Honda F1 Bahrain Grand-Prix race review

Honda F1 Bahrain Grand-Prix race review

29.11.2020: BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX Sakhir International Circuit 27-29 November 2020 Sunday, November 29th 2020 A double podium and three cars in the top six was the result after a dramatic and delayed Bahrain Grand Prix, where most importantly Romain Gros


BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX
Sakhir International Circuit
27-29 November 2020
Sunday, November 29th 2020



 
 
A double podium and three cars in the top six was the result after a dramatic and delayed Bahrain Grand Prix, where most importantly Romain Grosjean was able to walk away from a terrifying crash.
 


On the opening lap, Grosjean moved across on Daniil and contact between them sent the Haas into the barrier at high speed. The car was split in two and caught fire, but Grosjean thankfully climbed out as the race was red flagged for more than an hour. Daniil was blameless in the incident, but on the race restart was unlucky to pick up a penalty for a second collision when trying to overtake Lance Stroll.



The Racing Point driver turned into the apex despite Daniil being on the inside into Turn 8, with the contact flipping Stroll’s car, which brought out the Safety Car. Daniil was hit with a ten-second time penalty that effectively ruined his race. The restarted race had seen a slightly different grid, with Max up in second after a good initial start, and Alex fifth. Both ran on the medium tyre in the first stint before switching to hards, with Max keeping Lewis Hamilton in his sights at the front of the field.



Pierre took the opportunity to switch to hard tyres during the red flag period - having originally started on mediums - and restarted ninth, while Daniil was down in 15th. After the first pit stops, Max made an earlier second tyre change than Hamilton but unfortunately a slow stop meant he couldn’t use his advantage on the out lap and ended up three seconds behind the leader. He kept the pressure on but couldn’t close the gap, so a later third stop saw him switch back to medium tyres from the hard compound and he set the fastest lap on his way to second place.



Alex was competitive and climbed to fourth ahead of Valtteri Bottas early after the restart, then spent the race putting pressure on Sergio Perez. It looked like Alex would have to settle for fourth after doing two stints on the medium before switching to hard tyres, but the pressure told when Perez suffered an MGU-K problem and retired with three laps remaining, promoting Alex to his second podium this season, and the third time we've had two Honda-powered cars on the podium in the past two seasons.


While the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing drivers had split strategies with a three-stop for Max and a two-stop for Alex after the red flag, Scuderia AlphaTauri went for a completely different approach with Pierre put on a one stop. A valiant final stint saw him drop from fifth to seventh before the late Safety Car, allowing him to come home sixth after Perez’s retirement.



 Daniil battled hard to the end but just missed out in 11th place, as the Safety Car prevented him from overtaking Charles Leclerc for the final championship point.
 
 


 
Toyoharu Tanabe
Technical Director, Honda Racing F1   


“First of all, we are really relieved that Romain Grosjean got out from that terrible accident with only minor injuries. We have not seen a crash like that for many years, but it proved how safe are the current Formula 1 cars and that is down to the hard work of the FIA in the area of safety over so many years.



When the race restarted after a long red flag period, we witnessed a solid performance from Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and it was great to see both drivers on the podium. It was a positive start to this final triple-header with the added bonus of Max taking the race fastest lap. As for Scuderia AlphaTauri, Pierre was the only driver to go for a one-stop strategy and he drove an intelligent and patient tyre management race to make it work and finish sixth. Daniil finished just outside the points, his race compromised by a penalty.



Now, we have the benefit of staying in the same place to prepare for the next round, although we will race on a new layout of the Sakhir track. We plan to keep today’s momentum going for next weekend and indeed for the final round in Abu Dhabi a week later.”
 
 



Max Verstappen
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing    Race:2nd



“It was of course a big shock to see the flames at the start of the race and you know it is bad when there is fire like that. We were all relieved that Romain was able to get out of the car himself and that any injuries were treatable and I hope he recovers quickly. It’s not nice to see those things happen but fortunately the safety is incredible with the suits and the halo really saved his life today by pushing the guard rail up over his head.


In the race I tried everything I could to stay with Lewis and there wasn’t much left to give but unfortunately we were just a bit too slow. I think we could maybe have put Mercedes under a bit more pressure but overall I think second is where we belong today with the pace of the car.



A double podium is a great result for the Team and well done to Alex as I am pleased for him. The car seems to be working well here so we’ll see how next weekend goes on the different layout but hopefully we can find a bit more pace and get everything that’s possible.”
 


 
Alexander Albon
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing    Race:3rd


“Of course there’s a bit of luck involved today and Sergio drove a good race but we were there to capitalise on anything happening ahead and that’s exactly what we did so I’m really happy. The Team told me Sergio might have an engine issue and my first thought was if he’s dropping oil, I don’t want to be the first car behind him so I stayed off-line just in case and fortunately everything worked out.


Considering the car damage we had on Friday, the guys did an amazing job to get everything ready for Saturday and it’s nice to repay them in this way. It’s been a good weekend for me pace wise and I’m happy with how it turned out. I feel like the last few races have been getting better and results just haven’t shown that but we’ve taken another step forward this weekend and I’m pleased.




Next week we’re racing on a different layout but it’s a pretty similar circuit so hopefully we can expect more of the same. Like everyone in the paddock I was also very relieved to see Romain walk away from the car after the accident, it was shocking to watch back and the safety team did an amazing job today.”
 
 



Pierre Gasly
Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda    Race:6th


“The main thing about today is to see Romain walking away from that horrific crash at the start of the race. It was pretty shocking to see, but I’m really glad he’s ok and I wish him all the best for his recovery and hope to see him back very soon. Performance-wise, I’m really pleased with our job. We took a risky strategy - it was a gamble - but it paid off in the end.


It was one of the toughest races and a lot of hard work inside the cockpit today, it was all about managing and pushing as hard as I could, without hurting the tyres too much and keep them alive for as many laps as possible. It gave me a pretty hard time in the cockpit, but we managed to get one of our best results of the year, so I’m really happy to make it back in the points and make the best out of this Sunday.”
 
 
 


Daniil Kvyat
Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda    Race:11th



“To finish P11 is super frustrating. On the opening lap, I was a bit angry at first with Romain for his move, but then I was just worried about him because I saw the flames and how bad the crash was - I was just hoping he was OK and fortunately it wasn’t as bad as it looked. Then on the race restart I had an incident with Stroll. I was fully on the inside of him and even if I think saw me he chose to turn in like I wasn’t there.



I put my whole car on the inside of the kerb and there wasn’t much more I could have done. So, I don’t share the same view as the Stewards regarding my penalty. It’s a shame they took this decision because it ruined my race. I’m upset but nothing will change the outcome, unfortunately.”
 
 
 



- Honda - photos Red Bull

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29.11.2020 / MaP

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