And They’re Away!
So today saw the first race of the Formula 1 season in Bahrain. While there were many little stories woven in to this rather hyped first race it was unfortunately underwhelming. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure this season will be very exciting but I think many people expected too much from this race.
The main point of hype was the return of Michael Schumacher to the grid after a three-year absence. Personally I don’t think he should be there as, to be honest, what has he got to prove? Either way it’s been hyped to death. Yesterday’s coverage on the Beeb was full of Schumacher this, Schumacher that and culminated in a montage that was narrated by Boris Becker. For me it takes a lot away from the more important things about this season which is the rule changes and the new teams.
The biggest rule change is the removal from re-fuelling from the sport. The last time we had that scenario was back in ’93 when Prost was crowned champion. It takes a lot of guess-work out of the sport of wondering what fuel strategy each team was going with however at the same time some excitement. The changes were implemented to stop races being decided in the pits but that’s what I found fascinating to watch. Purely down to pit-stops cars have leaped two to three places or more by choosing the right time to pit. As it stands now the only thing that will be the unknown is tyre wear and handling on a full tank.
To today’s race then and as previously intimated it wasn’t really that interesting to watch. The new teams were weak but that was to be expected especially Hispania Racing given that they hadn’t done any testing. There were a fair few retirees but there wasn’t much drama, nothing to pique the interest, other than Vettel’s unfortunate demise towards the end of the race denying him victory. In the end it was a Ferrari 1-2 with Alonso, winning on his Ferrari debut, looking imperious. Hamilton came in third, Schumacher finished in 6th and defending champion Button in 7th. Next stop is Australia where, I hope, it’ll be a little more dramatic as the course is a more entertaining than Bahrain which, for a season opener, is a poor choice.