GPI 2017 Bahrain Grand Prix - Page 166

BAHRAIN REVIEW BY BEN STEVENS As such FP1 is quite a tentative affair, although it was notable for 1. Daniel Ricciardo’s Borat impression (“attack-a the box-a”) and two engine failures, the first being the usual McLaren blow-up (you think Alonso made the right choice?), the second, more alarmingly, being to Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari. It took the Ferrari Mechanics a full three hours to resolve the issue, which is certainly something to keep in mind as Sunday approaches. Raikkonen’s engine aside, Ferrari were able to top the timesheets with Sebastian Vettel finishing 0.041s ahead of Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas – albeit with Lewis Hamilton’s hotlap ruined by Nico Hulkenberg taking a nap on the racing line. Whether the Scuderia’s well- publicised aero upgrade has made a difference is another question entirely, and one that remains unanswered. For the third-straight race weekend, we saw another T-wing fall off, this one belonging to Bottas’ Mercedes. While their ugliness is undisputed, calls to ban them on safety grounds have had mixed reactions, but after Bottas’ managed to shred the floor of Max Verstappen’s Red Bull, hopefully some progress can be made. With less than a second separating the top 8 in FP2, there’s every hope for a fascinating Saturday. Will Ferrari keep their advantage? Have Red Bull narrowed the gap? Can Lance Stroll drive with a burned backside? We’ll find out in the race.