The 2016 Formula One (F1) season started with absolute flares in Melbourne, Australia two weeks ago and it visibly stole the limelight as there were a series of unexpected events.
The Australian Grand Prix was ultimately dominated by Nico Rosberg with his Mercedes. The first red flag of the season was waved after a high-speed collision between McLaren-Honda’s Fernando Alonso and Haas’ Esteban Gutierrez. Also, Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen made a fiery exit from the track back to his pit stop and bagged a DNF.
The F1 team now paddocks to one of the hottest tracks of the season- Bahrain. It was indeed a dramatic start in Australia but will things get better in Sakhir?
Here are the main talking points for this weekend.
NICO ROSBERG TO HEAT THINGS UP
Bahrain has an average maximum temperature in March and generally goes down as the day hits night. However, Nico Rosberg is certainly going to bring much more fire to the race. The German had a wonderful start in Australia after a powerful performance. Although his victory can be attributed to the minor Ferrari slip up, Rosberg proved that his determination cannot be underestimated. Rosberg has yet to win in Bahrain and nothing his stopping him to make a change. If there’s anything about Rosberg, it’s the fact that he has a strong willpower and will never take no for an answer. He’s going to make sure he wins in Bahrain.
VETTEL ALL PUMPED UP
Need I say more? Sebastian Vettel was extremely outstanding in Australia. He sent team principal Maurizio Arrivabene jumping and cheering when he took over Hamilton and led the race in the first lap. He had the brightest chance to score a winning opener but it took just a faulty pit stop to shatter his hopes. If the pit stop had not been delayed by a mere 2 seconds, Vettel would have probably made it to the centre of the podium. The frustration will definitely be carried forward and he will certainly do his best to show Mercedes exactly why they should be worried about Ferrari. If Vettel perfectly follows the team’s orders and channels his full focus on the race, there’s no doubt that he will be able to win the overall race this time.
MORE MCLAREN WOES
McLaren has been in absolute pain with Honda since the start and following their dreadful season last year, it is sad to say that those laments will be validated again this season. Honda is certainly not on par with other competitive engines such as Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault hence McLaren will have a hard time trying to compete with the others – even Manor. McLaren would have to work their way up from Q1 itself and it is undeniably a crucial part for the team. Also, it has been announced that Alonso will be excluded from Bahrain due to injuries.
ALL EYES ON GROSJEAN
Romain Grosjean gave newbie Haas a grand start as the he took the team to a points-finish in their maiden race despite starting from the back of the grids. With that being said, there’s no doubt the Frenchman can take the team further with his improvements. Despite the thought, the team remained humble upon their victory and cited the win as a matter of luck. But we all know that Haas is extremely capable on bringing some competition. Even team principal Gunther Steiner is confident that the team will be able to repeat their triumph as long as they keep up with the momentum.
TORO ROSSO GUNNING AFTER POINTS
The team teen made a great impression in Australia courtesy of Max Verstappen as he was one of the major threats from the start and was even neck-to-neck with Hamilton for a few laps. Toro Rosso has yet to secure any points in Bahrain and Verstappen is determined to change that. Last year, Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr both retired from the race due to separate issues. Looking at the team’s condition now with Ferrari’s engines from last year, they could be securing many points finishes throughout the season.