Three races, three different winners and now comes Bahrain and the winner is …..?
The fourth grand prix on the 2012 FIA Formula One World Championship takes place in Bahrain and despite the continuing unrest in the Middle East county, sporting activities have continued over the past years. "There has been some controversy about it, but the FIA is a sports organisation. We are only interested in sport -- not politics. Our responsibility is that people can go there and have good and secure conditions. This will be the case," stated Jean Todt, President of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA).
The traveling worldwide circus, known as Formula One, started to arrive this past Monday for the Bahrain Grand Prix. In fact some of the support staff for most of the teams and Pirelli were ready to move out as soon as the Chinese GP had ended. No sooner had the celebration of Nico Rosberg’s maiden win came to a close when another 2012 winner was expressing thoughts on the next race. Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso was still in Shanghai when he said, "Obviously, this (result) does not leave me very optimistic for Bahrain, on a track where traction and speed are vital, exactly the areas where we are weakest.”
This is a track I really enjoy, I’ve had some very good memories here.
Either Alonso is being very honest or his victory this year was a fluke? The Spaniard is correct as Ferrari has been showing signs of being off the pace of the two Mercedes’ powered teams.
Alonso’s win came during the Malaysian GP floods! The first race of the year was not exactly dry either, and it was Jenson Button taking the victory for the McLaren-Mercedes team. The first two winning drivers are always expected to take the top spot, or at least a podium, at the end of a grand prix race; Rosberg just added his name to the “expected” list.
The son of Keke Rosberg finally saw his dream come true when he took the checkered flag after a brilliant run in China. The young German also gave Mercedes their first Formula One pole and victory since 1955. To top it off, he handed the Mercedes modern-era works team, their first Formula One win.
While one knows that Nico’s words “fantastic” is no doubt the best feeling in the world for any racer – from the amateurs to the worlds’ top pros in bikes and cars – they also know one must take one race at a time. Four days after his first win, Rosberg said about the circuit in Sakhir. “This is a track I really enjoy, I’ve had some very good memories here but again it’s just difficult to know where we’re going to be exactly. In Shanghai of course we did very well but previously we did have a few issues in the races, so it’s possible it’s going to be a bit more difficult here.”
Will one of the three be the first to score victory #2 this year, or will the results have a new name on top of the leaderboard when the checkered flag waves. One candidate for his first 2012 win is a definite favorite.
While Lewis Hamilton has yet to win a race this season, the Briton holds the points lead in the current standings. He also has placed his McLaren car on top of the timesheets, and won the coveted pole. The year started off with what seemed like a bit of good luck for the past champion but then Malaysia came and went, along with a grid penalty in China! Now one wonders will Hamilton breakthrough for the victory in Bahrain?
“The target every year I think is to have consistency and sometimes it just doesn’t go to plan but this year I think we’ve been quite fortunate. Finishing on the podium for the first three races has been fantastic for us. Obviously it’s very early in the season. In previous seasons you’ve seen Championship leaders swapping and changing throughout the year so it doesn’t really mean too much at the moment,” Hamilton said.
Another driver, also with the power of Mercedes, is the seven times world champion who aims for his return to the top step of the podium. Michael Schumacher had bad luck in China so perhaps the fates will be on his side.
Today, the Formula One drivers were seen in the paddock and walking the Bahrain International Circuit as they chatted to one another, to their team members, and to the media. For Romain Grosjean, it is a special day on a track where he has scored victories in the past years in two of the sub-series for drivers wishing to land a ride in the premier single-seater series.
The Lotus F1 Team driver celebrates his 26th birthday today. “It’s a circuit I know quite well, from racing in GP2 and testing with Pirelli for the development of the tyres. I think it’s a nice circuit, I quite like it and think we can have a good car here. The weather will be, for once, stable, with some decent temperature and hopefully we can have a clear qualifying and a clear race altogether and achieve an even better result than what we had in the previous race,” Grosjean said.