After a long winter of no action and little to speak of, Formula One cranks it up a gear and returns in earnest for the opening round of the 2010 World Championship. As the cars line up on the Bahrain grid, many questions still remain unanswered, but as the anticipation grows, attention is again centred on the 24 cars and drivers about do battle with one other.
The two major rules that have changed for this season and therefore worth noting are a new points system and the lack of refueling. At the end of the race, ten drivers will be awarded points based on the new 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1 system. And a ban on topping up the car with gas during the race means all drivers start with a very heavy fuel load. This extra weight will add further pressure to the tyres and those who manage to control their rubber degradation will undoubtedly be rewarded.
The top-ten qualifiers all have to start the race on the very same tyre they set their fastest lap on in qualifying yesterday. For almost all, this means starting on the super-soft compound. Only Adrian Sutil chose to run on the medium tyre, and therefore the German should be able to drive a longer first stint in comparison to those ahead of him. If Sutil can hold on to the pack, he could upset a few people this afternoon.
Falling back from the top-ten, the remaining pilots can start on whichever tyre they like, and most are expected to start on the medium to maximise their opening stint. However, a few could go for a more daring strategy and start on the super-softs. Hispania Racing are expected to start the Bahrain Grand Prix from the pitlane, having qualified in the final two positions and likely to be wanting to stay out of the way on the opening lap. Pitstops, now only concerned with changing the tyres, are expected to be around the 4s-stationary mark.
Unlike previous Bahrain Grands Prix, the 2010 event will use the longer Endurance configuration, extending the lap from 5.412km to 6.299km. The extended loop at the top of the lap is relatively slow and quite bumpy. The extra route has added around 20s to the overall lap time. More information on the Bahrain Grand Prix can be found on BlogF1’s dedicated page, or at the sister site, AerialF1.
|1.||Fernando Alonso Ferrari||49 Laps||1:39:20.396||25pts|
|2.||Felipe Massa Ferari||49 Laps||+16.0s||18pts|
|3.||Lewis Hamilton McLaren||49 Laps||+23.1s||15pts|
|4.||Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing||49 Laps||+38.7s||12pts|
|5.||Nico Rosberg Mercedes||49 Laps||+40.2s||10pts|
|6.||Michael Schumacher Mercedes||49 Laps||+44.1s||8pts|
|7.||Jenson Button McLaren||49 Laps||+45.2s||6pts|
|8.||Mark Webber Red Bull Racing||49 Laps||+46.3s||4pts|
|9.||Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India||49 Laps||+53.0s||2pts|
|10.||Rubens Barrichello Williams||49 Laps||+62.4s||1pt|
|11.||Robert Kubica Renault||49 Laps||+69.0s|
|12.||Adrian Sutil Force India||49 Laps||+82.9s|
|13.||Jaime Alguersuari Scuderia Toro Rosso||49 Laps||+92.6s|
|14.||Nico Hulkenberg Williams||48 Laps||+1 Lap|
|15.||Heikki Kovalainen Lotus||47 Laps||+2 Laps|
|16.||Sebastien Buemi Scuderia Toro Rosso||46 Laps||+3 Laps|
|17.||Jarno Trulli Lotus||46 Laps||Hydraulics|
|18.||Pedro De La Rosa Sauber||29 Laps||Hydraulics|
|19.||Bruno Senna Hispania Racing||19 Laps||Engine|
|20.||Timo Glock Virgin Racing||18 Laps||Gearbox|
|21.||Vitaly Petrov Renault||15 Laps||Suspension|
|22.||Kamui Kobayashi Sauber||13 Laps||Hydraulics|
|23.||Lucas Di Grassi Virgin Racing||3 Laps||Hydraulics|
|24.||Karun Chandhok Hispania Racing||2 Laps||Mechanical|