F1 Bahrain Grand Prix: Could Second or Third Have Won?

f1chronicle-2019 Bahrain Grand Prix, Sunday - Wolfgang Wilhelm

Critics of F1 – who allege that in an era marked by excessive technology, there’s hardly room for thrill and skill – could not have complained at the roller coaster of a race that saw Mercedes have the last laugh in the desert.

No sooner had the five red lights turned green than Sakhir produced a complete change of guard inside the opening lap. A race marked by twists and turns saw no ‘Red Letter’ day as the Silver Arrows emerged victorious again, beating Ferrari much to the surprise of those watching.

It was a stroke of luck that saw the Bahrain Grand Prix end in triumph for defending world champion Lewis Hamilton who gratefully put his Mercedes on top, despite starting third on the grid.

But amid heartbreak for Ferrari and Leclerc, this was a race gracefully and determinedly fought by the young Monégasque driver. Despite battling the odds late in the race, the Ferrari driver took the third step on the podium behind Hamilton and Bottas. Small consolation after what had preceded.

But this leaves us with the question: Could the second or third-placed drivers have won the race?

Could Valtteri Bottas Have Won?

It never looked like Bottas’ race for the taking and second place was a satisfactory result under the circumstances.

Starting from fourth on the grid, the Finn briefly took second place before falling back into position. Ultimately benefitting from Leclerc’s engine trouble and Vettel’s faltering (yet another spin for the four-time world champion), the winner of the Australian GP did well to control proceedings behind Hamilton.

Could Charles Leclerc Have Won?

Yes, definitely. There are some races that are defined by an intensity of emotion and it is fair to the 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix was one of them. The young driver proved to everyone he is the real deal and remained fully committed to the cause even when it became clear the win had gone due to car trouble.

Leclerc didn’t win the race, but he did claim a hard-fought third thanks to the late deployment of the safety car. And his recovery after losing the lead on the opening lap was something to be admired.

Ferrari may have erred for Vettel’s pit stop, allowing Mercedes to Undercut them but they got Leclerc’s strategy spot on.

Anyone who saw Leclerc become Ferrari’s youngest pole-sitter in qualifying would have assumed that history was going to be made. But fate intervened to deprive him of what looked like certain victory.

So it was a case of what might have been for Ferrari whose SF90 had demonstrated its potential to win all weekend, a marked step up from Australia.

Charles Leclerc

“It’s part of motorsport, we know that. Sometimes it’s not your day to win and today wasn’t ours. In the final part of the race we had an issue with the power unit and I had to slow down. It’s a shame because the race seemed to me to be under control. The team is disappointed and I am disappointed but there are a lot of positives to take home from this weekend. They gave me an amazing car and that is very much to their credit. The car was very easy to drive and was very good. These things happen in motorsport: we took the best out of it anyway. It’s my first podium even if I’m not enjoying it as much as I wanted. It’s life, it happens, we’ll come back stronger”.

Words by Dev Tyagi

Leave a Comment

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Recommended For You

Lando Norris

Why Lando Norris Was The Quiet Star Of The 2021 Bahrain GP

The recently-concluded Bahrain GP was not devoid of any drama, ...
2021 Bahrain Grand Prix, Sunday - Lewis Hamilton

Key Talking Points From A Cracker Of A 2021 Bahrain GP

Before the 2021 Bahrain GP began, all eyes were transfixed ...
Formula 1 Podcast | Grid Talk Ep 95 | 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix Review

Formula 1 Grid Talk Episode 95: 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix Review

Welcome to Episode 95 of our Formula 1 podcast, Grid ...
Formula 1 Podcast | Grid Talk Episode 94 | 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix Qualifying Analysis

Formula 1 Grid Talk Episode 94: 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix Qualifying Analysis

Welcome to Episode 94 of our Formula 1 podcast, Grid ...
Fernando Alonso

Drivers New And Old Add Spice To Desert Opener

New drivers on the grid, the return of a former ...

More in News

Max Verstappen wins the 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

How Live Betting Is Driving Change In F1

Back in the day when F1 was run by the ...

Max Verstappen Not Putting Faith In Momentum

Fresh off a double-podium finish in Turkey, championship leader Max ...
F1 Grand Prix Of Italy Sprint

F1 Sporting Regulations Postponed Until 2023?

It appears that the F1 sporting regulations that were meant ...
2021 Bahrain Grand Prix, Friday - Toto Wolff (image courtesy Mercedes-AMG Petronas)

Mercedes Spirits High After Back-To-Back Race Wins

After rediscovering their best form in recent races, Toto Wolff ...
Frompresenttofuture En

Pirelli Concludes 18-Inch Formula 1 Tyre Testing

Pirelli’s test campaign for the new 18-inch Formula 1 tyre ...

Trending on F1 Chronicle