TFTV – Bahrain

Features Tales from the vault

2010 – Alonso’s dream Ferrari debut

Fernando Alonso beat his teammate Felipe Massa to take a win for Ferrari on his debut for Ferrari. The Spaniard took victory after Sebastian Vettel suffered a spark plus failure early on in the race dropping him to fourth.

Felipe Massa finished second, on his return following his accident in Hungary the previous year. Lewis Hamilton fended off Vettel despite being hindered by a spark plug failure. The McLaren wasn’t able to keep pace with the Ferrari’s or Red Bulls.

On his return to the sport, Michael Schumacher was unable to keep pace with team-mate Rosberg in the early stages of the race and spent the afternoon holding off the faster McLaren of Jenson Button.

Bahrain saw the debut of three new teams Lotus, Virgin and HRT, all these teams managed to get a car to the finish. Since then, all three teams have folded

2011 – The race which never happened

The Bahrain race remains controversial because of the Bahraini Uprising, which has continued to this day. In late 2010, a wave of protests and civil wars swept across North Africa and the Middle East.

That reached Bahrain in February, with the government launching a crackdown on protestors. That continues to this day as the protesters are still demanding that the ruling monarchy gives up its near-absolute control over key policies and positions.

Last week, Human Rights Watch reported that the interior minister Sheikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al-Khalifa said the government was already tracking accounts that “departed from national norms, customs and traditions,” and threatened unspecified new legislation and heavy punishments against “violators.”

2014 – Dual of the silver arrows

The third race of the season was the first race to be held under floodlights. Qualifying was an intense battle between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, as they were in a class of their own with the German taking pole.

Hamilton and Rosberg sailed off into the night, as they begin to fight each other for the victory. The two were fighting amongst themselves as they opened up a gap over the rest of the field. The Englishman opened up a gap before the safety car.

The safety cat was caused by the crash between Esteban Gutierrez and Lotus’ Pastor Maldonado.

Rosberg appeared determined to reclaim the lead and tried several times to pass his team-mate into Turn One and through Turn Four, each time to be repelled by firm but fair defence. However, his charge was halted after his tyres went off.

Gutierrez was turning through Turn One when Maldonado, who was coming out of the pits, smashed into the side of the Mexican, sending it into a barrel-roll. Maldonado was handed a 10-second stop-go penalty during the race.

Force India performed well as Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg ran in third and fifth. Perez however, did hold off the Red Bulls in the closing stages of the race.

The Perez and Ricciardo were just as close as it was between the Mercedes, the Australian had a difficult start to his first season with Red Bull. But despite the setbacks, in Bahrain, he proved he could race.

2016 – Rosberg’s charge

The 2016 race was another race that looked to be a battle between the Mercedes. However, Nico Rosberg made the better start as his teammate Lewis Hamilton made a bad start falling behind and making contact with Valtteri Bottas.

It was a race to forget for both Sebastian Vettel and Jolyon Palmer who both did not start after technical problems on the formation lap. Vettel retired after suffering an engine failure half-way around the formation lap.

On his debut, McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne scored his first points in Formula One.

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