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Thread: Bahrain 2021: Post Qual analysis.

  1. #1
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    Bahrain 2021: Post Qual analysis.

    After an exciting season opening qualifying session, a few things have been made clearer.

    Red Bull is in fact very very fast. Many thought the Red Bull looked the fastest and most sorted car in last weeks testing, and at least in qualifying it has proven to be fastest... when in the hands of Max Verstappen, who claimed the first pole of 2021. As for Perez, has he already caught the stink eye from Helmut Marko?

    Mercedes still have some work to do. But if this is their performance in what may be their worst position of the season, it still looks very promising for Mercedes. It is believed the rule changes that cut downforce to the floor of the car has hurt Mercedes the most. It is inevitable that the smart minds at the factory will find a way to claw the downforce back in a hurry. It may take a few races, but rest assured Mercedes will be a force in 2021.

    I think we can confirm Ferrari took a big step forward. Though the 4th place starting position is mostly down to another magic lap by Charles Leclerc. Carlos Sainz has been solid to say the least.

    AlphaTauri are legitimately fast. How long that lasts is yet to be seen, but the car is very good. Perhaps this is evidence that Honda made a huge step forward. Yuki Tsunoda also appears to have some impressive pace, but his style could be hard on tires and induce mistakes. But so far, he has been fun to watch.

    McLaren, a bit of a let down. With Mercedes power and very strong driver line up, I expected to see them closer to the front. A full second off the pace is just not good enough.
    Alpine is better than I thought. One thing is for sure, Alonso still appears to be a platinum level driver.

    Aston Martin may be the biggest disappointment. A lot of resources have gone into the team and it's evident they once again "copied" a lot of Mercedes' design. I think clever development can't just come from a big check from Lawrence Stroll, and thus they don't have a handle on their car yet. Who knows if they ever do.

    Alfa Romeo is close to where most expected. Unsurprisingly Giovinazzi outperformed Raikkonen, but Kimi is a wise old cat who certainly can make moves in the race.

    Williams is not the worst! George Russell is still Mr Saturday. Points still unlikely.

    Haas. Well...... they have said they wanted to focus on their 2022 program, but it seems they started that mid season 2020 as the car is absolute rubbish, with no chassis improvements over last season. Mind you they have two rookies trying to come to grips with the F1 world and there is no good way to compare their performance to a proper experienced teammate. It might be a miracle if they score a single point this season. So far Nikita has earned the nickname Mazespin.

  2. #2
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    I've read in an article from 2018-2019 (can't remember who wrote the article nor the time when I read it), which says that 0.1 seconds is worth a little more than 10 hp. If that's true, the 2021 Ferrari engine is only 10-15hp down on the 2021 Mercedes engine and about 30-40hp down on Honda's 2022 engine.
    "I've always believed that you should never, ever give up and you should always keep fighting even when there's only a slightest chance." - Michael Schumacher

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by SS454 View Post
    After an exciting season opening qualifying session, a few things have been made clearer.

    Red Bull is in fact very very fast. Many thought the Red Bull looked the fastest and most sorted car in last weeks testing, and at least in qualifying it has proven to be fastest... when in the hands of Max Verstappen, who claimed the first pole of 2021. As for Perez, has he already caught the stink eye from Helmut Marko?

    Mercedes still have some work to do. But if this is their performance in what may be their worst position of the season, it still looks very promising for Mercedes. It is believed the rule changes that cut downforce to the floor of the car has hurt Mercedes the most. It is inevitable that the smart minds at the factory will find a way to claw the downforce back in a hurry. It may take a few races, but rest assured Mercedes will be a force in 2021.

    I think we can confirm Ferrari took a big step forward. Though the 4th place starting position is mostly down to another magic lap by Charles Leclerc. Carlos Sainz has been solid to say the least.

    AlphaTauri are legitimately fast. How long that lasts is yet to be seen, but the car is very good. Perhaps this is evidence that Honda made a huge step forward. Yuki Tsunoda also appears to have some impressive pace, but his style could be hard on tires and induce mistakes. But so far, he has been fun to watch.

    McLaren, a bit of a let down. With Mercedes power and very strong driver line up, I expected to see them closer to the front. A full second off the pace is just not good enough.
    Alpine is better than I thought. One thing is for sure, Alonso still appears to be a platinum level driver.

    Aston Martin may be the biggest disappointment. A lot of resources have gone into the team and it's evident they once again "copied" a lot of Mercedes' design. I think clever development can't just come from a big check from Lawrence Stroll, and thus they don't have a handle on their car yet. Who knows if they ever do.

    Alfa Romeo is close to where most expected. Unsurprisingly Giovinazzi outperformed Raikkonen, but Kimi is a wise old cat who certainly can make moves in the race.

    Williams is not the worst! George Russell is still Mr Saturday. Points still unlikely.

    Haas. Well...... they have said they wanted to focus on their 2022 program, but it seems they started that mid season 2020 as the car is absolute rubbish, with no chassis improvements over last season. Mind you they have two rookies trying to come to grips with the F1 world and there is no good way to compare their performance to a proper experienced teammate. It might be a miracle if they score a single point this season. So far Nikita has earned the nickname Mazespin.
    Agree with most except AM. I think they will recover to be the 3rd best team in a few races. Seb got caught out during his run or he would be in the top 10 too.
    Silently, like a shadow

  4. #4
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    I still think Maclaren is the 3rd team.
    We will see. AT looks very strong too.
    AM is nowhere yet.

  5. #5
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    It's hard to judge but I'm reasonably optimistic.

    Red Bull seem fast in all parts of a race track and Mercedes no longer have that advantage in a straight line. Looking at the sector 2 times yesterday Max absolutely killed them. Lewis is still extracting so much more from the car than Valteri it's really quite embrassing for the Finn. Perez messed up but it's still a lose lose situation being Max's team mate.

    Happy with Leclerc, looks like we've reduced some of the defecit down the straights and the car looks easier to handle but I'm not sure how we can ever battle for a win unless Red Bull and Mercedes fail to finish or have issues. In my head it's now a separate division and from third down I'm hoping we have a good chance to win that other league of cars/drivers.

    Alpha Tauri have looked really fast but they didn't deliver in Q2 on the mediums and in Q3 we managed to qualify just ahead but out of all the midfield they look the strongest bar us. Yuki looks great, think he will be loads of fun to watch during the race.

    McLaren I think I expected more, this buzz around the diffuser loophole and a mercedes in the back didn't deliver yesterday but it's early days I guess.

    Aston Martin...I'm super happy to see them struggle yesterday, copying a car isn't paying off right now is it Omar.

    The Alpine looks disappointing, Alonso said it's under rotating in slow corners and the back end is getting away in higher speed. Still Alonso showed his incredible ability and Ocon is going to have a difficult season with Fernando as his team mate.

    Alfa Romeo looked good, but they are probably too far off the rest of the midfield and too far ahead of Williams to scrap with. Happy for Antonio though, he put in a great lap.

    I think Williams are lucky Haas have shifted all development to next season. They just look average but it's obvious Russell is significantly better than Latifi.

    Haas....well it's great to see Mick out there and on one hand it gives him a season to get used to everything with no pressure. But it's going to be a season of pain, such a slow car and will only appear to go backwards whilst others improve throughout the season. Mazepin will just be a joke this season, he doesn't deserve to be driving in F1.

    Anyway that's only looking at Quali, I think race pace is an even more unknown than going into Quali yesterday. Think there could be a few surprises with tyre wear.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by SS454 View Post
    I think we can confirm Ferrari took a big step forward. Though the 4th place starting position is mostly down to another magic lap by Charles Leclerc. Carlos Sainz has been solid to say the least.
    I am not so sure about that "a big step forward". Because Charles usually tunes up car for quali, so he can get better position for race, and then fights whole race to hold that position. I am pretty sure at least Gasly and Perez is going to pass Charles today, and possible Norris and Ricciardo.
    Also, Aston Martin is coming to the top for sure, just some "first day" problems, AT and Macca are both fast and Alpine/Renault with Alonso is there too. We will see.

  7. #7
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    I do believe that Vettel is faster than Stroll, and Stroll is just behind Carlos, so..also Alonsos first day with Alpine and he is there too, I am sure he too gets better, dont know about Ocon, so... maybe nothing has changed, for me it looks like that ATM.

  8. #8
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    Sakhir, 27 March 2021 – Qualifying went well for Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow, with Charles Leclerc fourth fastest and Carlos Sainz eighth.

    Improvement. Saturday evening in Sakhir confirmed that work on the SF21 has produced progress in terms of performance, as can be seen in a comparison with qualifying at the last race here when neither Ferrari driver got to Q3. Today, both of them made the cut, in full control of the situation, so that Charles and Carlos were in the fight for the top three rows on the grid.

    Different Q3 strategy. As has often been the case, Leclerc did a fantastic job of getting the most out of his only set of soft tyres, stopping the clocks in 1’29”678. It was good enough for fourth, under a tenth of a second off Valtteri Bottas in third.

    Carlos. Unlike his team-mate, Sainz opted to go for two runs. On used Softs he posted a solid 1’30”536, but on the second run he made a small mistake in the first sector and had to settle for 1’30”215, which put him eighth in the end.

    The race. The opening round of the season, the 17th Bahrain Grand Prix, run over 57 laps, starts tomorrow at 18 local (17 CET).



    Charles Leclerc #16

    “We know now where we are in terms of qualy pace and it’s a pleasant surprise, as we didn’t expect to be here, but today we need to keep our feet on the ground. It’s only the first qualy of the year and it’s run in very strange conditions.
    I think we should be satisfied as a team with the step we made since last year, so to be so far forward on the grid feels great. I have been struggling in FP2 and FP3 as I could not find the feeling with the car but I worked quite a lot on the driving and in qualy I was actually quite confident I would be able to do the lap I wanted.
    I feel confident for tomorrow but it’s going to be difficult as other cars around us seem to be very strong in terms of race pace and are starting on Mediums, so it’s going to be tricky to keep them behind. Also, it’s not going to be easy because of the wind, but that’s the same for everyone.”



    Carlos Sainz #55

    “A very positive day for the team. I think we can be happy with where we are. We had that very big shock in Q1, with the car turning off, but thankfully I could start it again and made it to the pits. It’s not always easy to recover from that, but we managed to have a very strong Q2. I’m obviously not happy with my last attempt in Q3. I went for it, but I’m probably lacking a bit more knowledge on the car and I couldn’t put together a clean lap. It is what it is.
    In general, though, I’m happy. I’ve been improving throughout the sessions, with good pace and very few mistakes so I want to keep gaining experience with the car and building confidence on a one-timed lap.
    There will be time to analyse Qualifying in depth next week, but now I want to switch my full focus to tomorrow’s race. I’m looking forward to my first ever race with the team and we’ll give our best to gain positions and finish as high as possible.”



    Laurent Mekies Racing Director

    “A good qualifying session, with both drivers getting through to the final part: something we have not seen since Silverstone last year. Charles, Carlos and the whole team have tackled the start of the season working methodically and with determination, going into the smallest detail to get all the potential out of the package. Today, we saw the first fruits of this work and we hope to see more tomorrow, when the points are given out. We know there’s still a lot of work to be done, but we cannot deny that the first real comparison with our opponents proves that our efforts seem to be going in the right direction, although a clearer picture of the hierarchy will only emerge after three or four races. Now we have to focus on preparing for what will be a long and difficult race, run in conditions that could be very different to those we have seen so far this weekend.”
    CAVALLINO RAMPANTE PER SEMPRE

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