Banter Wars Bahrain recap: damn those Hydraulics
This Banter Wars update is a touch late but I'm hoping you will all taking moving to another continent as a good enough excuse for this not being a little earlier [Jon's moved out to Vietnam - Richard]. Enough of that claptrap though; lets get back to the subject at hand: Banter Wars.
The first news of the weekend was the best from a Banter Wars perspective; Lloyd's Hispania F1 Racing Team had made it to the grid. They had made it through somehow and turned up in Bahrain with both two cars and two drivers. They may not have set the timesheets alight but they are in and you've got to be in it to win it.
Friday practice showed the Lotuses looking to be shadowing the Virgins and Bruno's Hispania a few seconds further off the pace. The new teams officially served notice that they would not be troubling any of the established teams anytime soon but that matters little to us in the fight for the blue flag cup and so we awaited qualifying.
It was no surprise that all six cars were chucked out in qualifying one, along with Jamie Alguersuari's Toro Rosso which was the best part of three seconds ahead of the best from our beloved teams.
Surprisingly the first of the new cars on the grid wasn't the ex-Toyota driver everyone was expecting. It was Timo Glock that put the bit between his teeth and muscled his way past Mr Qualifying himself Jarno Trulli. Kovalainen followed Trulli in third with di Grassi taking the last point available in qualifying. Senna was more than 2.6 seconds off the back of di Grassi in the Hispania but given they've done zero testing and their development must have suffered through the turmoil, that was more than respectable.
At this stage Virgin led the Blue Flag Cup with 11-8-0 lead over Lotus and Hispania respectively. Sadly this would not last come Sunday.
The race was gutting for me personally. Virgin struggled throughout testing with hydraulic problems and they came back to haunt us in Bahrain. Someone suggested Glock making it through 16 laps was an achievement but thats 33 laps to few, or if you prefer we are currently capable of 33% of a race distance. That's not going to cut the mustard.
The race was better for Richard who took a big chunk of points with Heikki coming in a respectable two laps down for a lovely 25 point banter wars score. Trulli's retirement 3 laps from the finish was welcome for me and Lloyd however as it stopped Richard taking out a huge lead early in the championship. Although 38-11-0 still looks daunting for me and Lloyd.
Lloyd fared little better than me, Senna managed one more lap than Glock before his car failed on him and Chandhok decided taking the front section of his car off early would be the way to make an auspicious F1 debut. It wasn't.
Driver Team Qualifying Race Pos. BW Pos. Pts. Pos. BW Pos. Pts. Karun Chandhok HRT 24th 6th 0 24th (RET) 6th 0 Bruno Senna HRT 23rd 5th 0 19th (RET) 3rd 0 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus 21st 3rd 3 15th 1st (FL) 30 Jarno Trulli Lotus 20th 2nd 5 17th (RET) 2nd 0 Lucas di Grassi Virgin 22nd 4th 1 23rd (RET) 5th 0 Timo Glock Virgin 19th 1st 10 18th (RET) 4th 0
Overall the first weekend of the Blue Flag Cup has put Richard and Lotus firmly in the driving seat with Kovalainen in a clear first place in the drivers standings. Glock's qualifying performance showed some potential at Virgin but we are going nowhere until we can finish a race distance. Lloyd will be relieved to be on the grid and will be hoping that Hispania can make up the pace gap in the next few races with a bit of running and a touch of development.
And the best thing about this being late is that its just a couple of days til Australia and we can do it all again. Until next time.
If anyone would like to follow Jon's adventures in Vietnam he keeps a blog at www.jonbellwood.wordpress.com and would love it if you'd stop by and comment.
|2||F Massa||Ferrari||+16.0 secs|
|3||L Hamilton||McLaren||+23.1 secs|
|4||S Vettel||Red Bull||+38.7 secs|
|5||N Rosberg||Mercedes||+40.2 secs|
|6||M Schumacher||Mercedes||+44.1 secs|
|7||J Button||McLaren||+45.2 secs|
|8||M Webber||Red Bull||+46.3 secs|
|9||V Liuzzi||Force India||+53.0 secs|
|10||R Barrichello||Williams||+62.4 secs|
|11||R Kubica||Renault||+69.0 secs|
|12||A Sutil||Force India||+82.9 secs|
|13||J Alguersuari||Toro Rosso||+92.6 secs|
|14||N Hulkenberg||Williams||+1 lap|
|15||H Kovalainen||Lotus||+2 laps|
|DNF||S Buemi||Toro Rosso||+3 laps|
|DNF||J Trulli||Lotus||+3 laps|
|DNF||P De la Rosa||BMW Sauber||+21 laps|
|DNF||B Senna||HRT||+32 laps|
|DNF||T Glock||Virgin||+33 laps|
|DNF||V Petrov||Renault||+36 laps|
|DNF||K Kobayashi||BMW Sauber||+38 laps|
|DNF||L Di Grassi||Virgin||+47 laps|
|DNF||K Chandhok||HRT||+48 laps|