[REPORT] Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2021

Updated: Apr 10, 2021

The Top 3


In a nail biting battle that had our hearts racing right until the end of the race, emerged a winner who is so accustomed to P1, he holds the world record for it! Lewis Hamilton managed to keep his Mercedes ahead by a dangerously narrow gap of only 0.7 seconds as he passed the chequered flag!



The FIA ruling of not monitoring track limits at Turn 4 was shrewdly exploited by Mercedes throughout the race. It not only helped their drivers with tyre preservation, but also hurt the other drivers who were adhering to track limits of their own accord. Luckily for Lewis, by the time the loophole was brought to Max's notice, it was too late and warnings started pouring in.

Unfortunately for Max, he had P1 on lap 53 which he then had to hand back to the reigning world champion as he went off the track at Turn 4 in order to gain the position. However, Max's gamble of taking another shot at Lewis on 10-laps-younger tyres (C2 hards) did not pay off and took a little badgering from the turbulent air in front of him. "I can see the positives, we're really putting the fight on them. We scored good points.", the disconsolate Dutchman was quoted as saying to Jenson Button at the end of the race.



Lap 53 (The defining moment): Verstappen lets Hamilton through

As for Valtteri Bottas in P3, his tough luck from 2020 seems to have no end. A pitstop gone wrong on lap 31 lasted for 10.9 seconds after his front right tyre refused to come off and made the Bahrain Grand Prix a two horse race between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton. (as it always becomes) For the Flying Finn, it was quite a disappointing race.


 

Smashing Records in Bahrain


  1. New World Record! In lap 42 of this race, Lewis Hamilton broke the world record for maximum number of laps led in Formula 1. (The previous record of 5111 was held by Michael Schumacher)

  2. Hamilton extended his own record to 96 career Grand Prix wins with his victory at Bahrain.

  3. Hamilton, Verstappen and Bottas took the podium together for the 14th time in Bahrain, equalling the record previously held by the trio - Hamilton, Vettel and Nico Rosberg.

 

Bahrain Brand Prix 2021 Highlights



The real star of the race was Red Bull's Sergio Perez, who started from the end of the pit lane after a formation lap disaster. The Mexican had an electrical issue which forced him out before the grid was even in place, thus kicking off a second formation lap! A series of brilliant moves from Checo resurrected Red Bull Racing Honda, putting their second car at P5!



While the battle was raging in the front, the two Mclarens were busy grabbing points as well. In the midfield, Lando Norris gained track position early on in the race and held the ambitious Ferrari of Leclerc at bay towards the end of the race to come home at P4 - quite a close battle! In the meanwhile, teammate Ricciardo was struggling for grip and nearly finished where he started at P7.



The shortest and youngest man on the grid, Yuki Tsunoda became the first Japanese F1 driver to score points since 2012! Having started 13th, Tsunoda pulled off some smooth overtakes to put himself in the points. Gasly lost his front wing in Lap 7 and had to pit, costing him track position and eventually the race. (DNF)



Making a return to Formula 1, the Aston Martin Formula 1 Team just about managed to enter the points with Lance Stroll's AMR21 in P10. Vettel, however, was awarded a 5 place grid penalty on Saturday after the stewards found him guilty of having ignored yellow flags during the qualifying session. To make things worse, he was also involved in a collision with Esteban Ocon at Turn 1.



The Ferraris showed some strong pace in the opening race of the season with both the prancing horses finishing in the points at P6 (Leclerc) and P8 (Sainz) respectively.


After a dismal 2020 season, the reds have made quite a comeback and are hungry for more.




Alpine had a rough start to the season with. Two time world champion Fernando Alonso faced brake-overheating issues which caused him to retire in the first race of his comeback season in Formula 1. Unfortunately for teammate Esteban Ocon, he was involved in an incident with Vettel at Turn 1 which resulted in him being spun around.




Haas somehow never see the light of day. Nikita Mazepin, in his debut race, crashed during the first lap itself and had to retire his car. Teammate Mick Schumacher, who was also driving his debut race, pedalled on and finished at P16 behind the 4-time world champion Sebastian Vettel.




It has been a great season opener for Formula 1 at the Bahrain Grand Prix 2021. The midfield is competitive and the newbies are just about getting started. Sir Lewis Hamilton, as he is now, continues to either create, extend or smash world records. What will happen next in Italy? Drop your thoughts in the comment section below.

 

All pictures used in this post are the courtesy of Formula 1, Sky Sports F1 and FormulaGrafica and have been used for illustrative purposes.

 

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