Valtteri Bottas, Williams, Bahrain International Circuit, 2016

Rate the race: 2016 Bahrain Grand Prix

2016 Bahrain Grand Prix

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What did you think of today’s race? Share your verdict on the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Since 2008, F1 Fanatic has held polls on every F1 race to find out which fans thought of each round of the season.

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Rate the 2016 Bahrain Grand Prix out of ten

  • 1 (0%)
  • 2 (0%)
  • 3 (0%)
  • 4 (1%)
  • 5 (3%)
  • 6 (11%)
  • 7 (37%)
  • 8 (36%)
  • 9 (10%)
  • 10 (2%)

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165 comments on “Rate the race: 2016 Bahrain Grand Prix”

  1. 8/10, solid race.

    A shame Bottas got a penalty though, really was a racing incident.

    1. I disagree. All I saw was Bottas bashing into Hamilton. I can sort of understand the arguments supporting Bottas, but I think he was in the wrong there.

    2. I think that it was a bit clumsy from Bottas. At least he tried, but it went wrong.

      1. Agree, he took a chance at it didn’t work out. Lewis looked to be going to the outside of Ros but suddenly turned in behind instead. If a driver doesn’t make committed moves, the career will be short. Bothers went for the inside, Hamilton made a move, racing incident. Or else we will se some very boring racing.

        1. @joe6fac Bothers?

    3. Lewis and Nico nose to tail, Valterri visibly stays off the brakes on the dirty line trying to shove in running past the apex, it was a slam dunk penalty.

      Great pity we lost Lewis and Seb racing for the lead. There will be some moaning about the Haas deal won’t there. Good fun race though, altogether.

      1. I don’t think VB did anything foolish though. Just didn’t quite pull off a racing move that others would have attempted all day long. Just saying we’ve seen way more overcooking than that. His tires barely touched the paint of the apex so I can see LH veering right as he did, thinking there would be room.

        I actually hope there isn’t any moaning toward Haas. Horner suggested a few years back that top teams should be able to sell smaller teams customer cars to give them that head start vs doing everything from scratch. Not sayingbyhey

        1. Oops typo…not saying they are pushing any kind of envelope. I think they should be setting a trend toward building a slightly larger, stronger, sustainable grid.

        2. Bottas is a lovely guy but that one was a bit of a newbie error I thought @robbie. Yes it looked like there was a gap but an experienced driver should have known it was going to close before he got there and he’d be in the blind spot at that angle. It’s a move that a top driver would have maybe threatened but left as an each-way bet with the option to pull out of it.

          On Haas, well I don’t like them not having to design much of their own car. And if they don’t they shouldn’t be in a Constructors’ championship – that could be how to make sure it’s only a start for them I suppose.

          I don’t actually agree about larger grids. We only have one TV and one pair of eyes, and the extra cars get in the way and help the TV director lose cohesion in the coverage with all the dotting about.

    4. MG421982 (@)
      3rd April 2016, 17:49

      Come on, he T-Boned HAM. It was a well deserved penalty.

    5. Really looked like a justified penalty to me and I’m a Finn myself. The Finnish commentators, unsurprisingly, disagreed with me.

    6. It was identical to Kimi running into Bottas by the inside line from last year, so karma.

      1. Well Kimi was the main beneficiary, so…

      2. It was absolutely not the same! Kimi came from a mile back into a closed door. Bottas was pretty much along side at the turn in point!

    7. When did these stupid penalties start? I can remember a few in the 90s, but come on. They’re adults, let yhem take care of it. We don’t need a teacher to tell them to sit in a corner. Let ’em race!

    8. Hamilton let the door open. Bottas is a racer and would be wrong if he didn’t try it. It was a racing incident. Totally wrong penalty.

    9. Bottas was boxed in by 3 cars. Riciardo was 1 foot behind him, Rosberg was 1 meter in front of him, Hamilton was a couple of inches to his left. Exactly what was Bottas supposed to do?

      1. Not cause an avoidable accident.

  2. a solid 8, lot’s of action but not so much at the front for a higher rating

    1. Same rating for the same reason. I was entertained until the very end.

  3. Very nice race, a pity for seb, could go for a win, another mega from gro, the force india cars nowhere.

    1. Williams are worse. That car is horrible without Mercedes power they would be fighting Saucer.

      1. Sauber. Damn you autocorrect

      2. Williams has Mercedes power….

  4. First few laps were sort of interesting, many races ruined but after that it was pretty uninteresting race. The lead Rosberg manage to build up from the mishaps at the start and the slow Williams slowing the field meant the Ferrari challenge was never one, the damage on Hamilton’s car costing him 1 second a lap meant that he couldn’t challenge the Ferrari. If it wasn’t for some of the excitement at the start would have rated it even lower, ironically it was some of the excitement at the start that effectively ruined what could have been a great race.

  5. ZZZ skipped the last 10 minutes to make a cup of tea and have a slice of battenburg. Vettels retirement and Hamiltons start incident ruined a decent fight for the win.

  6. 9. Close to a perfect race for me. Standout performances from multiple drivers, an action packed opening and battles throughout the field. Long may it continue.

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      3rd April 2016, 19:26

      9/10 for me as well, @glynh.
      At first a bit surprised that most scored it lower. But after reading comments it seems most want to see a fight at the sharp end, and I’m happy with fights throughout the field.
      It might have been boring for Mercedes and Ferrari, but super exciting for the 9 other teams.
      Great race by GRO, VAN, WER, VER and many more.
      I loved this one.

      1. I agree and the only reason there weren’t fights at the sharp end was because Vettel’s engine detonated in decent style reminiscent of the “old” turbo days and Bottas had a go at an opening that was there and there was a collision.
        Real racing throughout the field (and at the front for a few seconds) – great stuff.

        Now if only we could revert Qualifying to 2015 rules…….

    2. One would think that a 9/10 rating would require a battle for the win right to the finish line.

  7. A decent race, although we still missed a battle for the win, for the second and third place.

  8. Another nice race. Solid 8.
    Grosjean, Wherlein, Ericsson, Magnussen and Vandoorne were great. Good day for the underdogs. Rosberg was brilliant. Shame that Bottas trashed Hamilton’s race, otherwise we would have a battle for the lead

  9. 7/10 for me. Could have been higher, but the battle for the lead was destroyed right at the beginning.

  10. Just like Melbourne I really enjoyed that, I rated it 8/10.

    OK the fight for the lead/win wasn’t there but there was tons of great racing through the field for most of the race which made it thoroughly enjoyable :)

  11. A bit like elimination qualifying, hectic at the start and slowed down to a simmer towards the end. I’d give it a 7 as there wasn’t any real battle for the lead.

    Really pleased that Grosjean/Haas bettered their Australian GP result, and a great race for Vandoorne!!

  12. Another gifted win for Rosberg.. Still he won’t be complaining haha!

    1. Such simple comments sadden me. If you believe Rosberg was gifted a win, which he might have been, then at take the time to expand on your point of view, tell your fellow fans why you have that opinion , we are all interested otherwise we wouldn’t be on this website. But don’t just show your dissatisfaction into a random comment. ( I assume it is dissatisfaction, but as you can see, making out what you mean or feel is not easy).

      Personally I disagree, Rosberg and Hamilton were super close most of the weekend , and Rosberg lost out on poll by a superb lap by Hamilton but only by the smallest margin. He then made the better start. Now you might state that Bottas’ and Hamilton’s contact prevented a potential battle for the lead. But I believe stating Rosberg was “gifted a win” is in no way an accurate representation of the facts.

      1. It wasn’t so much a dig at Rosberg, more a frustration.. I just can’t remember the last time he faught for a win. I was really looking forward to a dog fight considering how close the two merc’s were in quali.

        Rosbergs wins always seem to be at the failure/mishap of others

        1. @nemo87 Um…last three races of 2015.

    2. To be fair, Hamilton did not do a great getaway which he should have compared to Rosberg, so it’s not really gifted, Rosberg did a better job at the start.

      1. It’s not a gifted win as such, it’s a gifted removal of competitors for the win. It was not down to rosbergs skill that vettels engine blew up or hamiltions car was damaged that is why people say it was gifted as the only person that could of prevented a win (in the race we saw) was rosberg himself or mechanical failure.

    3. ROS didn’t screw up his start and lose the race.

    4. Lol Rosberg won the win fairly in to the first corner. He got the job done. Kinda like Lewis did so many times…

  13. This race to a large extent was saved by young bloods such as St.V, Kmag,PV, and MV. Shouldn’t that be an argument to have them participate more?

    1. Ericsson did a fantastic job.. He has some skill even though he is a paid driver

      1. Yes. I thought the guy was doing a fantastic job while watching him then I thought; what if that Sauber is quite fast being that it is running the same Ferrari engine as Haas? No? Would Sauber be in a better position today had they not signed drivers whom we have seen over the years not to be the best in their field?
        Not taking anything away from Ericsson, I still think he did a good job today.

        1. i heard sauber won’t be there next race due to financial problems. To bad as i think ericsson has really grown the last months he has been driving.

          1. Sauber is slowly declining out of F1, not a suprise really. They are on level of Manor now.

  14. 7/10. Good fights further down the field, but a fairly straightforward run for Rosberg. A shame that Vettel’s engine failed.

  15. I literally want to know why did they put Hamilton on mediums for only 15 laps because that tyre can surely last more than 20 laps. Why put Hamilton on mediums for a short stint if you are trying to close and catch a Ferrari? If this was the case, they should have put him on softs at the 1st stop. Then, why would Mercedes think that a safety car can happen? This is Bahrain, not Monaco… They left Lewis out too long, they should have either double stack or pit Lewis after Nico or even before Nico..
    Anyway, 7-8 would be average by everyone I guess… That move by Bottas… No comment especially from that far…

    1. -I literally want to know why did they put Hamilton on mediums…

      No need trying to find anyone to blame on this one. These decisions are not easy to make cos the race is fluid so strategists are always thinking of what to do to enhance the person’s chances. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. A good example being Australia decisions by Merc and Fer.

      Ham just needs to find a way to improve his starts this year.

      But I honestly think 2016 is Nico’s year judging from how closely matched both have been all through their career. Plus if you win 5 times in a row, you go on to win the championship in most cases. I would be surprised if Lewis makes it 3:0 instead of 2:1 against Nico this year.

      1. The starts only. This goes to both of them. They were probably lucky that Vettel was out because who knows what Sebastian could have done. Just imagine if both Mercedes go out of the first corner clean and 1-2 in the first lap. No looking for blame, I am looking for why they put him on a tyre that can last 20 + laps then pit him after 15 laps which completely does not make sense. They should have put him on softs and do like Ferrari last year, undercutting. What is funny is that Mercedes were thinking that a safety car would happen, they should never think this… Once Mercedes sorts the starts out, which they should cause it puts 1 of them down order and then one is either leading and the other down the order, then the leading opens a gap and then we have no battles. I am still putting it on Lewis this year, only if Mercedes can fix their starts. If Bottas was in 4th-3rd, he could have stolen the lead there from the Mercedes just like in Silverstone…

        1. – I am looking for why they put him on a tyre that can last 20 + laps then pit him after 15 laps which completely does not make sense.

          I understand where you are coming from but I as I said, it was a strategy which they tried but looking at the lap times, they might have realised that the tyre was not giving them the data they needed to challenge the Ferraris as in Australia. The track conditions may not have been optimum for Medium but we saw how good it was for the softer compounds especially the SS.

          What does not make sense however, to use your own words, and where I think they lost the fight with Kimi, was when they let Lewis stay out longer on the SS when Nico and Kimi had come in for their second stops. The guy was hemorrhaging time at that point and that was when his gap, after he had been called in, shot up from 6 or so secs to 16 secs behind the Ferrari driver.

      2. Tata, as others have said, the statistic of winning five in a row is, at the same time, not entirely relevant given that three of those wins came at the end of the 2015 season, by which time Rosberg’s 2015 title challenge had long since evaporated. If Rosberg is to take the title, he needs to consistently string together wins this year – after all, figures like Laffite, Fittipaldi and Prost all had seasons where they managed to win the first two opening races in a season, but failed to then go on to secure the title.

        1. Yes you are right. I corrected myself somewhere else by saying that those wins happened in different seasons and so the argument is flawed. I will wait he wins 5 times in a row in this particular season.

          But Nico certainly seems to have found his groove.

          1. I think 4 consecutive wins in a season have always resulted in that driver winning the title.

    2. No One Better (@)
      3rd April 2016, 18:15

      This is why Bottas will not advance his racing career in F1. The guy does not know how to race and other teams see that. His stock was pretty high a few years ago. With the influx of younger more talented “racers” he will fall to the tail of the mid pack or worse by next year as Williams power advantage to the rest is erased.

      The crash between Hamilton and Bottas was also brought on by Rosberg. From what I can see, Rosberg checked up. He delayed his throttle application just slightly enough for someone to attach Hamilton. Rosberg is now 2 for 2 in sticking it to Hamilton on turn 1. He was so focused on disadvantaging Hamilton in Australia that he lost a position to Kimi. This time it cost him nothing.

      To answer your question, the reason Hamilton was put on the medium tire was that the team was betting on a safety car. The car was too damaged to compete on pace so they tried a strategic move. I was confused also at first but then I realized this is Bahrain so betting on a safety car is not a bad move. Just didn’t pay off this time.

      1. 2 safety cars in 11 races here is an outside bet?

        1. They had P3 in the bag and SC was only way to gain P2 so they took that chance.

          1. The reason I say a long shot is the previous comment insinuated this is Bahrain and a safety car was likely when it is not. Maybe I misinterpreted the comment, but agreed Merc had to try something.

      2. @noonebetter I disagree with your take on Bottas not knowing how to race. He tried a move many drivers would have under that circumstance of LH opening the door then shutting it. Not saying LH did anything wrong, just racing, and by then VB was committed. Brundle said he needed to apply more brake, when asked what VB could have done…but VB was already committed and more brake was already applied. VB’s mistake sure, but he far from did anything foolish.

        As to NR delaying throttle to jam up LH, not sure about that but if indeed that’s what he did then way to go NR. And in Australia I doubt he was only thinking about LH at the start, thus letting KR through. I think that is oversimplifying the complexity of NR’s position and options in those split seconds. But again, if he was strictly concentrating on LH, then good on him as that is going to be his main threat this year. Maybe you wouldn’t disagree with that but it just sounds like you are taking something off NR’s performances in both races.

    3. Sky commentators said Medium degraded as fast as Soft… So was a worse option. Mercedes ran it for the first time in the race…

    4. The way I heard it, the mediums weren’t all that. The grip was lacking from the start and they fell off faster than they should have… faster than the softs or ssofts.
      Their plan was to go long on the mediums, and the tires didn’t get the memo.

  16. 8/10. The good: Good seeing the new tyre rules working – lots of different strategies today. Decent on-track battles and FOM managed to catch some live. GRO/HAAS doing a great job. VAN doing a great job first time out. The Bad: VET’s engine going on the parade lap – he could’ve probably taken it to ROS. Empty grand stands.

    1. Martin Brundle said on Friday that there were loads of people there and a great atmosphere but a lot of people decide not to sit in the stands as there is so much on offer in terms of entertainment all round the track.

  17. So many pit stops made the race thoroughly confusing. Ended up not knowing whether positions were earned by merit or strategy, same with most of the overtakes. No challenges for the lead throughout so gave it a six.

    1. Saddly Vettel and Lewis were out of lead contention early on… Agreed on that… But 4 grades because of that?

  18. Have to say, the new tyre rules have helped the racing immensly. Even just having the increased number of options increases the intrigue, even if the top 3 basically had the same strategy by the end (Which you can put down to them mirroring each other to cover each other off, hard to avoid a sensible strategy decision).

    1. I agree, it opens up so much potential for actual wheel to wheel racing, the best (only?) new rule in many years

    2. Agreed, properly good rule…

  19. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    3rd April 2016, 17:52

    7. Qualifying is still terrible but at least the races have a bit of fire in them.

    Shame about losing Vettel right at the start. Thought Bottas was unfairly punished.

    Really good race for some drivers. Vandoorne obviously doing excellently in the McHonda, Magnussen looking racy in the Renault and Wehrlein showing why people say he’s good. I’d even say Ericsson was doing particularly well.

    Hopefully Rosberg will keep this form up – if he does he’ll be WDC and deservedly so. If he doesn’t I don’t think he’ll get another shot.

    1. Bottas deserved that penalty easily. He flat out T-Boned Hamilton while Nico and Lewis were nose to tail in that first corner and racing. He robbed us of a fight up front by damaging Lewis’ car. I like Bottas, but that was really stupid to try and win the race on the first corner….he’s not a rookie. And look at the replay, he didn’t even put his wheels inside the line to try and avoid the contact. Very sloppy and not what I’d expect from BOT.

      1. But Bottas was there and Hamilton turned in and left Bottas no where to go, you can’t simply turn in when there is a car on your inside so actually Hamilton got what he deserved, always seems to panic due to poor starts and keeps trying to over compensate and this is the result, and it also ruined the race for Hulkenberg, Ricciardo aswell

        1. – But Bottas was there

          That is where you lost the argument. Since when is someone ”there” before the person who is ahead of him? That argument doesn’t make sense. Hamilton was ahead of Bottas, when he was hit on the side and then pushed out nearly turning his car around.

          Bottas had a good start. Yes. But the 2 Mercedes made that corner well before any of the Williams. The problem is that Bottas could not control his speed well enough at that corner.

          1. I think LH needs to own a bit of the situation. He did open the door, but I think if he saw VB in his right hand mirror at all, ahead of the corner, he might have reasonably thought he would be ok turning in the way he did. At the same time VB was being shown an opening by LH. VB was already committed to his move when LH ‘shut the door’ as VB put it, so by then the ‘more brake’ that Brundle suggested was needed by VB had already been applied.

            Penalize VB? Sure ok whatever…but he’s no Maldonado nor early Grojean.

          2. Ricciardo was there last year in Monaco before Raikonnen despite Raikonnen being the car in front. No blame for me in what happened, Bottas channelled his inner Senna and went for a gap he saw.

          3. You could say that about Kimi and Bottas’ collision in in mexico(?) for which Kimi was penalised. Hamilton hadn’t ‘made’ any corner at all as they collided pretty much on the apex. Both Hamilton and Rosberg were pretty cautious going into T1. Ultimately more blame for the collision probably does lie with Bottas but it was a racing incident in my eyes.

        2. You have watched F1 for a while? You don’t get to stick your nose in on those situations unless you want the blame for the accident that’s going to happen. Lewis was more than half a car length ahead…it was a clumsy move by Bottas. Go back and watch the tape…Bottas didn’t even try to put any wheels over the inside curb to avoid it. Stupid.

  20. solid 7/10. Not having Seb and Fernando in the race and Lewis put on the back foot in the first corner took the air out of it for me. But Wehrlein, Grosjean, Ricciardo and others made it entertaining enough.

  21. Solid 7, would’ve been an 8 or maybe even 9 but the last 25% was pretty boring, but the first 75% was pretty great, although Bottas really took the sting out of the race going into T1, Vettel engine failure also didn’t help, overall pretty good race, tyre strategy was very unexpected which was great to see, didn’t expect to see the SS tyres get so much use

  22. 7 for me, some very good moments but it ended with a bit of a whimper. The new tyre rules worked well again, Grosjean’s triple SS stints being particularly unusual.

  23. 7/10. Good enough.

  24. Am i the only one who thought roseberg was dangerously slow in the first corner and caused all the trouble behind? Great rce though.

  25. MG421982 (@)
    3rd April 2016, 17:58

    8.

    Kimi would have been a lot closer and probably he’d have had some chances to win the race if it wasn’t for that bad start. Unfortunately, wasn’t the case.

    Really great stuff for Grosjean and HAAS. Looks like their car is really better than expected.

    I guess we know now for sure that Mercedes will win both champs again…. don’t we?! Ferrari is obviously 0.5s behind, probably they’ll win 2-4 races this year, but no real chance to fight for any of the champs. Not only that the Mercedes has a better car, but the drivers line-up it’s better too. So, the champ is over already in my opinion.

  26. Bit of an anticlimax up front. But somebody messing up the start every time adds to the fun.
    Some good crowd-pleasing results further back. It was totally a tyre race, which is a novelty for now – but I hope not all the races are like that, and we get to see drivers on equal tyres going at it.

    The Bahrain Rubbish Bin award goes to Force India, despite strong competition from Williams. Those medium tyres were only good for coffee tables, what were they thinking?

    1. I think with other teams catching up on the Mercedes engine, being a Mercedes customer team is not a great place to be at the moment

      1. MG421982 (@)
        3rd April 2016, 19:22

        But… as you said… the rest it’s STILL CATCHING UP, Ferrari too! So, at the moment, Mercedes still is the engine to have under the bonnet. So, yeah, being just an engine customer most likely won’t win the champs, but being 2nd/3rd team is a reachable objective. Manor is powered by a Mercedes engine, yet they have the slowest car overall. How come? Well, must be everything else except the engine! The same thing applies to Williams and Force India. Their problem in 2016 it’s not the engine, but the rest of the car. It just looks like they did a poor job for 2016 compared to the rest of the teams. So, in 2016, I still see no sweat for Williams, FI and Manor in the engine department, it’s not like their engine has 50HP less… but everything else about their cars should worry them. 2017 could be different indeed regarding the engines.

  27. Very enjoyable race. The first 25 laps or so flew past, there was a lot going on and throughout the race there was plenty to look out for. A battle for the lead would have been nice, but frankly I prefer a fighting field over the top 4 only battling each other. 8/10 for me.

    To think I nearly didn’t watch because of qualifying shenanigans.. F1 really needs a positive marketing campaign because the racing in 2016 so far has been mint.

  28. 7 out of 10. Great race for the midfield, but with Vettel’s retirement and Hamilton’s damage, the front end seemed a forgone conclusion from the start which took some of the drama out. Loving seeing Haas do so well this year.

  29. Verstappen man of the match..with Grosjean

    Boy…this boy is entertaining

  30. 6/10, Decent race but nothing memorable. The first half of the race was a 7 and the last half a 5 so a 6 overall.

  31. I only gave it a 6. Why?
    – A big fat 0 for that joke of “qualifying”
    – An 8 for the first two laps
    – A 9 for Grosjean/Haas
    – An 8 Vandoorne getting points on his first Grand Prix with a midfield caliber car
    – A 4 for the 2nd half of the race where
    – A 3 for the fact that Vettel didn’t get to start and Bottas ham-fisted attempt to pass ruined Lewis’ car and robbed us of a chance for a fight up front

    So I think a 6 is a generous average overall rating for me.

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      3rd April 2016, 19:30

      Rate the Race @daved, so that should exclude quali (A big fat 0 for that joke of “qualifying”), and warm-up (A 3 for the fact that Vettel didn’t get to start).

      1. @coldfly
        Yeah, but I had to have a forum for venting my frustration with Qualy, so this is the forum. As for warm-up…I can’t agree with you there. It ruined the race with the bad timing.

  32. Trenthamfolk (@)
    3rd April 2016, 18:02

    8/10 enjoyed it a lot… loads of battled down the field… Pity about Hamilton and Vettel and their misfortune, but glad that Stoffel performed well for Mclaren.

  33. Decent race, 7/10. The start was a carnage though.
    Excellent race from Rosberg, Ricciardo, Grosjean, Verstappen and Vandoorne!
    Three compounds available for the race is definitely an interesting addition to spice things up.

  34. 8 – I’m loving the 3 tyres rule. I still don’t fully get it, but I don’t care. It’s opening out strategies.

    I honestly see DRS as completely redundant now. You have cars travelling around on potentially 3 different types of tyre.

    Such a shame that Pirelli/FIA have finally got the tyre/tyre rules dead on, and we’ll now be using Bridgestone style bullet proof tyres next year.

    Keep the tyres, bring back old qualy, bin DRS!

    1. I sure can’t agree with you about the tires. They’re still going to be very limiting for drivers to push to any kind of limit on, and they will still prevent drivers from following in dirty air without ruining them quickly. I also think it is way too soon to be predicting bullet proof tires for next year. Agree with you about old quali and binning DRS though.

  35. 7, -1 to 6 for Vettel engine failure and Bottas tanking into Lewis spoilt a fight for 1st.

    Top marks to Romain in that Ferrari customer car…and Stoffel for 1st McLaren points. As much as I love Jenson would rather see Stoffel in that seat.

  36. While in the end, the race could have done with closer racing at the very front, I have great difficulty in picking a driver of the race. Verstappen, Grosjean, Ricciardo, Kvyat, Räikkönen, Vandoorne and Wehrlein (!) all pulled off great drives that saw them finish higher than you might have thought. Shame that Hülkenberg clearly had problems with his car after his race was already quite ruined by that early pitstop…

  37. A great day of racing despite the awful quali yesterday. Not a fan of the Country , not a fan of Lewis dressing up in the gown.

  38. Another solid race for 2016.

    Haas continuing to perform well, Nico showing that he’s a strong driver on his own, Vandoorne scoring a point, Manor in the midfield and, of course, Kimi proving that he’s still a solid racing driver.

    Some really great battles all throughout the midfield. The only thing that would have made this better is a bit more battling up front.

    Also, can we PLEASE do away with this qualifying format now?!!

  39. This wasn’t just a race with lots of action going on up and down the field, there were no red flags, almost no yellow flags, and we had lots of camera shots of every team. Even Manor Racing and Sauber got lots of air time, which is really helps with the corporate sponsorship.
    I thought this was an excellent race and an excellent presentation by the TV people, so I gave it 10.

    1. Like the attitude and agree with the points except TV dropped the positions list after pit stops when it was most important and that confused and bugged me. Plus as usual they will cut away to some insignificant pit action when a nice pass is happening on track.

  40. Haas’ performance is the hand-writing on the wall for the independent constructors Williams, FI, Sauber, etc.

    1. That’s what people said in 2008 when Toro Rosso were showing up Red Bull as well. The rules changed, but more importantly, teams started sharing gearboxes and the like.

      With Sauber in dire financial straits, I don’t think they would at all mind adapting a business model like Haas’.

      1. They should ASAP. Infact all teams save big works teams…

  41. Good race but still a little too much DRS for me, I’m worried we’re starting to get blasé about it.
    Drivers of qualifying: Wehrlein & Hamilton
    Drivers of the race: Rosberg & Grosjean
    Drivers of the weekend: Vandoorne & Ricciardo.

    1. DRS is part of the DNA of the sport now. I doubt we’ll ever see it eradicated. Sad because it takes away from the racing when it isn’t implemented correctly, like today.

      6/10 – Bottas ruined the fight for the podium and the midfield battle was ruined, yet again, by DRS.

      1. Nearly always the car that uses DRS to pass another simply drives off into the distance. If DRS wasn’t working correctly then you’d have the cars leap frogging one another every lap. As far as I can tell that only happens rarely, so I don’t think it is a problem.

    2. DRS here allowed the car behind to have a go in the braking zone, nothing wrong here with it. Here it allowed a car to gain back what it lost in dirty air before the straight the rest is slip stream. If rules changed to allow cars to follow when they came to the end of the straight the moves would look the same as they did today.

      1. Disagree. DRS is a get-out-of-jail-free card for the trailing driver, and it badly harms the integrity of the sport by it’s very existence. It leaves the leading driver defenseless and is strictly a gimmick that fails to mask processions brought on by their harmful addiction to aero downforce. It needs to go, and be replaced simply with better tires and a limiting to the cars of Monza-like wings for all venues, for much more emphasis on mechanical grip.

        1. Aero cannot be un learnt so by taking drastic measures to put a heavy mechanical grip bias on the car the cars would be too slow, we have touring cars to watch for that kind of racing. Some of the best races occur when grip is at a premium like in the wet.

  42. It was hardly a thriller, but the new tyre rules allowed for some cracking strategy options and some great battles on the track. The young guys once again showed that there is a future for this sport on the track, if the powers that be can secure a future for this sport off the track. I have said in the past that it is simply ludicrous that Vandoorne has not got a full-time F1 seat, and this weekend justifies my view.

    It lacked the sheer drama that Australia produced (bar the formation and the first laps), but it was still a solid race anyway. However I still cannot help but feel bitter due to certain events away from the track.

  43. A 9,

    10 being perfect… wasn’t a perfect race without Vettel batteling Rosberg for the win.

    Nico seemed to be doing an incredibly booring job.. Great start, swiftly got ahead and… that was that done. But for me driver of the day candidate right there. 5 Wins in a row against Lewiz Hamilton – Wizard of Speed. Noone in the history has won 5 in a row and not became champion. Stats are stacking very well on Nico side. Lewis will have an allmighty job getting infront. No doubt he can, but he has the underside now.

    Speaking of Lewis, botched the start, got unlucky with Bottas and it went from there. But for me he lost that race on start. With the way Mercedes is when following another car, no way he would beat Nico, especially since Nico had upper hand all weekend except Q3.

    Now the Sad part… Vettel… 0 laps completed, if Ferrari want to win a Championship this year… well its looking bad. 2 races 2 retirements from engine failure for the team. They are about as good as Honda on reliability.

    Kimi as much as Martin Bundle calls him a man possessed, and super awesome fast and something… I fail to see it. He seemed to sailed in to second place with 0 effort no drama, a few nondramatic overtakes…

    So Overtakes wise… Grosjean OMG! 5th now… 4 more races and he’ll be compeeting for a win at this race The car seems genuinlly fast and very good. He didn’t luck in to good finish like Australia, this was overtakes allover the place many super soft tire sets… Pretty much he was the best of midfield by large margin.

    And another amazing drive… Vandoorne. DAYUM That boy can race. McLaren should do a fine job to sign him up, otherwise there should be teams allover the place very interested in signing him up very fast. I think he deserves a spot more than half the current drivers.

    Squables allover the place, Wehlein epic fighting for nonpoint finishes… I have a feeling that Manor will score points this year but not more.

    Sauber looks like a dog of a car. It will be a hard fight for final spot. Maybe they should call Ferrari to get a similar deal as Haas has… since it seems to be working much better than trying to do their own thing.

    1. I don’t believe that Ferrari will want another “customer” like Haas. But Mercedes might move into that direction with Manor, the signs are cleary there for that. Should be interesting. But definitely, F1 should really start looking into ways to give the good ole’ constructors more of a fighting chance and I mean by giving them more money instead of inventing stupid rules that might artificially up the starting grid…

      1. Good Ole Constructors? Those good old teams were garagisti born off the back of customer engines in the early 60’s, at that time traditional teams may have looked upon these teams in the same way Williams etc may now look at Haas. Haas is a new bread of team and in a way is a Ferrari repost to the garagisti over 50 years in the making. I would not mind 5 or 6 more healthy teams with Haas business plan. I think Sauber will go under a similar plan once they are bankrupt, bought by Fiat for a pound and turned into Alfa Romeo.

    2. Nico hasn’t won five races in a season in a row…

  44. For me:
    Ecclestone is working to change this qualy sessions because Merc is always in teh first row…. today this is a huge vantage because who wins the pole position easily wins the race. Merc has a really powerfull engine in Q3 (they use a “botton”- max power in Q3)…new Qualyfing will be an average of 2 best laps for each Q! So 6 different lap time…a way to put pressure on Merc (so strong in Q3)! If Ferrari stars from the 1st row: we’ll see different races!

    AM I RIGHT? Any Comment??

    1. Who wins pole wins the race? Well, clearly not right this time ’round…

    2. If Ferrari starts from the front row, but still has starts like Kimi’s today, or if Mercedes grabs the front row and there’s a repeat of Melbourne, the actual pole sitter won’t matter much either.

      If they truly want to randomize qualifying results, they need to get the field as close together as possible, not make arbitrary rules where you only ever get cases like Kvyat’s this weekend.

      1. @npf1 It’s not so much pole, it’s first after T1. Except for some extraordinary occurences he who has passed T1 first has won most races. The problem is not that he came from pole, the problem is P2 can’t pass him without an alternative strategy.

        1. Ecclestone deosn;t want any more qualify session like last year…we’ll BUT today who is in the first place at the beginning has a big advantage: difficult to overtake AND staying behind you destroy tyres

        2. This is the real problem first from T1 usually wins.

          Ferrari wont get Front row while in 0.5s disadvantage, no matter what regulation is used…

          Best you can hope for is bad Mercedes starts and Vettel lightning…

      2. @npf1: “If they truly want to randomize qualifying results, they need to get the field as close together as possible”

        The crux of the matter yet so rarely mentioned.

    3. Pole position has not won the race in the 1st 2 races. With aggregate times 4 sets of tyres will be used by q3 so will they have the tyres or have to do 2 laps on the same tyre. I do not find aggregate times offensive but less likely to cause a shock as it will award consistently fast cars more, in the end the race was an aggregate of 57 laps. Aggregate times have to be set on 2 consecutive laps may be interesting it would take away Mercs engine mode trick potentially? In the end I just want last years quali but it shows Bernies genius that before this season no one was discussing chaging quali, now we have people commenting not just to go back to last years quali but different types of quali, Bernie has started a debate on a subject no one was talking about.

  45. I gave it an 8. The midfield racing was really fun, with some great action outside of the DRS zones. Shame about Seb and the first corner incident with Bottas and Lewis as it took two of the front runners out of the equation early. Kimi’s bad start meant that Nico was never properly challenged, but don’t want to take anything from Nico as he thoroughly deserved the win.

    I’m ecstatic for Grosjean and Haas’ 5th place. Looks like they’ve got a serious car underneath them and I think their success is incredibly important for the sport. Also very pleased for Vandoorne and Wehrlein. They both seem like they could be future stars of the sport, given the opportunity in some bigger teams.

    I’m hoping that in the two weeks we have until China that they can sort out the qualifying nonsense once and for all, as it’s getting a bit tiresome. Looking forward to it nevertheless!

  46. As a Belgian I cannot be more proud on Vandoorne. Job well done. He could have done nothing more. Those two moves on both Force Indias were simply great.

    Haas’ car isn’t that bad at all so it seems, I was one who was pretty confident they were going to score but even I had not anticipated this.

    Ouch for Vettel; not good. He most likely would have brought more fun to this race.

    Voted 8 out of 10. Good opening laps and as per usual a bit calm towards the end. With all the complaining we do we must credit whoever came up with these new tyre regs. They increase the show for sure. If only now we get a good Q format and at least some tension for the lead we’re in for a good season.

    1. Now we get Vandoorne or Grosjean to Ferrari?

  47. Too bad that what could have been a very good race was crushed by vettel’s departure and bottas’ stupid move. Other than the first few laps, pretty straight forward race. Somewhat helped by the different tire strategies afforded by the new rules.

    I thought Hamilton was smart to try the undercut at turn 1 to avoid getting pushed wide by nico again. Unfortunately bottas blundered into him. I feel like we were deprived of a cracker.

  48. Opening laps were like a NASCAR race with all of the collisions and car damage. UGH!

    1. Or watching the last lap of this weekend’s MotoGP race.

  49. Just a 6. Yeah the battles were great – but there was just so little drama behind any of them, since they were just for the lower points positions. I was entertained but my heart rate never went much above normal.

    I am certain there will be some good battles for the lead later in the year, but this race was just ho-hum.

  50. Great race again! Would love to, occasionally, see the tires still available to drivers at that point in the race though. Haryanto driving on used tires, Verstappen and Hamilton going for mediums instead of softs. I didn’t know whether this was a strategic decision of a team or a forced decision due to lack of new soft tires.

  51. Ok race, nothing special. Shame about Vettel could have been a fight for 1st. Don’t believe Bottas deserved a penalty, Hamilton left the door wide open and for a racing driver that’s an invitation to pass. My opinion there should have been no penalty or Hamilton should have got one for turning in on Bottas

  52. 7/10
    We had many overtakes, but that was all part of the alternate strategies. Combined with my live streaming leaving me staring at a black screen for some laps here and there, I was always paying attention to figure out who was on which strategy, something that was missing last year. In the end, the result was more obvious than it could have been, except for Williams and Force India failing massively. Kimi was on fire, but, without meaning to underrate Ricciardo’s efforts, that’s all the fighting we saw the leading drivers do.

  53. Great race….I certainly would give it an 8,5 for entertainment.

    Drivers of the show:

    Verstappen, Grosjean, Wehrlein, VanDoorne

  54. 7/10 for me, think this could be Rosberg’s year after all this time, oh and Haas… they’ve suddenly become one of my fave teams in sometime.

  55. 7
    A bit “meh”, apart from Grosjeans drive would have been 5 or 6.

  56. A steady 8…….quite a bit going on to keep me interested almost all the way through…..we are still missing a fight for the lead for the last few laps…..
    If you scored this a 1 or 2 or 3 or 10…..I am not sure you are watching the right sport!!!

  57. A 6 for me, still pretty bad that 4th to 6th were 60 to 80 seconds back and the rest were laps down. As predicted at best a 3 horse race season!

  58. Why was there so many empty seats??? Especially in a Middle Eastern country where you would think people would be held at gunpoint to fill the stands to make Bahrain look like heaven.
    Hey Bernie, let’s see if we can put a race on the moon or maybe Pluto and we’ll use your elimination qualifying but instead those that are eliminated will be shot and we ll put little garden gnomes in the seats on Sunday .
    WAKE UP F1 LEADERSHIP!!!
    6 out of 10…2 points lost on Saturday…1 point on the first corner.

    1. 1 more point because the indecision still stings

  59. It was 6, not too bad race

  60. Maybe it’s because I’m getting a bit long in the tooth myself, but the loss of three WDCs (Vettel, Button and Alonso) took some of the glint off the race for me. Whilst I can appreciate the mid-field racing, for me it’s as much about a battle of personalities, and I get the sense that – with a few exceptions – we are entering an era of drivers who are technically gifted but lack the ‘spark’ to provide the sport with any real sheen of glamour or character. Things may clearly change, but once Hamilton and Vettel retire (following Alonso, Button and Raikkonen) will the paddock profile start to look a little dull? The new tracks lack any heritage or character, and as the sport moves inexorably behind a paywall I’m reminded of how – in the UK – snooker was transformed from a major TV attraction with lots of personalities to a largely ignored minority interest due to a similar shift in the collective profile of its protagonists. Just a thought after what I thought was a largely ‘6’ type of race.

    1. Snooker was a sport? On TV? Oh my goodness. …theres a similar sport in the southern most US of A….cow humping….

    2. Ah that elusive ‘character’. For me, of the ones you mentioned the only driver with noticable ‘character’ is Vettel. Of the new guys Ricciardo and Verstappen are as much characters of the ones of old.

      Agree the race wasn’t as good as it could have been with the champions out though.

      Sakhir no character? I certainly think it has. Great for racing, desert feeling, stylish layout.

  61. 7/10. There was a lot of drama early on but then it all fizzled out pretty predictably though many overtakes were really tasty and DRS was not so bad. However in the middle stages the race appeared chaotic and confusing due to strategies, we saw a lot of overtakes but the positions were pretty stable nonetheless. I would prefer to know which position is really disputed also rather than seeing a bunch of overtakes with everyone on different strategy and the overtake not really ‘giving a position’. But it wasn’t a terrible GP and hope Ferrari win soon.

  62. Not bad gave it a 6. Vettel not even getting a lap and Bottas ruining a battle for the front. Was downhill from there.

  63. I don’t understand these people that say it was a boring race because there wasn’t a fight for the lead. In the history of the sport, fights for the win are not the norm. Never has been, generally speaking. That’s not what F1 is, has been, or should be. I feel sorry for people that can’t enjoy a race without that. I can’t understand why they bother watching. I watched 3 old seasons over the winter, from 3 different decades. F1 is as good now as it’s ever been. I’d forgotten how processional some seasons really were. There’s always been ups and downs, always will be, always should be. Even the qualifying isn’t nearly as bad as some formats we’ve had. The racing today was absolutely fantastic.

  64. Exciting race despite not too many action at the front of the pack. The new three-tyre system worked brilliantly in my opinion. It was great to see Grosjean constantly attacking on the supersofts, while others were trying to be more conservative with the mediums. This variety in strategy meant a lot of overtaking, which ultimately provides the most fun.

  65. Entertaining race, even if the mirroring of strategies made the battle for the top spots a bit lacklustre. A solid 6.

  66. A good 8/10 for me for the race day. Let’s just hope that we never see this qualifying format again.

    It was a real shame to lose Vettel on the warm up lap, as potentially the race could have been even better.

    Watching the race live I thought that Bottas had been harshly dealt with, particularly as the incident was in the melee of the start where normally anything goes. Hamilton left too big a gap, looking to swing back from very wide to get a better drive off the corner than Rosberg (which may well have worked if he’d gotten a better start and there weren’t so many cars close behind him).

    Looking at the replays though, the speed with which Bottas took the gap was clearly too high. It was the complete opposite of Hamilton (wide and slow in, fast out) and I think he may well have run overly wide on the exit if he hadn’t caught Hamilton’s car on the way through.

    Despite it being the start of the race, on reflection I think the penalty was justified.

    Highlights of the race for me: Kimi showing good pace, although we don’t know how good without Vettel on the track, Grosjean executing a well-considered race strategy in the Haas, Kyvyat showing good pace on race day after a frankly horrible start to the season, Vandoorne making a great debut and Manor moving forwards.

    I really worry for Sauber.

  67. Plenty of action, a dramatic start, sparks flying everywhere…. it felt like F1 again today. It’s maybe something to do with this generation of cars, but Bahrain is emerging to be a pretty good track after all. Needed a better challenge for the lead to be honest, but the extra tyre option seemed to shake things up a little today.

  68. It was a decent endurance race – but tyre management central of course. This has to stop – we need on the limit racing for most of the race – if you have voted more than 6 you’re bound to have discovered F1 quite recently and/or don’t realise that the sport is largely contrived now. Far too much aero – totally the wrong tyre for the exercise. WEC is more exciting.

  69. 5/10 and that is being generous. The first 10 laps or so were good but the race after that completely showed everything that is wrong with modern F1 racing. Too many pit stops made it difficult to follow what was happening most of the time, and pretty much every overtake was down to a big pace difference almost exclusively caused by one driver being on tyres of much lower use and/or a much quicker compound, with DRS just making it a formality. This is not exciting, it is “false” racing. The Formula E race from Long Beach the night before and the MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3 races from Argentina were much, much better quality, proper racing, even with the annoying but necessary pit stops in the Formula E and MotoGP races.

    I found it interesting that the Formula E cars looked like they had quite skinny wings, I guess to reduce drag and increase the top speed, this may have always been the case and I just never noticed before. Maybe F1 should mandate skinny wings for every race if it makes for better racing.

  70. A good race, but could have been better if there had been more battles in the top 5, but at least, many battles for the lower points scoring positions, and outside the top 10.

  71. 8/10

    Yes no action on the front was a bummer. And my favorite driver Vettel out even before the race !

    Driver of the day for me was still R. Grosjean, superb passes, enjoyed those.

    Other drivers I enjoyed watching was S. Vandoorne (awesome guy) , K. Magnussen and P. Wehrlein.

    Very unfortunate for Gutiérrez I felt for him, he was passing several cars until his brake failed. Hope they have a double point finish in China. Go Haas !

    I was also surprised the way Ericsson drove, didn’t expect much from him but he is learning I guess.

  72. 9. Great action from the midfielders, which made this as a great race for me. However, I’m gonna say that this wasn’t good as Bahrain 2014.

  73. Not sure if you’re still following this particular topic Josh, but if so congratulations! You made my point for me far more eloquently than I could ever do!

  74. Too late to vote but I gave the race an 8.

    There was no action at the front and the winner was never in doubt after the start but there was plenty happening throughout the rest of the field to make it a good race.

    Rosberg wasn’t troubled and could hardly have had an easier victory, first Vettel’s car failed on the formation lap then Hamilton made another bad start and had a collision which damaged his car and then Raikkonen the only other potential challenger for the victory also had a poor start.

    The different tyre strategies meant that you were not sure where some drivers would finish until late on, the new tyre rules have added some excitement and unpredictability so far but we will have to wait and see if in the long run it remains the same or if all the teams will learn and adapt to the new rules so it ends up like it was before.

    There was a lot of overtakes, however because most were due to either the drivers being on different tyres or fresher tyres or simply a DRS overtake, for the most part the overtakes themselves didn’t provide that much excitement in my opinion.

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