If Sepang, Malaysia, was a surprise to F1 fans, then Bahrain was simply perplexing. Vettel and Ferrari were in great form back in Malaysia GP. Indeed, Mercedes had to contend with second position and everyone sat up to look at the SF15-T more seriously.
Back to Bahrain International Circuit for the 4th race of 2015, it seems like things just got more interesting. Nothing makes sports as interesting as gauging which probable champions could be based on current performances.
The incredible show at Bahrain GP 2015 provides a very good indicator of who could finally become the champion come November. Take a closer look:
1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
Forget the breakup with Nicole and the never-ending contract negotiations with Mercedes, because this year, Hamilton seems impervious to imperfections. His error-prone driving that was evident last year seems like history in practice, qualifying and on race Sundays.
In Bahrain, not even faulty brakes towards finishing could stop him; he is simply a champion in waiting if nothing untoward happens, but this is F1, isn’t it?
2. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
When he made the decision to leave Red Bull in September 2014, the sporting world was in shock. Well, it seems baby Schumi’s move is paying back.
With one win under his belt and the SF15-T continuing to dazzle in qualifying and tire strategy, there is no stopping Vettel this season. If he avoids the blunders evident in Bahrain then Mercedes have a good battle on their hands.
3. Nico Rosberg
He is the scientist in the Mercedes driver line-up, but it seems things are not working out on his keen studies. However, Nico has been fast throughout his career and he still has a chance of overturning Hamilton’s run just like he almost did in 2014. The German has the guts to play dirty and push to the limit, and he enjoys seeing Lewis under pressure.
4. Kimi Räikkönen
Once upon a time in 2007, there was an F1 champion by the name of Kimi the Iceman. Well, he faded away, but he has still recorded one of the most impressive run of fast laps, which indicates he can rattle the top order at Scuderias by pushing Vettel to the limit.
There is motivation, of course, considering the boss Maurizio Arrivabene has said there is no contract without performance for Kimi, which is enough motivation to get results from the laidback Iceman.
Williams FW37 of Bottas and Felipe Massa would have featured in the list, but it seems their car is not yet there. But in F1 you just have to wait.
What you can’t deny is the fact that Bahrain 2015 offered a glimpse of this year’s champions’ lineup.