The opening race of the 2022 Formula One season picked up the place the final marketing campaign left off as a late security automobile and last-lap drama in Bahrain produced no scarcity of speaking factors.
The sight of a Ferrari one-two couldn’t have been imagined when the 2021 marketing campaign ended final December, however Charles Leclerc held off a charging Max Verstappen to fend off the reigning world champion and lead dwelling a valuable victory for the Italian staff, with teammate Carlos Sainz second because of Verstappen’s late retirement.
The gas provide subject that ended the Dutchman’s race prematurely additionally affected his teammate Sergio Perez in the beginning of the ultimate lap. It induced the Mexican to spin below strain from Lewis Hamilton and finish his race, agonisingly, one lap brief. It handed the seven-time world champion an unlikely podium end, on a night the place Mercedes had clearly discovered themselves third-best in the 2022 pecking order.
So what did we be taught from the opening race of the season?
Ferrari engine energy
“Ferrari are back, really back,” mentioned Sainz after claiming second place behind teammate Leclerc in Bahrain. The Spaniard was not unsuitable. This was Ferrari’s first win since Sebastian Vettel took victory in Singapore in 2019. It has been a bleak interval for the Scuderia, however the reboot in the technical rules has clearly labored for them. It isn’t just the chassis, both. Ferrari’s engine seems to have made a dramatic leap – or not less than achieved parity with the Mercedes given it was clearly down on energy final 12 months – if the performances of Ferrari-driven Haas and Alfa Romeo, who took fifth and sixth by way of Kevin Magnussen and Valtteri Bottas, are something to go by.
Mercedes bought fortunate
Hamilton made a legitimate level in his post-race press convention, arguing his third-place end was not simply right down to pure luck. “Obviously we were fortunate, but we’ve done a better job,” mentioned the Mercedes driver. “We have reliability. It’s not luck, it’s the hard work of everyone.” The reality is, although, Mercedes have been eight tenths to one second per lap slower than the entrance two groups. That is an enormous hole. The concern is that it’s nonetheless a two-horse race on the entrance of the grid, solely one of the horses has modified. Either manner, Mercedes have a number of catching-up nonetheless to do, though Hamilton did declare the porpoising on his automobile was “a lot better” than it had been in testing.
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