The Alternative Review – Bahrain
Who would have thought that putting the race on a few hours later than normal and switching on some lights would produce a thriller in Bahrain? Even with the Mercedes drivers a good sight faster than anyone else, the Sakhir circuit threw open the doors to an overtaking-fest. Oh, and a few rock legends turned up too, making for an interesting The Alternative Review. (but then again, when isn’t TAR – as we’ve nicked-named it at Richland Towers – interesting?)
A pensioner asks questions
Last week it was Benedict Cumberbatch doing the podium interviews and generally causing every teenage girl in the UK to suddenly become interested in Formula One. This week? A pensioner (no, not that one) was asked to conduct the interviews on the rostrum by Bernie. Thankfully this particular pensioner - Brian Johnson (him from AD/DC) - is (a) a bit of a legend and is (b) a huge petrolhead. Nick Mason, Mike Rutherford and Jools Holland also turned up to have their ears serenaded by the lovely sound of turbocharged V6s. Who said that Bahrain doesn’t attract the celebs, again?
Angry Frenchman is angry
During the race we were treated to an angry Frenchman on the radio. No, angry fishermen aren’t blockading Calais and taking to the airwaves to announce their displeasure yet, but a certain Jean-Eric Vernge from Paris was pretty angry claiming that Pastor Maldonado was “trying to kill me” with his, ahem, dodgy driving. (Not the only incident involving the cash-laden Venezuelan – see below)
Aside from it being the overreaction of the day, the way he said it was hilarious – it sounded like he was on the Xbox playing CoD and one of one his pals had shot him. My mum summed up drivers grumbling the best, though: “they’re like spoilt kids grumbling to a teacher” she said. Couldn’t have put it better myself.
Don’t you remember anything from your driving lessons, Pastor?
A key talking point from yesterday’s race was that collision between the resident F1 villain Mr. Maldonado and Esteban Gutierrez which sent the Sauber flying. Thankfully the Mexican is okay and was discharged from the local hospital after a brief check-up yesterday evening.
As I watched the replay of the incident I noticed something: you know when you learn to drive and you’re constantly reminded to check your mirrors and blind-spots when you’re coming out of a junction or pulling away? Well Pastor was coming out of the pit-lane at the time (F1’s equivalent of the Moto services on the M5) and didn’t bother to check his blind-spots and the like. So, Pastor, take this advice onboard for the next time you exit the pit-lane: check your mirrors, signal, check your blind-spots and then pull out when if it is safe to do, OK?
Also, it is the kind of incident you see coming into the first corner on the first lap when you’re playing online on F1 2013. Having been the perpetrator and also having had my car rammed several times I feel for both involved in the incident. Obviously there’s no “restart” option in real life so Gutierrez’s race came to a rather abrupt end, but – as mentioned above – the main thing is that is that he is perfectly fine.
Team-mates fighting it out? And not crashing? Are you mad? If you didn’t watch the race you’d be forgiven for thinking that I made that bit up, but up and down the pack team-mates were going hammer-and-tong at each other and wasn’t it refreshing to watch? Obviously the Mercedes duo fighting got the most attention because they were scrapping for the lead like a pair of twelve year olds in their third karting race. Over at Williams, Felipe Massa reigned supreme against Bottas after a clean and very fair scrap. You wouldn’t bet against the Grove-based outfit getting a few podiums this season, would you? Sir Frank must be elated with how this season is going and rightly so.
“Sebastian, Daniel is quicker than you”
Does this really need an explanation? Mark Webber surely would have had a wry smile on his face when he heard that sentence. On a serious note, Daniel Riccardo drove a controlled race to fourth place to – officially, anyway – get his 2014 scorecard off to a start. Now attention will turn to Paris in six days’ time to see if Red Bull can argue their way out of this hole and re-claim another 18 points for the perpetual smiler.
“Anyone who thinks this is boring is an idiot” – Niki Lauda
Images courtesy of Mercedes AMG F1 Team.
Daniel Puddicombe is an up-and-coming motoring and motorsport writer. Having had work experience with CAR magazine, Autocar and AUTOSPORT, he knows a thing or two about writing for a large audience. After being introduced to editor, Luke Smith at Brands Hatch while they both covered F2, Daniel has quickly become involved in the Richland F1 programme. From the serious to the downright stupid, Daniel can write to suit any purpose. Or so people say.