GP BAHRAIN: a report card with a hint of wittiness by Froldi


Vettel. Score: Perf/Vettel. Alright, the name he gave his single-seater is a bit ugly or, at least, its nickname (Gina stands for Regina), but after today’s performance we can easily forgive Vettel and Ferrari for that huge slip. Vettel is insanely hungry and he bit one out of two Mercedes as soon as he started and he didn’t do a single mistake during the race. We can give him summa cum laude, also because he’s starting to speak Italian pretty well.

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Vettel’s defensive manoeuvre against Bottas. Score: Masterpiece. Bottas came careering along after the safety car, taking advantage of the fact that, when restarting the race, Mercedes’ tires get quickly heated. Bottas tried everything. Vettel drove in such a way so he could neutralise him, his clean and sharp manoeuvres are worth as much as a beautifully done overtake. Chapeau.

Well-deserved victory. Score: Unquestionable. Ok, Hamilton got his five-second penalty (his fault, obviously). If there wasn’t the S-Car, the Ferrari would shove off after Hamilton’s first pit stop and it wouldn’t find the two Mercedes paired up. What are we talking about, then?
Ferrari SF70H. Score: 11. Vettel said “I didn’t make the most of my single-seater”. Two facts: with the supersoft tires, the Ferrari was faster than Mercedes. With the soft tires and after many laps, Vettel was able to better manage the race. Hamilton admitted: “I thought I was able to catch Vettel”. Exactly, he thought he was. I cover myself in sackcloth and ashes. Great job, Ferrari.
Team Ferrari. Score: 10. New winning hazard, even though the Scar risked, again, to frustrate the calculated risk. That’s how we like the Ferrari team: tough and badass. It is better to try and fail than being on the back foot. Fortune favours the bold. Always. Side note: the team is the same as last year. So? If you have a high-performing single-seater, you aren’t blocked by strategies and you can dare more.
Mercedes. Score: 6. It’s still a battleship and still a super power. They know for sure how to respond (but I hope they don’t, since I’m for team Ferrari). However, it’s clear that they’re not used to be under the pressure of a rival team that owns a single-seater as powerful (or slightly more powerful) as theirs.
Raikkonen. Score: 6 ½. Alright, he delighted us with some overtakes. However, just like the fortune favours the bold, bad luck knows exactly who you are and often you deserve it. If Iceman were be able to make a good start, or if he were able to qualify 4th (at least), his race would have been different for sure. The rest is just a consequence to his lazy starting and to his non-thrilling qualification. He often had some mysterious issues during three Grand Prix.
Hamilton. Score: 6. He was outdone like a dummy by Vettel. Then, he was sly because he slowed down and by doing that he slowed down Ricciardo too, taking for himself the time for the tire change. Obviously, he faced a sanction.
Hamilton in love with Vettel. Score: 3. I would like to humbly point out that the three-time winner started to look at Vettel with different eyes, less soft. I guessed it right…
Bottas. Score: Good psychologist. It’s a real blow, when you have to make way for your teammate twice (especially if you’re doing good). It is like a humiliation in worldwide broadcast, since it is a way to tell him “you’re the #2”, and they did it twice. Not a good move from Mercedes.
Mad Max. Score: What a pity. I would have enjoyed to see what the young talent would be able to do.
Ricciardo. Score: 6. I believe that today he couldn’t do more than that.

Red Bull. Score: 5. They’re rising the rank, but the single-seater is still far away from the two leading teams. Evil thought: they’re still paying for doing a single-seater with a front suspension part that they used for aerodynamics reasons. They were caught trying to cheat when Ferrari asked for an explanation to the Fia, and they quickly backtracked.
Race direction. Score: 7. I prayed to the gods so that at the end of the race the S-Car wouldn’t appear. I’ve been pleased, once in a while. Last year it would have appeared for sure. It’s clear that now the pilots aren’t blocked by tortuous rules. Good job!
McLaren. Score: Endless tragedy. It seems that before the race Alonso went into a frenzy and told off Honda’s technicians. You can’t blame him.
Marchionne. Score: I was right (on the bad luck). He wasn’t in the box and Ferrari won again. Should I say more? Mr. president, keep watching the Grand Prix from home!
P.S. Would it be insane to see Alonso coming back to Ferrari and replacing Raikkonen in 2018?
Mariano Froldi

Translated by Isabella Lai


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