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Bahrain GP: Without a reliable car, all efforts become futile

Frustrating end for a great drive. Great midfield battles, and lucky Mercedes

Leclerc owned the race, but at the end the car owned him.

After a dominating performance during the weekend thatresulted with securing pole position on Saturday, Leclerc was in prime positionto win the race. Even after dropping to third place after the first lap, he foughtback on lap 2 to pass Bottas and then on lap 5 to reclaim first place from histeam mate Vettel, and he managed to continue the dominating command for themajority of the race. 
Then came the last 11 laps and the radio message played andwe heard it, “there is a something strange with the engine”, and the hearts ofF1 fans fell.
I say this knowing that Mercedes fans are thrilled for the1-2 that was secured, however any F1 fan would have felt gutted for this youngdriver losing the race, due to engine failure, robbing him from the maiden victoryhe deserved. The late Safety car due to the double retirement of the Renault teamsaved his podium finish. A bittersweet finish for what was about to be a dreamfinish.
I appreciate the class shown by Hamilton, first in waving apologeticallywhen he passed him, and then in post-race acknowledging his skill and encouraginghim to fight on and reminding him that his future is a bright one.

The battle of the mid-field intensifies

Red Bull: Verstappen is a beast that does not backout from a fight, and I love him for that, however he needs to start managinghis fights better. I have no doubt that he can be an F1 champion. But he needsto find the right mindset to be able to challenge.
McLaren: With Lando Norris pulling a good recoveryfrom a poor start and finishing sixth place, while holding off the Alfa Romeoof Kimi Raikkonen, the young rookie showed signs of being a good replacement forthe amazing Fernando Alonso.
Haas: Kevin Magnussen badly suffering from a one-stopstrategy, and Romain Grosjean having a bad weekend and a grid penalty for blockingduring qualifying, it is a second weekend in row where the team that showedplenty of promise in the 2018 campaign, having allot of work to do in improvingtheir qualifying and race performance.
Alfa Romeo: I admit I was skeptical of Kimi’sdecision to move back to Sauber (now Alfa Romeo), but I stand corrected afterwitnessing his consistent performance during the race. However, I believe thatthe team needs to work hard on their qualifying performance to be able tochallenge for best of the rest
Renault: lets not go there. Double retirement withina few seconds on the same turn due to engine failure, shows that Red Bull madethe right decision by switching to Honda power units. Lets see what the futureholds, but Renault are not yet ready to challenge.

Conclusion

I did not mention the mishaps of Vettel today on purpose.His misadventures in Bahrain are a clear indication that he is not in the rightmindset and he needs to regain that which he showed in 2018. For now, Leclercis getting the best of him, and so is Hamilton and Bottas, and to a someextent, Verstappen.
Ferrari have allot of work to do, and so do the other teamsin the mid-field. However, Mercedes as they have proven in 2017 and 2018 campaignsare master strategists and have nailed each race. Hiding their performance towhen it matters, qualifying and race.
All eyes now focus onChina, which I believe Mercedes will be the better team simply because theywill execute a better strategy than Ferrari and the rest.

Time will tell. See you next week

About the Author

Tamer Amr

A father, and fanatic about F1. Also, I love the Spanish, Premier and Champions Leagues. I am working on becoming a landscape photographer

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