The Formula 1 World Cup is looking to one of its periodic revolutions next season, a cascade of changes to the technical regulations introduced with the intention of tightening a platoon dominated by Mercedes since 2014, when hybrid technology entered the scene. As an aperitif, the International Automobile Federation (FIA) already gave a little shake to the regulations of this 2021. At least in Bahrain, these tweaks have already altered the established order for the luck of the fans, who have been waiting for a team for a long time that can be measured in short with the mark of the star.
Waiting for others to arrive, this team will be Red Bull, the only structure that in recent times managed to hold the pull of the Silver Arrows. Behind the red buffalo troop come a couple of the others, with a much more positive inertia than in recent years. McLaren arrives, with the good vibes and freshness that Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo bring. Ferrari arrives, with the 'dynamic duo' made up of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc. And Alpine arrives, with a rejuvenated Fernando Alonso eager to march.
In Sakhir, the victory went to Lewis Hamilton , but regardless of the result, the most striking thing about this first grand prize was the pulse of the race itself, truffled with an overtaking festival that predicts a situation somewhat different from that of the last courses, in which Mercedes took the roller. The podium in Bahrain was completed by Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas , who barely entered the game. In his debut with Ferrari , Sainz finished eighth, while Alonso had to leave due to a fault in his car.
Carlos Sainz, after the race.LARS BARON / AF
P Hamilton has in his hands to put on his eighth champion crown, the one that It would allow him to tie the tie with Michael Schumacher and become, with statistics in hand, the runner with the best service record in the history of the tournament. If he achieves his goal, it will probably be the most worked title of the seven that he would accumulate in the Mercedes jumpsuit. According to the British, the aerodynamic restrictions applied in 2021 only pursue one thing: “It is no secret that the changes have been made to slow us down.”
If we leave aside the logically interested opinion of the current champion, there are a number of indicative that lead to think that, indeed, the German builder will not dominate with an iron arm as he did recently. From the outset, the 'pole position' that Verstappen won in this first round of the season, the first that Mercedes has not taken in eight years. And then, the zeal with which Hamilton and his engineers handled the test, turned into a true chess match between the jewel of Mercedes and the diamond of Red Bull until the last 16 laps. From that moment (lap 40), when the Dutchman made his last visit to the workshops, the entire previous strategy was blown up and it all came down to an exchange of blows from the two sharpest cars on the grid.
Fernando Alonso, during the race this Sunday, Kamran Jebreili / A
P Mad Max left the workshop at that last stop more than eight seconds behind Hamilton, who, however, was running on tires (both with the toughest specification). ) 11 laps more used than those of its rival. The dagger of the red buffalo took off his racing jumpsuit to put on that shark costume that defines him so much. In nine laps (from 40 to 49), he aired Hamilton for six seconds, who was measuring the weight of the foot on the accelerator to reach the decisive moment with some rubber on his wheels.
“You have Max behind you”, said Hamilton, Peter Bonnington, Stevenage pilot track engineer. "I leave it to you. I can't help you any more ”, replied Gianpiero Lambiase, his counterpart in the energy workshop, addressing the Hasselt boy. Well, the winner of the exchange of blows was finally decided by the Race Direction stewards, who forced Verstappen to return the lead to Hamilton immediately after having overtaken him, with three laps remaining, for crossing the limits of the race. track.
“It's a shame, but you have to get the positive side of what happened. We have managed to fight with them [Mercedes], and that is very good if we take into account that it is the first grand prize ”, summed up the one from Red Bull. “It has been one of my most difficult races in recent times. Max is doing very well and he is going to squeeze us to the fullest ”, said, for his part, the first leader of the table of a championship that looks very different from the last ones.
ALONSO RUNS OUT OF BRAKES
In his reappearance after two seasons away from Formula 1, Fernando Alonso was unable to finish his first race with Alpine due to a fault in the brakes of his car, which led the engineers of the French team to opt for a withdrawal to avoid any Unfortunately, he was running on lap 33 of the test and the Asturian was running 14th, even though he already had some other problem that made him lose the thrust of the first laps, in which he rolled among the top ten most of the time . "In the end, the brakes were the cause of abandonment, but before we were dragging something in the batteries," agreed Alonso, excited about his return to F1. “It was an exciting moment, very cool. Those first laps, being in a fight with the other cars. In those fights your heart beats stronger, "added the Oviedo, who insisted on the time he still needs to reach his best level. “All the drivers who have changed teams have to get used to their new cars. Well imagine that multiplied by two years ”, reflected the Spaniard. Carlos Sainz, for his part, was satisfied with that eighth place in his debut with Ferrari. "It was relatively good, although I took it very calmly, so often too much, in the first laps," said the Madrid native. "I'll have time to go out like I did with the McLaren," Sainz added.
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