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Fernando Alonso with his 22nd winners trophy. He is now equal 10th on the all time list with Damon Hill

FERNANDO ALONSO won today’s Bahrain Grand Prix ahead of his Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa, with McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton coming home in third. World Champion Jenson Button came in seventh.

Vettel’s Red Bull led from pole into the first corner, where Alonso passed Massa for second. Confusion reigned behind them as Mark Webber’s Red Bull blew a cloud of excess oil into the path of the cars following him, sending Robert Kubica (now at Renault) spinning into Adrian Sutil’s Force India.

It was a race weekend to forget for most of the new teams and drivers. Hispania’s Chandhok crashed after just one lap, Virgin Racing’s Lucas di Grassi’s gearbox let him down a lap later and both of the Saubers went out with hydraulic problems. Petrov (Renault) damaged his suspension; the gearbox in Timo Glock’s Virgin Racing VR-01 broke on lap 17 and Bruno Senna’s Hispania’s hydraulics failed on the next lap. But both Lotuses made it to the finish (15th & 17th), as did Nico Hülkenberg in his Williams (14th).

It was going well for Vettel for the majority of the race. He was keeping both Ferraris behind him and seemed to be heading for the win. But on lap 33 he lost power due what was thought to be a cracked exhaust (later identified as spark plug faliure) and both Alonso and Massa passed him easily, Hamilton following a few laps later. But Vettel hung onto fourth keeping Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes at bay. Further back Michael Schumacher (Mercedes) had a pretty uneventful race in sixth until the Button vs. Webber fight caught him, but he managed to stay just in front of them in his first race since Brazil ’06.

In the end Alonso won the 49 lap race with a total race time of 1h:39m:20.396 (115.744mph). He was just over 16 seconds ahead of Massa, with Hamilton 23 seconds behind him. Alonso also set the fastest lap of the race with a 1:58.287 (119.120mph) tour.

McLaren have a bit of improving to do for the next race in Australia (March 26-27-28), where I’m sure we’ll have a much better race. Bruno’s F1 career has started out much the same as his uncle’s. Ayrton Senna retired from the 1984 Brazilian Grand Prix on lap 8 with turbo problems, so Bruno actually lasted longer in his first race. 🙂  

Drivers’ Standings

  1. Alonso 25pts
  2. Massa 18pts
  3. Hamilton 15pts
  4. Vettel 12pts
  5. Rosberg 10pts
  6. Schumacher 8pts
  7. Button 6pts
  8. Webber 4pts
  9. Liuzzi 2pts
  10. Barrichello 1pt

 

Constructors’ Standings

  1. Ferrari 43pts
  2. McLaren 21pts
  3. Mercedes 18pts
  4. Red Bull 16pts
  5. Force India 2pts
  6. Williams 1pt
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