2017 Bahrain Thoughts
ALONSO: Hey, did you hear the April Fool's joke about Fernando Alonso skipping Monaco to run the Indy 500? Yeah, pretty crazy. It's so ridiculous, it doesn't even make a good April Fool's joke. Everybody will see right through it ... What? ... not a joke ... he's ... no ... seriously ... oh, just stop it ... enough's enough ... now, you're just being annoying ... okay, we'll listen ... HOLY CRAP!!!!
ECCLESTONE: No way Bernie would have ever let this happen.
DENNIS: No way Ron would have ever let this happen.
THE BIG PICTURE: Now, the big picture includes all of racing. And a throwback to the days when racers were racers and they raced anything, anytime. Once again, racing will be the top sport on people's minds the last weekend in May.
TRACK: Another track which played well into the hands of the new regulations.
EVENT: Interesting, how this time the cameras never showed any of the fans. That's because there were no fans. It's Bahrain, which is not just a desert barren of water, but barren of anyone who cares about the sport.
QUALIFYING: Bottas not only finally winds up on the front row but grabs his first career pole, the cooler night temperatures hurt Ferrari, Kimi complains again, Grosjean makes a great recovery, and the much maligned Palmer makes it to Q3.
RACE: Folks, it's official. Formula One is fixed.
START: Bottas handles the pressure perfectly, Vettel's start foreshadows race success, Verstappen does his usual thing, and Kvyat gets a touch wild.
VETTEL: This time, Sebastian did not get caught out by the timing of the safety car.
RAIKKONEN: This time, Kimi still seemed lost.
FERRARI: For the third race in a row, strategists nailed it, the Chinese results not withstanding. The technical minds on the design team were not the only ones who improved over the winter.
HAMILTON: Without the five-second penalty (which was deserved), it would have been one humdinger of a finish.
BOTTAS: It's hard to know if the tire pressures were the root cause, Valtteri's inability to handle the pressure of leading, or he's just not up to the speed of the world champions around him. Perhaps, it's a portion of all three.
MERCEDES: A tally of small mistakes added up to losing this race. It will be very interesting to see how the Silver Arrows handles their first serious competition since four seasons ago.
RICCIARDO: Daniel's car continues to have issues handling the current spec tires.
VERSTAPPEN: Max's strategy was lining up perfectly for an excellent finish. How many more thrills would this race have had if his brakes didn't fail?
RED BULL: When they get their new engine in Canada and if they can fix their aero issues (how ironic is that to say?), the championship could become a three team battle. Can us fans handle that?
MASSA: Felipe's best race since "retirement."
STROLL: Yes, the crash was similar to last week in which we criticized Lance. Not this time because...
SAINZ: ...Carlos had no chance to make that move coming out of the pits on cold tires from way back, braking well beyond any sensible point.
PEREZ: How many times do we say this? Sergio continues to put in amazing drives for an under budget team from way back in the field (even if the safety car was a big advantage to him). And he keeps beating Nico Hulkenberg no matter what team he's on.
OCON: Believe it or not, Esteban is now the youngest driver in F1 history to score points in the first three grands prix of a season.
GROSJEAN: Back in the points for Romain.
WEHRLEIN: Excellent 2017 debut. Pascal put aside all those issues of missing the first two races.
ERICSSON: With Wehrlein and Giovinazzi performances on Sauber, it's becoming more evident Marcus is still out of his elements.
PALMER, KVYAT: Jolyon and Daniil's battle was more like a short track stock car fight than a F1 road course duel.
RENAULT: Both drivers make it to Q3, but they didn't take advantage of it.
MCLAREN: They and Honda can't get one car to even start the race and can't get the other car to finish, no matter how close it got.
T-WINGS: Get rid of them!
SHARK FINS: And take this other ugly appendage with them.
ANDRETTI: Very interesting that Michael Andretti is going to team up with McLaren to get Alonso in the Indy 500 after the disastrous time Michael had with them in his brief F1 stint.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Thrilling.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 500 -- The number of miles Fernando Alonso hopes to complete on May 28.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: Every year Sebastian Vettel has led the points at any time, he has won the world championship.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: If it wasn't obvious before why Fernando Alonso wants to skip Monaco and go to where he could actually win a race, it was after he said over the radio, "I've never raced with less power in my life."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Even though we're tired of Christian Horner butting into other team's business, we couldn't resist mentioning his quote on Zak Brown allowing Alonso to skip Monaco to race at Indy, "He must be barking mad."
SCHEDULE: If the new regulations make an enthralling race at a track like Sochi, then we really have something special this year.
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