Last weekend the Bahrain Grand Prix provided Formula 1 fans with what they’ve been waiting for. We got tight battles, plenty of overtakes, power unit failures, and a few car retirements. Some teams looked alot better than expected and others were a letdown.
I’m going to discuss everything we can take from the Bahrain Grand Prix and decide whether or not the teams that faltered in Bahrain can turn it around. I’m going to let you know if what occurred at Bahrain was legitimate and if we should expect these trends to continue.
Is this the year Ferrari and Leclerc win it all?
Ferrari had a phenomenal first race of the year, finishing with a one-two from Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr. Leclerc led almost the entire time and the Ferrari looked quick down the straight and very capable of passing.
Leclerc has been a great driver for the past few years, especially in his time with Ferrari, but can the Monaco native take home the drivers championship this year? And can he help Ferrari to their first Constructors Championship since 2008?
Let’s pump the brakes on this hype train for now. There’s no doubt Ferrari built a great car for this season and Leclerc is one of the best five drivers in F1 in my opinion, but Red Bull and Mercedes will only improve as the season continues.
I think Leclerc will win a few more races this year but I’m not sure if Sainz will be able to hang with the Red Bull’s and Mercedes’ all year. It will be interesting, but I’m not sold on Ferrari winning it all just yet.
Ferrari won the first race in 2010, 2017, and 2018 but didn’t win the Constructors any of those years. Also, no driver has won the first race of the year and the Drivers’ Championship since Nico Rosberg in 2016.
Can Haas compete for fourth place this year?
Ferrari, Red Bull, and Mercedes were clearly the fastest cars on track this weekend, but a surprise fifth place finish came from Kevin Magnussen in the Haas. Red Bull fell out of the top ten due to late power failures which means Haas is currently third in the Constructor’s standings.
Assuming Red Bull will fix their issues and will be in the top three, it currently looks like Haas is fighting for fourth place. Their car is very quick and now that they’ve gotten rid of Nikita Mazepin, they have a legitimate racer in Kevin Magnussen as their number one driver.
I don’t think this is that crazy of an idea. Haas’ car last season was so bad because they put all their money and resources into this new car… and it’s working. Magnussen will have to pull off some great defends throughout the year but I think Haas can finish top five this season.
Will Mclaren be this bad all year?
Perhaps the biggest surprise from the Bahrain Grand Prix was Mclaren’s lackluster performance. The orange car was not seen past Q1 as both Ricciardo and Norris did not start in the top 15.
The race did not go their way either as neither driver picked up any points. The car seemed really rough around slow corners and didn’t have the straight-line speed of some of the other cars. Will Mclaren be able to bounce back or are they in for a brutal year?
I’m expecting a weak season from Mclaren after what I saw in Bahrain. Granted, Bahrain is a very unique track that did not play to Mclaren’s advantages, but I doubt they’ll be that much better at other tracks.
I assume Mclaren will compete for 5th or 6th place, but they want to be competing for the top three spots. Hopefully they can find a way to turn this bleak start around.
Do the new cars race better than last years?
Without a doubt, unequivocally, yes. Last year when races started, Hamilton and Verstappen were ahead of the pack almost immediately. Last weekend all 20 cars stayed relatively close for the first two laps.
These cars have focused on aerodynamics that push air above the car behind them, avoiding dirty air better which provides for cleaner racing. Charles Leclerc stated that he definitely feels a difference in the quality of racing and overtaking so far.
Hopefully these improvements will only continue and we will get to see even better, tighter races. All I know is this season is set up to be an absolutely crazy one!