|Race 4 of 19 in the 2015 Formula One season|
|Official name||2015 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix|
|Location|| Bahrain International Circuit|
|Course|| Permanent Racing Facility |
5.412 km (3.363 mi)</td></tr>
|Distance||57 laps, 308.238 km (191.530 mi)</td></tr>|
|Time||1:36.311 on lap 42|
The 2015 Bahrain Grand Prix (formally known as the 2015 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix) was a Formula One motor race that was held on 19 April 2015 at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, Bahrain. The race was the fourth round of the 2015 season and marked the eleventh time that the Bahrain Grand Prix has been run as a round of the Formula One World Championship.
There were tensions in the Mercedes team prior to the Grand Prix. After the Chinese Grand Prix the week before, Nico Rosberg had accused his teammate Lewis Hamilton of deliberately backing him into the charging Ferraris during the race, claiming he had "compromised" his race. Hamilton in turn claimed that Rosberg was never close enough to attack him, an assertion that Rosberg rejected, saying he "did try to attack". The team reacted by issuing a warning to their drivers, that they would start "managing" them more if they should not be able to race for the best of the team on track. After comments made by Hamilton saying that his contract extension negotiations were going slow, rumours arose that Hamilton had asked for a clear number one status in the team, a claim denied by both driver and team.
As with previous years there were protests against the race going forward. The protests highlighted the situation of the Shi'ite majority in the Sunni-ruled Arab country, demanding the release of political prisoners. The protesters tried to use the arrival of Formula One to bring their demands into the public eye. The race came only one week after a report was published by Amnesty International about "unabated" human rights violations in Bahrain. In previous years, Formula One commercial rights executive Bernie Ecclestone had maintainted the view that the political situation should be kept separate from the sport, saying in 2013: "We’re not here, or we don’t go anywhere, to judge how a country is run". However, in what was viewed as a "180-degree policy reversal", Formula One issued a statement ahead of the 2015 Grand Prix, stating that it "has committed itself to respecting human rights in Bahrain and other countries in which it conducts business".
Weather for the Bahrain Grand Prix is "typically hot [and] dry", with temperatures on Friday around 36 °C (97 °F) as the first practice began. However, lower temperatures were expected for race day, when the race was set at night.
As in 2014, Pirelli announced they would be supplying teams with the white-banded medium compound tyre as the prime selection and the yellow-banded soft compound as the option selection for the event.
Kimi Räikkönen and Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari were quickest in the first free practice session on Friday morning, with the Finn the only driver to lap the course in less than 1’38 minutes. The Mercedes team focuses on long runs, running their cars on high fuel loads to examine tyre wear and was therefore down in 15th and 16th position respectively. Vettel's Ferrari showed problems early in the session, but the German was able to run without issues towards the end. Jenson Button spun out in turn one on the start of his first flying lap and was unable to run again as his team tried to change his car's battery. It was however an uplifting session for McLaren nonetheless, since Button's teammate Fernando Alonso finished in seventh place, just seven tenths away from Räikkönen's fastest time. After China the week before, Jolyon Palmer once again took part in the first practice session for Lotus.
Mercedes hit back in the second session on Friday night, with Nico Rosberg leading his teammate Lewis Hamilton by about a tenth of a second. The Ferraris were about half a second behind, with Räikkönen again the faster of the two. It was another dismal session for Jenson Button who had to park his car halfway through the session, though he was able to come back for a couple of laps towards the end of the session. A late red flag came out when Vettel, braking slowly into turn one, was clipped by the Force India of Sergio Pérez, taking off part of his front wing endplate.
Lewis Hamilton topped the time sheets in Saturday's free practice session, with Sebastian Vettel a mere tenth of a second behind. Rosberg and Räikkönen completed the top four. Few cars took to the track during the early part of the session due to high temperatures and strong winds. A brief red flag period occured midway through practice when Daniil Kvyat spun out in turn four.
Jenson Button's McLaren broke down before he could post a lap time. Roberto Merhi and Will Stevens qualified their Marussias in 19th and 18th position. Red Bull's Daniil Kvyat failed to progress past Q1 with a 17th time. Pastor Maldonado narrowly missed going into Q2 with a 16th faster time. Max Verstappen qualified in 15th position. Fernando Alonso managed to achieve 14th place in his McLaren. The Saubers of Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson posted the 13th and 12th postions respectively. Force India's Sergio Perez qualified 11th. In the final part of qualifying Lewis Hamilton beat Sebastian Vettel to pole by 0.4 seconds in the last lap of the session. Vettel split the Mercedes, with Nico Rosberg taking third place. Kimi Räikkönen put the other Ferrari in fourth place. Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa qualified their Williams in fifth and sixth, while Red Bull posted the seventh time for Red Bull. Nico Hülkenberg achieved eight place with his Force India. Carlos Sainz qualified in ninth for Toro Rosso and Romain Grosjean completed the top ten.
Jenson Button was required to apply to the stewards to be allowed to race, because he did not post a lap time during the first part of qualifying. They gave him the permission to start based on his satisfactory practice times.
Prior to the start, McLaren confirmed that they were unable to get Jenson Button's car to the grid, as the data indicated his earlier electrical issues continued. Felipe Massa's Williams did not get off the line at the start of the formation lap, so the Brazilian had to start from pit lane. The start lights went on after a long delay, due to Pastor Maldonado being in the wrong grid position.
At the start proper, Lewis Hamilton was able to hold his lead, while his teammate Nico Rosberg tried to attack Sebastian Vettel in second place. This opened up the opportunity for the second Ferrari of Kimi Räikkönen to go around the outside of the Mercedes and take third. Hamilton tried to open up a gap in order to cover his position, should the Ferraris attempt a so called undercut, a strategy in which a car pits early in order to use fresher tyres to get in front of another car without overtaking them on track. Meanwhile, Rosberg took back third from Räikkönen on lap four before doing the same with Vettel on the end of lap nine.
As the pit stops started on lap eleven, Massa, Hülkenberg and Nasr were the first to come in for new tyres. Hamilton had managed to extend his advantage over Vettel to almost 8 seconds when the German pitted first of the front runners on lap 14. The undercut-strategy worked, as Rosberg emerged from the pits behind the Ferrari when he pitted one lap later. Hamilton changed tyres yet another lap later, emerging close in front of the battling Rosberg and Vettel, with the Mercedes driver taking second position in a DRS-aided move on the inside of turn one. He was now close behind teammate Hamilton, but ultimately unable to attack him for the lead. Räikkönen came in last of the top four on lap 18 and applied a different strategy, as he used the harder medium tyres, while the Mercedes and Vettel were running their middle stint on the softer tyre compound. Even with the harder tyres, he was able to close to the top three.
Felipe Massa tried to make up places after his pit lane-start, but was caught in midfield battles. He went into the pits simultaneously with Felipe Nasr in front and Pastor Maldonado behind him. A swift stop by the Lotus pit crew meant that the Venezuelan was able to get out ahead and gain two positions. Sauber driver Marcus Ericsson was running eighth when he came into the pits on lap 26. Problems with the front left tyre made him pit for 27 seconds, meaning he fell out of reach for a points finish. Carlos Sainz Jr. retired from the race right after exiting pit lane on lap 30, having problems with his front left wheel. His Toro Rosso teammate Max Verstappen joined him on lap 34 due to an electrical failure.
On lap 34, both Hamilton and Vettel came in for their second and final planned stop, both equipping the medium tyre set. The undercut worked once more for the Ferrari, as Rosberg emerged behind Vettel one lap later. However, Vettel ran wide on the exit of the final corner on lap 36, letting Rosberg past and damaging his front wing, meaning he had to come into the pits for an unscheduled stop on the next lap, leaving him down in fifth position. His teammate Räikkönen pitted for a second time on lap 40, taking the softer and faster tyres, trying to catch the two Mercedes towards the end of the race. Fourteen laps before the finish, the Finn was fifteen seconds down on second-placed Rosberg, but closing by more than a second per lap. With the Mercedes in front having to make their way through backmarkers, Räikkönen was able to cut down the gap even faster, reaching Rosberg with three laps of the race to go. The German, suffering from brake overheating over the entire course of the race, outbraked himself at turn one on lap 56, which allowed Räikkönen to take second place from him. The other Mercedes of Hamilton had brake problems as well towards the end, but was able to control the gap to the Ferrari to take his third victory of the season.
Four-time world champion Vettel however was unable to overtake the Williams of Valtteri Bottas for fourth. The other Williams of Felipe Massa had applied the undercut well in the early part of the race to recover from his pit lane-start to eighth position, but when his tyres started to degrade he was passed by both Sergio Pérez and Daniil Kvyat and finished tenth, taking one point. The race ended spectacularly when the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo suffered an engine blow-up on the final straight, just being able to coast his car over the finish line.
After Ricciardo's engine gave up on the finish straight of the last lap, he was already down to his last engine of the season after only four races. Should he need to use another one, he would face grid penalties. This added to Renault's problems, after the two Toro Rossos also failed to finish and put more strain on the relationship between Red Bull and their engine provider.
|7||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull-Renault||1:34.691||1:34.403||1:33.832||7|
|8||27||Nico Hülkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||1:35.653||1:34.613||1:34.450||8|
|9||55||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Toro Rosso-Renault||1:35.371||1:34.641||1:34.462||9|
|11||11||Sergio Pérez||Force India-Mercedes||1:35.451||1:34.704||11|
|15||33||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso-Renault||1:35.611||1:35:103||15|
|17||26||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull-Renault||1:35.800||17|
|—||22||Jenson Button||McLaren-Honda||no time||20 1|
- – Jenson Button received permission from the stewards to start the race despite not setting a qualifying time.
- – Pastor Maldonado mistakenly lined up in 17th position on the starting grid. This pushed the drivers behind him one place down as well, while the 16th slot was left vacant. Maldonado received a 5-second penalty as a result.
- – McLaren were unable to start Jenson Button's car due to a problem with the Energy Recovery System, as a result of which it remained in the pits altogether.
Standings after the raceEdit
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
- ↑ Wood, Will (13 April 2015). "Hamilton’s pace frustrates "compromised" Rosberg". F1Fanatic. http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2015/04/13/hamiltons-pace-frustrates-massively-compromised-rosberg/. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
- ↑ "Rosberg 'did try to attack' Hamilton". PlanetF1. 13 April 2015. http://www.planetf1.com/driver/3369/43021/Rosberg-did-try-to-attack-Hamilton. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
- ↑ "Merc issue warning to feuding duo". PlanetF1. 15 April 2015. http://www.planetf1.com/driver/3369/43374/Merc-issue-warning-to-feuding-duo. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
- ↑ Johnson, Daniel (9 April 2015). "Chinese GP 2015: Lewis Hamilton's contract issues with Mercedes cast shadow over upcoming F1 race". The Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/motorsport/formulaone/lewishamilton/11525476/Chinese-GP-2015-Lewis-Hamiltons-contract-issues-with-Mercedes-cast-shadow-over-upcoming-F1-race.html. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
- ↑ "Hamilton refutes No 1 status claims". PlanetF1. 17 April 2015. http://www.planetf1.com/driver/3369/43909/Hamilton-refutes-No-1-status-claims. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
- ↑ Gill, Pete (17 April 2015). "Lewis Hamilton denies asking for number one status at Mercedes". Sky Sports. http://www1.skysports.com/f1/news/24181/9807699/lewis-hamilton-hasnt-asked-for-number-one-status-insist-mercedes. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
- ↑ Browning, Noah (17 April 2015). "Pending Formula One race spurs renewed Shi'ite protests in Bahrain". Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/17/us-bahrain-formula1-rights-idUSKBN0N81UK20150417. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
- ↑ Gibson, Owen (16 April 2015). "Amnesty warns human rights abuses ‘unabated’ before Bahrain Grand Prix". The Guardian. http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2015/apr/16/amnesty-international-human-rights-bahrain-grand-prix. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
- ↑ Richards, Giles (17 April 2015). "Bahrain GP goes ahead but human rights concerns remain". The Guardian. http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2015/apr/17/formula-one-bahrain-gp-goes-ahead-but-human-rights-concerns-remain. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
- ↑ Sandler Clarke, Joe (17 April 2015). "Formula One reverses human rights stance in runup to Bahrain Grand Prix". The Guardian. http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2015/apr/17/formula-one-human-rights-bahrain-grand-prix. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Wood, Will (16 April 2015). "Typically hot, dry weekend awaits in Bahrain". F1Fanatic. http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2015/04/16/typically-hot-dry-weekend-awaits-in-bahrain/. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Wood, Will (17 April 2015). "Raikkonen, Ferrari fastest in first Bahrain practice". F1Fanatic. http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2015/04/17/raikkonen-ferrari-fastest-in-first-bahrain-practice/. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
- ↑ "Pirelli reveal tyre choices for first four races". Formula1.com (Formula One Administration). 4 March 2015. http://www.formula1.com/news/headlines/2015/3/16856.html. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
- ↑ "Palmer aims to 'push' Lotus drivers". PlanetF1. 16 April 2015. http://www.planetf1.com/driver/3375/43560/Palmer-aims-to-push-Lotus-drivers. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
- ↑ Wood, Will (17 April 2015). "Rosberg quickest in FP2 as Vettel, Perez collide". http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2015/04/17/rosberg-quickest-in-fp2-as-vettel-perez-collide/. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
- ↑ Wood, Will (18 April 2015). "Hamilton quickest, but Vettel is closer than Rosberg". F1Fanatic. http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2015/04/18/hamilton-quickest-but-vettel-is-closer-than-rosberg/. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
- ↑ Anderson, Ben (18 April 2015). "Bahrain GP F1: Lewis Hamilton beats Sebastian Vettel to pole". autosport.com. Haymarket Media Group. http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/118572. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 Template:Cite report
- ↑ Straw, Edd (19 April 2015). "F1 Bahrain GP: Jenson Button's McLaren-Honda unable to start race". Autosport.com. http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/118596. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
- ↑ 20.0 20.1 Butler, Michael (19 April 2015). "Bahrain Grand Prix: F1 2015 – as it happened". The Guardian. http://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2015/apr/19/bahrain-grand-prix-f1-2015-live-updates. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
- ↑ "Ricciardo onto his final engine". PlanetF1. 20 April 2015. http://planetf1.com/driver/55667788/44430/Ricciardo-onto-his-final-engine. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
- ↑ "2015 Bahrain Grand Prix – Qualifying Session Official Classification". FIA.com (Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile). 19 April 2015. http://www.fia.com/sites/default/files/formula_one_bahrain_grand_prix_2015_document_-_29.pdf. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
- ↑ "2015 Bahrain Grand Prix – Official Starting Grid". FIA.com (Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile). 19 April 2015. http://www.fia.com/sites/default/files/official_starting_grid_2.pdf. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
- ↑ "2015 Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix - Race results". Formula1.com. Formula One Administration. 19 April 2015. http://www.formula1.com/content/fom-website/en/championship/results/2015-race-results/2015-bahrain-results/race.html. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
- ↑ Strickland, Jamie (19 April 2015). "How the Bahrain GP unfolded". BBC sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). http://www.bbc.com/sport/live/formula1/32103299.
- ↑ Strickland, Jamie (19 April 2015). "How the Bahrain GP unfolded". BBC sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). http://www.bbc.com/sport/live/formula1/32103299.
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