Monday, March 15, 2010

F1 2010 Bahrain

The first race of the 2010 season is in the record books. Redbull Racing picked up where they left off last year with an outstanding qualifying performance by Vettel. Unfortunately, they seem to have kept the gremlins from last year as well, and Vettel was barely able to hang on to fourth place. With all the technology that goes into a F1 car, it's amazing a low tech exhaust problem can still destroy your race.

Even if Vettel had not had his problems, it's doubtful that the Ferrari's would have been able a make fight of it, as they had problems with over heating, which of course meant they couldn't really follow to closely. Which in turn makes passing difficult. Maclaren's aerodynamic problems were a surprise as this car has been in development since the middle of last season. None of the top teams have the perfect package yet, so we can expect to see lots of improvements as the season progresses.

The new rule that forces the top 10 qualifiers to start the race on the same tires as they used in qualifing, is going to take the strategists a few races to figure out. In most cases the best qualifying tire is not the best race tire, so if you want pole you are going to hurt for the first few laps of the race. I wonder who will be the first to give up on pole just to start on the optimum tire. It's not an unreasonable strategy.

There are lots of new teams and drivers this year. Some of the drivers hadn't even sat in the car before Friday practice. That's cutting it close! But Lotus definitely deserves applause for having both cars finish the race. That's quite a feat for any new team.

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