Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix: News of My Death Has Been Greatly Exaggerated.
During preseason testing as well as during and after the first two races of the season the pundits were writing the obituary of F1. Even Bernie has said the sport needs to change. While I too have been among the many that have criticized F1 (mostly for sound issues) there can be little doubt after watching the Bahrain Grand Prix that F1 still provides the drama and on-track excitement not available in other forms of motorsport. The same pundits that only weeks ago questioned the future of the sport are now like puppies getting their bellies scratched. F1 news around the globe has fawned all over the 1-2 finish of Mercedes teammates, Lewis Hamilton and Niko Rosberg. While Mercedes continues to dominate this season, the story of Bahrain focused on the battle between these two drivers that lasted until final laps of the race. Yes, it was amazing, but some folks may have gone too far in their admiration.
The Daily Mail's Jonathan McEvoy said the following:
'This was the finest drive of Lewis Hamilton's career in the greatest grand prix of the century," he wrote. 'The best drive of Hamilton's career, we have asserted. A case can be made for Silverstone in 2008, when he dominated the wet conditions, Senna-like, to win by more than a minute.
'But this was purer. Here, he was fighting a driver at the peak of his career in an equal car on better tyres in a crucial battle in a formative world championship rivalry.'
Really? "Senna-like" and "greatest grand prix of the century." Seems a little much. Was it that great because of the racing or are the real reasons that we expected them to take each other out (Ala Red Bull in Turkey in 2012) or that the season has had such a low bar of expectations that any close wheel to wheel action would bring praise?
The rest of the pack also provided various exciting moments such as the moment with World Champion Sebastian Vettel was asked to give way to his Australian Teammate.
Yes, The Show, as its known gave us a show. The technology has shown not to be an obstacle. However, I still maintain that the sound of the engines is horrible....A view that conflicts with my TLP colleague.
The technological changes mandated by the rules have been drastic this season. As viewers were were warned that the reliability would be marginal and that we might see the first ever race in which no cars finished. We were told that the races would be fuel saving contest. We were told that the energy recovery systems were a gimmick. Yet, the engineers continue to do what they best. They take the limitations of the rule book and then create some of the most technologically advanced cars in the world. They squeeze every millimeter of the car to the limit just to the edge of the rules and then take advantage of various loopholes that the FIA did not foresee when creating the rules. This isn't a new thing. F1 has always been about the the pinnacle of automotive development pushing things past the limit. Hopefully, it will continue to be that way.
Finally, Pastor Maldonado (Lotus F1 Team) again almost killed someone. I continue to believe that the only reason he is in F1 at all is because he brings big money from the oil/gas industry in Venezuela as opposed to actual talent.
One Youtube user even has a video of his greatest hits going back to GP2: