t racing anyone and they have no sponsors.

      I’ve thought for a while, surely it’d be better for Manor to agree to do something for charity with the sponsorship… Not the “Honda Earth Car” but something similarly eye-catching that guarantees a bit more coverage. Once they get a bit more coverage, sponsors might be a bit more interested. It’s win/win – Manor actually get some coverage and sponsorship and a charity gets major international coverage…

  3. I had no idea that drivers have been assigned places for the national anthem.

    1. Grid order, is it? Did Maldonado stand in the wrong place? And is there a penalty for that?

  4. I must admit I did not look at Perez his performance as impressive on sunday but with the car on hand he did well to finish into the points.

    1. Yes, like Ricciardo he did well to drag a car further up than it deserved to go. But last year’s Bahrain GP must seem a long time ago for him.

  5. “Top ten pictures with sparks” should be a thing. The introduction of night races and much better and more abundant photography equipment has made these pictures much better that those ones from the 80s with sparks.

    Imagine if we had this many digital high-res picture taking capabilities in the 80s to shoot those cars that were sparking front and back like crazy! And when I say “we” I mean “they”, because I was not born yet.

    1. If you scan a digital film with a proper scanner you will be surprised of the resolution available.

      Besides, I’m assuming you are calling the photo’s posted on this website “high res”. They really aren’t. Even the fully zoomed in ones barely hit 2MP.

      Digital camera’s are actually really bad at catching big light differences. They blow out when things get too bright.

      I googled some examples from 80’s/90’s sparks.:
      http://richlandf1.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/91_POR12.jpg
      http://i.imgur.com/mnQXOJG.jpg
      http://www3.pictures.zimbio.com/gi/FILE+F1+Through+Lens+Money+Power+1970+80+PJAVUVCPm9fx.jpg

      1. @patrickl I’ve been watching some classic 80’s and early 90’s races recently and found it interesting that those sparks are a bit more yellow/orange but in 2015 they look more white, go figure.
        Anyway, it’s very easy to see in those pictures you linked.

        1. Yeah I was wondering about that too. Probably an effect of the white balance or the total amount of exposure. If you overexpose something with a digital camera it will turn completely white.

      2. @patrickl Thanks, thanks and thanks! Saved to my personal collection.

        No, these are not high-res pics here, but I assume that the original files were, and these ones are nicely compressed from those it seems.

        Anyways, I am not mocking what old film cameras can do. My grandfather was one of the pioneers of photography in my region and documented a lot of history by film photography, video and audio recordings. And I acquired the love for armature photography myself and have done a lot of photography with really old (but good) equipment (and many different kinds of it), developed my own pics, messed with making my own lenses and other periphery, worked with one other old-school photographer who collected and used all types of historic (from the oldest to new) cameras etc, and I have continued this practice into the digital age. So I now what old and new cameras can do.

        @frood19 But my point was, that these days, it is much easier to get a comparatively really good camera, it is much easier to get the good shots, because you can fire away, making thousands of shots and it is easier to share and find those pictures as well, for obvious reasons.

        “this many” was the key phrase in my previous comment. More pictures taken, equal more amazing shots taken.

        1. On the other hand, nowadays it’s pretty much impossible to get a nice shot like that from the general public area’s. There are fences everywhere.

          I remember in the 80’s there was just one layer of fencing and I could get quite close to the track. I could feel the wind and smell their smell when they blazed past. Now there are 2 or 3 lines of fencing keeping you very far away from the track.

          1. @patrickl Mm, that is a shame, although someone does sneek up quite close from time to time it seems. But yeah, not many of these low down, close-up angeles.

            But how about the number of people, isn’t there much more people (jurnos, marshals, amture photographers) with a half-decent SLR trying to sneak a shot?

    2. @mateuss a fine grain film (i.e. a slow speed) gives incredible “resolution” if you can call it that – check out rainer schlegelmlich for unbelievable film photography of motorsports from way back to the ’60s.

  6. Impossible not to love the sparks!
    Some other images I found memorable from this event were the glowing brake discs on the Lotus’, the smoking brakes on Maldonado’s car in the pits and a close up slo mo shown during the race which let us see right into Sebastian Vettel’s eyes!

  7. Have to love the background in the Kvyat photo, it is almost like the sky is on fire (even though it is just the lights).

  8. Looks like Kyvat is driving through hell in that pic! It probably felt that way for him this weekend at times.

  9. It may not be the best race on the calendar, but F1 has never looked as good as it looks in Bahrain!

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