Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton are looking for third consecutive Mercedes win
By: Associated Press on April 2, 2014
LAT PHOTOGRAPHIC – With Bahrain subsequent on the schedule, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg are primed for a third straight Mercedes win.
The switch from a steamy Malaysia to a evening race amid the sands of Bahrain is unlikely to be adequate of a shift to avoid Mercedes this weekend from a hat trick of victories to open the Formula A single season.
Following Nico Rosberg won the season-opener in Australia, his teammate Lewis Hamilton took victory at Malaysia final weekend, foremost residence his teammate in a one-2 finish that underlined the degree of dominance Mercedes is enjoying in the early phases of the new V6 turbo hybrid era.
Rival teams produced no discernable progress in tough Mercedes in the 2 weeks between the races, so they stand tiny chance in producing headway in the one week in between Malaysia and Bahrain, which has switched to getting a night race, joining Singapore as F1’;s only races under lights.
The only succor for people in Mercedes’; wake is that the 2 drivers split the honors in the initial 2 rounds, and Hamilton gathered no factors in Australia due to an engine misfire, that means the drivers’; championship is more open than it otherwise could have been.
Chief between those rivals is Red Bull ace Sebastian Vettel, who was third in Malaysia but worryingly for the team, he had larger fuel consumption costs than the Mercedes pair just trying to preserve up, and that compromised his capacity to challenge at least Rosberg in front of him.
Past the Mercedes drivers and the indefatigable Vettel, it is difficult to make a situation for any other winners in Bahrain, with its secure climate and lower incidence of security car periods, although a lot of teams are even now having teething troubles with the new engines, so a shock is possible.
“I have completed on the podium a couple of instances here but, for a single reason or an additional, I have never ever managed to get the win,” Hamilton mentioned. “Right up until final week it was the identical story for me with Malaysia, so fingers crossed this can be the year of breaking individuals cycles.
“We know it’;s going to be challenging to keep our present kind, particularly at a circuit the place every single group has had so a lot operating time in excess of the winter.”
Vettel’;s new teammate, Daniel Ricciardo, has suffered a cruel reversal of fortunes because he celebrated on the podium in front of his residence fans in Australia. That second spot was taken off him due to the group exceeding new fuel-flow limits, and then in Malaysia he was working 4th just before a botched pitstop cost him vast quantities of time. To make matters worse, he will have a 10-place grid penalty in Bahrain as a consequence of that pitstop, with stewards ruling the car was released when it was unsafe to do so, as a wheel was loose.
Williams appeared to have the race tempo to challenge Mercedes, primarily based on the Australia performance, but in Malaysia, as in Melbourne, they had been hampered by rain-impacted qualifying sessions which exposed the team’;s relative lack of downforce.
They are a lot a lot more likely to get suitable conditions in Bahrain, though scattered thunderstorms and higher winds are forecast over the coming days. The switch to a evening grand prix also complicates issues for teams, as the race will start off close to sunset, and in a reduced humidity setting this can cause a rapid drop in temperatures which can impact engine efficiency. At least all teams have loads of information offered to them soon after preseason testing at the Sakhir circuit.
Crew boss Frank Williams and his daughter and trackside chief Claire Williams have had much more than downforce to fear about because Malaysia, exactly where Felipe Massa ignored repeated directions to allow his teammate Valtteri Bottas by means of to pursue the McLaren of Jenson Button.
Having constantly regretted pulling aside for then-Ferrari teammate Fernando Alonso in an infamous incident at the 2010 German GP, Massa was not about to do the very same for his junior teammate this time, and insisted soon after the race he was in proper. It will consider major fence-mending by Williams to placate the 2 drivers — 1 aggrieved for being asked to move aside and the other annoyed that his teammate put group concerns a distinct second — and to rekindle the harmony that Williams had been boasting of.
By contrast, the driver pairing numerous feared would cause headaches — Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari — has shown no indication but of establishing into conflict. For now, each drivers are preoccupied in trying to increase the team’;s mediocre functionality. The Ferraris have looked strong and dependable but are a prolonged way off in each qualifying and race speed.
Copyright 2014 The Linked Press. All rights reserved. This materials could not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Sign up to have the Autoweek Everyday Racing report, Racing Weekend Wrap-Up, Daily Drive and Breaking Information delivered correct to your inbox.