22/04/2012

Bahrain GP - Pre-Race Analysis

Sahara Force India are in a great position to bag some points today with Paul di Resta starting just inside the top ten (P10) and Nico Hulkenberg in the chasing pack (P13).

Rain will not be a threat today**, well actually rain is scheduled to hit Bahrain a few hours after the race has ended (not joking!) - if the wind speed were to pick up you never know, although it's very unlikely. First lap collisions may be an issue however, both drivers need to try stay out of trouble on that opening lap - as the old saying goes; you can't win a race on the first lap, but you can certainly lose it!

It should be interesting to see how the cars progress today, that is if we do actually get to see it. There is this controversy surrounding the team and the lack of coverage during qualifying. Many are saying that FOM (Formula One Management) did not show the Sahara Force India cars during qualifying on purpose as they missed FP2. Personally i originally thought that it was simply co-incidence - i don't even see on what grounds FOM could be angry, the team are not contractually bound to take part in FP2 so they didn't do anything wrong. It's so so unlikely to be co-incidence though which does suggest it was done on purpose by FOM ...

I spoke to someone (who shall remain unnamed) who said they used to work for FOM between 1996 and 2002. They told me that not giving air time to certain teams was often used as a threat - and actually carried out once, not sure when though. If this person is genuine then that does suggest Sahara Force India were not shown on purpose.

In my book, Bernie Ecclestone is an absolute legend - a very smart guy who does an amazing job to keep F1 together. However when quizzed on the issue yesterday he made a pretty off-handed comment. He said:

"Nobody cares if someone is ninth or 11th"

Really? Nobody cares? Why not just have the McLaren and Red Bulls racing then?? A stupid comment from the guy who is so good with the media usually - but everyone makes mistakes i guess.

Hmmm ... it seems like this weekend we have discussed off-track issues more than on track issues! Let's get back to the racing.

So we covered Sahara Force India and their aim of points - what about our other hopeful - Narain Karthikeyan! Considering the erratic pace he has had this weekend he's unlikely to be able to even challenge his teammate unfortunately - but we wish him well. As Narain sits on the grid he will see Michael Schumacher directly ahead of him, the German got demoted five places for a gearbox change.

Of course we wish Sahara Force India and Narain Karthikeyan the very best of luck; let's hope for a great race - i actually have a very good feeling about today :-)

**I wrote that section about the rain last night. amazingly the circuit just had a light shower of water, lasting around two mintues but the rader currently says that thunderstorms are in the area - chance of precipitation in the race - 40%! Yes, it is the Bahrain GP, it is in a desert, and in could be wet!!

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