Starting in pole position, and demonstrating the skill and determination that have made him a world champion, Sebastian Vettel took the checkered flag at the Bahrain Grand Prix yesterday – his first win of the year. While political unrest in the streets of Manama – twenty miles or so from the track – attempted to shut down the event, Formula One competitors put their energies into the task at hand, doing what they do best and giving the fans what they came to see – plenty of competitive on-track action.
Vettel put in a flawless performance from start to finish, making the Bahrain Grand Prix his 22nd career victory and putting him at the top of the drivers’ standings. In a post-race interview Vettel noted that he was lucky in having a good start allowing him to open up a gap in the front, while acknowledging that Kimi Raikkonen had challenged him during the race. Raikkonen revealed that he had only one possible chance to pass Vettel, but was just not able to pull it off, stating nonetheless that it had been a good race for them both.
James Grosjean took third place, noting that he was very happy to have achieved his first podium finish in Formula 1 racing. Mark Webber finished in fourth place, with Nico Rosberg taking fifth place, Paul Di Resta in sixth, Fernando Alonso in seventh and Lewis Hamilton in eighth.
While the political tensions in Bahrain are multi-faceted, the protests surrounding the Bahrain F1 Grand Prix focus primarily on the fact that Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa owns the rights to the Grand Prix and was therefore the event’s host. Protesters objected to this connection for a number of reasons, particularly relating to the crushing of the Arab Spring movement by the ruling family last year. In 2004, Bahrain was the first Middle Eastern country to host a Formula 1 Grand prix, with Abu Dhabi hosting an event on the 2009 calendar at Yas Marina circuit. While the unrest and protests made world headlines, they appear to have had little effect on how auto racing fans view the prestige of the Formula 1 Grand Prix.
The 2012 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix will take place on Sunday the 22nd of April 2012. Practice sessions 1 and 2 will be on 20 April, while Practice session 3 and Qualifying ar on 21 April. The race consists of 57 laps around a 5.412 km circuit, totalling a distance of 308.238. Watch the Grand Prix to find out if Michael Schumacher’s 2004 lap record of 1:30.252 can be broken.
Dates: 22 April 2012
Venue: Bahrain International Circuit
Country: Kingdom of Bahrain
The Hispania Racing F1 Team is making its Formula One debut in the 2010 Formula One season, having the distinction of being the first Spanish team to race in this exciting sport. Formed by Adrián Campos and previously known as Campos Meta 1, Hispania Racing F1 Team had both a change of name and change of ownership as it entered the F1 scene, being named as one of the three new teams to break into F1 racing in 2010. The team is now wholly owned by Spanish businessman José Ramón Carabante.
Driving their Cosworth CA2010 powered Hispania F110 cars, Karun Chandhok and Bruno Senna failed to make the grade in the first race of the season, the 2010 Bahrain Grand Prix. Both drivers qualified at the back of the grid, with Chandhok crashing on the second lap of the race, reportedly due to hitting a bump on the track. Senna was forced to retire from the race on the 18th lap as his car’s engine overheated. While the season may have started out on a disappointing note for Hispania Racing, there is every reason to believe that things will improve as the season progresses and no doubt both the team and F1 racing fans are looking forward to seeing great things from this new team – Hispania Racing.
Virgin Racing made its F1 debut as one of the four new teams granted entry to the 2010 Formula One Championships. Originally granted entry as Manor Grand Prix on 12 June 2009, the team changed its name to reflect its title sponsor – Richard Branson’s Virgin Group – with the FIA releasing a revised entry list with the team’s new name on 30 November 2009.
Virgin Racing is based in Dinnington, South Yorkshire, England, with John Booth as the team principal and Nick Wirth as the technical director. The team’s drivers are Timo Glock of Germany, and Lucas di Grassi of Brazil, with test drivers being Luiz Razia (Brazil) and Andy Soucek (Spain). The team boasts cars designed entirely using computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Its chassis is the VR-01 with Cosworth CA2010 engine and sporting Bridgestone tires. While the team is based in Dinnington, the development and production of the cars is handled by Wirth Research, based in Bicester. Virgin owns eighty percent of the team, with other sponsors being Lloyds Banking Group, Bridgestone, UST Global, Carbon Green, and CSC.
Both drivers were forced to retire from their debut race at the 2010 Bahrain F1 Grand Prix. Nonetheless, the entire team has displayed a positive attitude noting that while they have some teething problems to overcome, the season is still young and there is plenty of opportunity to show that Virgin Racing has what it takes to compete in this demanding, and exciting, sport.
Lotus Racing made its F1 Championship debut at the 2010 Bahrain F1 Grand Prix, with drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli finishing in fifteenth and seventeenth place respectively. The CEO of Lotus Racing is Riad Asmat, with Mike Gascoyne as the technical director. The team’s drivers are Italian Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen of Finland, with Malaysian Fairuz Fauzy as test driver. The Lotus T127 chassis is powered by a Cosworth CA2010 engine, with Bridgestone supplying the tires.
While the name Lotus may be a familiar one to racing enthusiasts, Lotus Racing is not a resurrection of the original Team Lotus that was so prominent on the F1 scene between 1954 and 1994. It is a new team that is an initiative of the Malaysian Government to promote national unity, and is backed by a consortium of Malaysian entrepreneurs, including Proton (the owner of Lotus Cars and the connection to the original team), Tune Group, Sepang International Circuit, Naza Motors, the Automobile Association of Malaysia, and the Motorsports Association of Malaysia.
Lotus Racing was a late entry into the 2010 F1 Championships, and pulled out all the stops to have its cars on the grid for the first race of the season. Having successfully completed their debut event, the future looks promising for this new team, with a legendary name.