So there you have it, the second race of the season is complete with a second Silver Arrow on top of the podium. But something tells us that it won’t be a runaway season for the Mercedes boys, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg – and that something is Sebastian Vettel.
Mercedes delivered the one-two punch on Sunday morning, but Vettel stuck the RB10 in the race and held-on to take the third step on the podium, proving that Red Bull is making leaps and bounds from where they started just a few weeks ago in pre-season testing. Like last week, teammate Daniel Ricciardo caught the unlucky bug, and retired due to damage his car suffered during a problematic pit stop. But the young Aussie kept his nose right in it during the first part of the race and gave his pit boss the business when he was told to stay clear of Vettel, saying “I want to be close in case something happens.”
Overall, the race wasn’t entirely eventful, but viewers saw some great fighting towards the middle of the pack and an impending rain shower kept things interesting. Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso battled back and forth all morning long, with different tire strategies favoring Alonso in the end. “The Hulk” continues to prove his worth in the sport though, and finished fifth (one spot up from last week).
But it was the fight of the Williams’ that kept the morning alive. The Williams pit radioed to Felipe Massa instructing him to give way to teammate Valtteri Bottas, who was on newer tires and setting better times. The communication read “Felipe...Valtteri is faster than you,” which couldn’t have been a worse phrasing for the Brazilian. Massa was having none of it, and ended up holding off his younger teammate to capture seventh position. We can only imagine what Frank Williams is saying in that garage right now.
McLaren have already made a wing change, but looked to have lost some pace. Jenson Button plodded his way into sixth, with Kevin Magnussen taking ninth after receiving a drive-thru penalty. Next weekend will be interesting. The crew will meet up again on Friday for Free Practice One in Bahrain. How much speed will Vettel recover in five days?