Ferrari shines, Red Bull drowns

The return to the forefront of Ferrari and the fine result of Kevin Magnussen but also the failing engines of Mercedes and Honda, find the tops and flops of the Bahrain Grand Prix.


Leclerc and Ferrari at the rendezvous
The tifosi will surely pinch themselves to believe it. After Charles Leclerc’s pole on Saturday, Ferrari got a double on Sunday. The first since the 2019 Singapore Grand Prix. If Charles Leclerc dominated the race from start to finish at Sakhir, Carlos Sainz sailed in third place for a long time before taking advantage of Max Verstappen’s retirement to validate a weekend perfect for the Scuderia. The latter will have to confirm next Sunday in Saudi Arabia.

Magnussen, what a story!
He was not even supposed to take part in this 2022 season. Kevin Magnussen replaced Nikita Mazepin, ejected from Haas following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the move is just magnificent. Seventh in qualifying on Saturday, the Dane took an unexpected fifth place on Sunday. As a reminder, the American team had not scored any points in 2021 and had not signed a top 10 since the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix and ninth place for Romain Grosjean. A resurrection thanks to the Ferrari engine.

Mercedes pockets big points
In difficulty this weekend, the eight-time constructors’ world champion, current series, was promised places outside the podium. But the safety car and the retirements of the two Red Bulls changed the situation. Lewis Hamilton takes an unexpected third place, ahead of his teammate George Russell. 27 points on the clock for Mercedes which is rewarded for its serious race.

Alfa Romeo in the top 10
Like Magnussen’s Scuderia and Haas, Alfa Romeo shone with the Ferrari engine. Sixth on the grid, Valtteri Bottas completely missed his start, quickly finding himself 14and. But the Finn came back thanks to the power of his block to finish … sixth. Guanyu Zhou was not left out since the Chinese took a good tenth place for his first race in F1. Very interesting weekend for Fred Vasseur’s team.

Alpine takes advantage of the disturbed end of the race
Not really on top during this first Grand Prix, the French team took advantage of the latest twists to move up the standings and place its two cars in the points (Ocon 7th, Alonso 9th). What to consider the sequel more serenely, or in any case the next weekend in Saudi Arabia. Although there is still work to be done.


Red Bull and Honda engines
Three retirements and three cars powered by Honda. Pierre Gasly’s engine exploded about ten laps from the end while those of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez gave out in the final laps. If the Frenchman did not know the reason, the Dutchman knew more: “The abandonment concerns the gasoline, it no longer reached the engine. It also affected Sergio.” Definitely annoying. Especially since Red Bull does not score any points on Sunday and is already falling behind the competition. In addition, the proximity of the Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia, next Sunday, mechanically reduces the time to find where the fault comes from. In any case, this worries both Red Bull and Alpha Tauri and the consequences are already significant for both teams.

McLaren and Aston Martin in agony
The Honda engine is not the only one to worry about. The one produced by Mercedes seems more reliable but not more efficient. Before the retirements of the Honda motorized drivers and the appearance of the safety car, the two Mercedes were thirty seconds behind the leaders but above all, the last six places were occupied by cars with German engines (the Williams, the McLarens and the Aston Martin). A coincidence ? Surely not. It was enough to see the rhythms of each other to understand that something was wrong. Already McLaren and Aston Martin cars seem to be in big trouble with the new regulations, if the engine doesn’t keep up, the season could prove to be a long road to the cross.

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