Race Report: Vettel wins Bahrain GP over Hamilton, Bottas

Photo by: www.kymillman.com/F1

The race in Bahrain never got started for Stoffel Vandoorne as his engine issues this weekend, concerning the MGU-H, prevented him from starting the race. It did start exactly the way Sebastian Vettel wanted having gotten by Lewis Hamilton at the start and slotting behind Valtteri Bottas.

The race turned toward Ferrari’s Vettel when he seemed able to follow Bottas without any serious tire degradation. Vettel pit just before the safety car period and the strategy started to favor the Italian team.

Lewis Hamilton, having fitted Soft compound tires on lap 42, engaged Hammer Time and passed his teammate, Bottas, to run down Vettel in the waning laps of the race. Had he not have had the 5s penalty, this race may have been completely different.

Sebastian Vettel wins the Bahrain Grand Prix with pace and strategy and the help of a 5-second penalty for Hamilton.

Win

Certainly, a win for Ferrari who started 3rd on the grid and worked their strategy and tire management for a win. Vettel’s second of the season and it moves him into the championship lead over Hamilton.

A win for Felipe Massa who took his Williams well into the points having had a bad outing in China a week prior.

Also a win for Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg who scored points capitalizing on his terrific qualifying efforts as well as Romain Grosjean who nursed his Haas F1 into the points.

A win for Pascal Werhlein who had a tidy race upon his return to F1 beating his teammate, Marcus Ericsson but that was made easy with Ericsson’s retirement on lap 52.

Fail

Stoffel Vandoorne and McLaren for never fielding his car for the race. From bad to even worse at McLaren as MGU-H issues prevented him from running and even Honda say they’re not sure what the issue is and if they’re not, who is? This was his first race last season where he scored points so a bad day at the office for Stoffel.

Not the start Lewis Hamilton wanted as he lost a spot to Sebastian Vettel and not the start Kimi Raikkonen wanted either as he lost places to both Red Bulls. Kimi had pace but seemed to get mired behind Felipe Massa for too long. Needed some imagination to get by him. He eventually waited for a DRS pass for 4th on lap 24.

Lance Stroll was surprised to find Carlos Sainz exiting the pits and the two clouted each other at turn one ending both their races. Carlos had a complete view of the track, Stroll was committed and focus on turn one apex, Carlos—on cold tires exiting pit—should have been a little more prudent.

Lewis Hamilton received a 5s penalty for holding up Ricciardo entering the pits during the Safety Car period. It’s understandable as Merc was stacking their pit stops and he wanted to give enough time but the stewards didn’t like the amount of time he was trying to create.

A fail for Red Bull as Max Verstappen looked to factor in the podium until he had a brake failure immediately after his pit stop. Max looked every bit the contender but his race ended early.

McLaren, who didn’t start Vandoorne, saw Alonso with an engine failure that ended his race with a couple laps to go in the race.

WTH

A rare moment of technical issues for Mercedes that saw a slow pit stop, stacked no less, during the safety car period for Sainz/Stroll incident. It put the two silver cars behind the previously pitted Sebastian Vettel on lap 13. Very rare to see a team like Merc has issues like that. With that, Bottas was adrift trying to make ground back toward front.

If you wanted to see what happens on soft compounds and cooler tires, Daniel Ricciardo lost three spaces after the Safety Car restart.

At this point, does it make much sense for Fernando Alonso to keep complaining of a lack of power in the McLaren? He knew that was the case when he got in the car and I think the team are fully aware of it too.

Results:

PosDriverCarLapsGap
1Sebastian VettelFerrari571h33m53.374s
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes576.660s
3Valtteri BottasMercedes5720.397s
4Kimi RaikkonenFerrari5722.475s
5Daniel RicciardoRed Bull/Renault5739.346s
6Felipe MassaWilliams/Mercedes5754.326s
7Sergio PerezForce India/Mercedes571m02.606s
8Romain GrosjeanHaas/Ferrari571m14.865s
9Nico HulkenbergRenault571m20.188s
10Esteban OconForce India/Mercedes571m35.711s
11Pascal WehrleinSauber/Ferrari561 Lap
12Daniil KvyatToro Rosso/Renault561 Lap
13Jolyon PalmerRenault561 Lap
14Fernando AlonsoMcLaren/Honda54Not running
Marcus EricssonSauber/Ferrari50Gearbox
Carlos SainzToro Rosso/Renault12Collision
Lance StrollWilliams/Mercedes12Collision
Max VerstappenRed Bull/Renault11Brakes
Kevin MagnussenHaas/Ferrari8Electrical
Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren/Honda0Not started

DRIVERS’ STANDINGS

PosDriverPoints
1Sebastian Vettel68
2Lewis Hamilton61
3Valtteri Bottas38
4Kimi Raikkonen34
5Max Verstappen25
6Daniel Ricciardo22
7Felipe Massa16
8Sergio Perez14
9Carlos Sainz10
10Romain Grosjean4
11Kevin Magnussen4
12Esteban Ocon3
13Nico Hulkenberg2
14Daniil Kvyat2
15Pascal Wehrlein0
16Antonio Giovinazzi0
17Jolyon Palmer0
18Stoffel Vandoorne0
19Fernando Alonso0
20Marcus Ericsson0

CONSTRUCTORS’ STANDINGS

PosConstructorPoints
1Ferrari102
2Mercedes99
3Red Bull/Renault47
4Force India/Mercedes17
5Williams/Mercedes16
6Toro Rosso/Renault12
7Haas/Ferrari8
8Renault2
9Sauber/Ferrari0
10McLaren/Honda0

 

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Overall Race
race-report-vettel-wins-bahrain-gp-over-hamilton-bottasIt didn't pan out the way I imagined it would but it had some good passing, attrition and strategy calls for an entertaining race.
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Daniel Johnson

The one part that seems to be lost in the shuffle is what happens if Merc doesn’t screw up pit stop on Bottas? No penalty and Lewis gets out quicker. I don’t think this was a case of Vettel winning so much as Merc blowing it with poor execution. I believe the correct term here is cascading failures.

Zachary Noepe

You know I sort of agree but i tried to keep in mind that pit stop wouldve marked the second week in a row vettel made a good strategic pit call only to have Merc luck into a yellow flag right when they needed it. Merc’s slow stop sort of put them back to fair, more so than it screwed them i think.

Negative Camber

It may have ended differently, then again, Vettel may have simply been managing his pace and gap to Lewis. He may have had more up his sleeve and even if there was no penalty, he may have had them covered anyway. Just a thought.

Daniel Johnson

I think we can agree that if Bottas gets a better stop we all get a better race.

My Friendly Atheist disqus acc

I really liked the F1 motor racing NBC aired in between showing ‘just joining viewers’ what happened 10 minutes ago and commercials today. I especially liked the part where NBC went to commercial for so long I stepped into he kitchen to boil a cup of water and do some dishes and then came back just in time to see Vettle start to look at a move for the lead on the side by side only for NBC cut away to show me a building and tell me what I was watching. And then after two laps went back to… Read more »

jcn115

That is why I watch the SkyF1 feed thru the internet

Zachary Noepe

Okay how do you do that? I’ve only found a full sky sports tv package, can you subscribe to f1 via the website like with motogp? I hit the wall with nbc this week the part i do not understand is why they dont run a 5 minute delay on the world feed and put the commercials into opportune moments? You could do that with the technology in my dvr.

jcn115

No, no subscriptions needed. There are several ways to watch Skyf1, for the past years I used Acestream, but you have to find the acestream code, which for this season I have not found it yet. There are websites that show the feed, some with almost HD quality, some not so much. I would suggest to have an Ad blocker installed to your browser because some website have a lot of pop ups and the blocker helps a lot.

Zachary Noepe

Its bad. I understand they have the world feed and dont control it but answer me this why cant nbc run the world feed on a three or ten minute delay and use the time to put the commercials into appropriate places? I have the necessary technology in my dvr, why don’t they?

On this note what are the options in US? I just paid through the motogp site for full video access (with a no-spoiler site setting, nice touch that) is there a similar f1 product available from anyone?

MIE

All the while Mercedes can qualify well with Ferrari having better race pace we will have the potential for close racing. I just hope we get to see them race wheel to wheel on track before one team pulls ahead to be faster on both Saturday and Sunday.

Salvu Borg

Agree that if the so called “free load system” situation stays as is “we have the potential for close racing”, if the “free load system” situation changes FARRARI will just drive away into the distance.

MIE

From what I have read of this ‘free load system’ it appears flawed. http://mccabism.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/optimal-control-theory-and-ferraris.html The article states that the MGU-H takes 60kW to run. This and the 120kW MGU-K would drain the allowed 4MJ of stored energy in only 22.222 seconds. So while the Ferrari would have an extra 27Bhp for about a quarter of the approx ninety second qualifying lap, for the rest of the lap it wouldn’t be able to use the MGU-K (approx 161Bhp) as all the stored energy would be gone. I think Mercedes must be using a different technique to boost their power, one that… Read more »

Salvu Borg

“from what I have read of this free load system it appears flowed”. MIE, Honestly surprised (technically) with this coming from you of all people. Professor Limebeer technical paper of end of 2013, the result of work of research commissioned by FERRARI was before the system hit the race track, calculations of use were on the then forthcoming winter testing (2014). since then my informed calculations points to no less than 40 extra HP gains. Professor Limebeer:. “running with the waste-gates closed is considered to be the most efficient solution for racing conditions. however, the paper also considers qualifying conditions,… Read more »

MIE

I’ve no problem accepting that running with the wastegate open and using the MGU-H to spin the turbo rather than the exhaust gases will give an increase in power output. The issue I have is that this won’t last for a whole lap, the maximum energy stored allowed by the regulations just don’t permit it. I haven’t seen any information on what Mercedes actually uses, but I can speculate on how I would design the system. I would size the turbo big enough to I’ve a 120kW MGU-H, in that way once the ICE was running above 10,500 rpm with… Read more »

Salvu Borg

In the “free load mode” the ICE produces the maximum power output possible.
mAXIMUM

MIE

If the MGU-H takes 60kW to power it, and the MGU-K 120kW, then the maximum power is only available for 4,000,000/180,000 = 22.22 seconds. Yes it will produce more power for those twenty two seconds but then you would just have the output of the ICE without any MGU-K. Great for a single sector, but no good for a complete lap. Maybe this is what Ferrari are doing, but if Mercedes are doing something different (producing less peak power, but a greater mean power over the whole lap) it explains the advantage the silver cars have in qualifying that they… Read more »

Salvu Borg

MIE, Your technical reasoning is totally flowed, Mercedes is doing nothing differently, those 22.22 seconds at maximum possible power output over a qualifying lap which are making all the qualifying lap difference, because of FERRARI’S self imposed restrictions, of which is a combined electrical and mechanical power, is possible by the combination use of MGU-K, MGU-H and ICE, MGU-K and MGU-H are sharing ES power with waste-gates open and exhaust bypassing turbo turbine with ICE at full fuel flow and at maximum boost possible. (NOTE) MGU-K will be supplying electrical power, MGU-H will be spooling the turbo and not actually… Read more »

MIE

But to get the 22.22 seconds at the absolute maximum power means giving up 161Bhp for about a minute over the rest of the lap. All the stored electrical energy (4MJ) will be used in those 22.22 seconds, which means for the rest of the lap there is nothing left to power the MGU-K.

Salvu Borg

No, sorry but you are wrong again. The total electric power to the crankshaft by the K of 161bhp plus the total output of the fully turbo boosted by the exhaust gasses ICE is about 40bhp short/less than that of the free of exhaust back pressure/free load electric turbo charged output of the ICE plus the K output to crankshaft when k and H are sharing ES power. And if we take your stated time example per lap of just 22 seconds this mode can be sustained for, that lap will have an advantage of the additional power this system… Read more »

MIE

But for the rest of the lap (over a minute at Bahrain) the MGU-K will have no power, so the car will be short of 161bhp (for an example of what that looks like look at how easily Alonso was passed on the straight). There would also be no power left to spin the turbo coming out of the corners, so there would be massive turbo lag. Honda have stated publicly that a lot of their performance issues arise because they are running out of electrical power before the end of the lap. Twenty two seconds of maximum possible power… Read more »

Salvu Borg

According to Professor Limebeer research paper “a car running with waste gates closed (with 961bhp present gusstemated) is considered to be the most efficient solution for racing conditions. However, the paper also considers qualifying conditions, where the energy store (ES) can be depleted over the course of a lap “WITHOUT ANY DETERMENTAL CONSEQUENCES’. In short, a car with (1001bhp present gusstemated) for 22 seconds and 800bhp for the rest of the lap will be much faster over that lap than a car having 961bhp for the whole lap. IF the above calculations and reasoning (Profs Limebeer) were not correct the… Read more »

MIE

Using the facility for short periods of a few seconds (off the start line or when overtaking or defending) makes sense. I just don’t see it for a complete lap.

Salvu Borg

They don’t/it cannot be used for a complete lap as it is ES capacity restricted. what you have to remember is that in between its uses the H will be charging back the ES over the lap as will the K when braking over the same lap. A lap never has 100% throttle. As regards the K, both Mercedes and FERRARI are today capable of using its deployment over the whole lap with the development progress they made with the turbo and H. Last time on another thread I was talking to JAKO about the progress FERRARI gained with their… Read more »

MIE

The H cannot be recovering energy if the wastegate is open and it is needed to drive the compressor as a motor. The figures you q quoted in the other thread were a thousand times too small to be of use (kJ rather than MJ). Having read Professor Limebeer’s paper again, I believe I have found the source of confusion. http://vdol.mae.ufl.edu/JournalPublications/F-1-Optimal-Control-Energy-Recovery.pdf In Figure 15 it is shown that in the optimal qualifying lap the maximum 4MJ of energy is fed from the ES to the MGU-K. Yet Figure 16 shows that the wastegate is open (requiring the MGU-H to be… Read more »

Salvu Borg

Of course the H cannot be recovering when the waste gates are open and is driving the compressor.
An MGU-H or K is either harvesting or deploying.
There is no sources of confusion in Professor Limebeer paper.

Salvu Borg

The technological development both mechanical and electrical progress made/achieved in formula one during the years is nothing short of fantastical, but that doesn’t mean that designs are successful first time out, as evidenced by the pains of both Renault and Honda re their ERS systems, but given time there is no doubt that they will get there and right. When it comes to MGU’S (MOTOR/GENERATOR SYSTEMS) one fantastic piece of equipment I remember was when Ross Brawn started in his first years at FERRARI, he acquired a transmission testing rig made possible by the work of a Russian electrical designer… Read more »

Salvu Borg

Once the driver hits the brakes the K goes into harvesting mode as opposed to deploying power, when this happens the H also goes into harvesting mode, because the driver when braking would also lift throttle, and when lifting throttle, what is the ICE going to produce if the H goes spinning the turbo producing excess pressurized/boosted air and no fuel?, if on the other hand the driver does not lift throttle when braking (applying throttle and brake together using both legs), the failsafe algorithm is designed to over ride the throttle and cut the engine, this is controlled by… Read more »

MIE

When the driver lifts his foot off the throttle their is insufficient exhaust gases to keep the turbo spinning so it will slow down. If the H isn’t used to keep it spinning there will be a significant turbo lag when e driver applies the throttle again. Back in the last turbo era, this lag was over a second. So the driver had to apply full throttle on the way into a corner, estimating when he would get full power on the way out. In rallying in the 90s they overcame the turbo lag problem by injecting fuel straight into… Read more »

Salvu Borg

There is no turbo lag on these PU’S with the electric turbocharger drive facility. there is also no need too and it will be wasteful energy that can be made better use off to keep spinning the turbo and pumping pressurized/boosted air into the engine of which the engine cannot make use of when the driver lifts the throttle. ALSO remember that if the driver stays on the throttle while braking, the engine as I have explained will be cut-off by the BBW fail safe system. Another thing that proves what I said about the free load being also available/on… Read more »

Max Johnson

I think Mercedes is faster, Ferrari just seems to do better strategy so far. Bottas holding them up and for some reason Mercedes allowed Ferrari to undercut them and then not reacting pretty much sealed the result.

Junipero Mariano

Does it seem like cars can follow closer this year? I wonder if Ferrari figured that they can’t get pole over the balance of the season, designed for close following and bet on Seb being able to pass. Or is strategy the bigger factor here?

It seemed that Sainz was too far and too slow out of pit line to have a real chance at passing Stroll.

Zachary Noepe

Really a very fun race and good report NC well done. I agree,JP about Sainz but there seems also to be a developing theme wherein Stroll lacks awareness of whats next to him. Perhaps those convex little blind spot mirrors my dad loves, for the Williams? Would be funny to put some in his locker. Sainz was pushy but you can watch an outside car make space in that corner 50 times in that race. You want to protect the inside and he’s so far behind, move over a little and protect it. You wanna leave it open, mind who… Read more »

Salvu Borg

Sainz was penalized for the Stroll accident, he was given a three place grid penalty for the next race.

Negative Camber

I saw it as clearly Carlos’s fault. He had complete track vision and awareness, Stroll was committed to the corner and hunting the apex.

Zachary Noepe

I’m not arguing – agreed – Sainz’s fault. What I’m saying is this seems to happen to Stroll and as they said in the broadcast, the reason there was no Perez penalty is one turn Stroll leaves him room, next turn he forgets he’s there. I’m saying Stroll needs to keep track of the cars around him, regardless of fault. 19 other F1 drivers would have kept an eye on Sainz and saved their own race, whether or not it was right or it made them angry or they were going to complain about it later. Dude’s never finished a… Read more »

jakobusvdl

I think that both Perez and Sainz should have shown a bit more self preservation behaviour. Stroll is obviously operating at the limits of his current capacity, with minimal attention to what is going on around him, as more experienced (and capable) drivers, I’m sure their teams would expect they’d avoid putting themselves in the position where Stroll is likely to collide with them.
Hopefully with a bit more experience Stroll will be a bit less dangerous to be around, but at the moment the others need to give him a wide berth.

Zachary Noepe

Agreed on all points and that’s a good perspective I hadn’t thought of – Sainz should know who he’s taking a risk with. Stroll reminds me of the old Keith Code rule about your ten dollars of racing attention and I think one of the dangers of coming up faster than your skill and experience maybe dictated is he’s spending it all on getting around. He’s actually getting around quite well I think, he’s just not got any of those ten dollars left for watching all the other things happening around him. But Sainz should have fifty cents left over… Read more »

Zachary Noepe

Are we sure Alonso’s car was really broken? I see a lot of theater from the Spaniard and a lot of messages to the world, not sure he wanted anyone to think he got passed on merit at the end.