Rosberg To Upstage Hamilton In Bahrain Teaser
After Ferrari broke up the Mercedes party in Malaysia, normal service was resumed in China last time as Lewis Hamilton cruised to victory having dominated the whole weekend and Nico Rosberg trailed in second.
The Season So Far
Ferrari had to settle for third and fourth, Williams had another solid race, and after his disappointment in Malaysia, Fernando Alonso completed a race in the McClaren-Honda for the first time.
The Sakhir circuit in Bahrain has a fairly conventional layout and is not a particularly fast or technically challenging track, but is hard on both brakes and rear tyres. This year the race will be held at night for the second time, so temperatures won’t be quite as scorching as you’d expect, but there are still problems associated with sand and the changing wind direction, which can affect grip, balance and cornering.
In The Pits
After showing some promise in qualifying in Malaysia, Red Bull struggled badly in China, and whilst the slower track at Bahrain may suit them, they are still a long way off the pace. The same can be said about most of the other teams, including McClaren-Honda, for whom Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button look set for another weekend of fruitless toil in a desperately under-performing car.
Nico Rosberg has struggled to compete with his team-mate for some time. His complaint about Hamilton’s slow driving in China was perhaps a sign of his frustration, and he needs to get a win soon or he will find himself cast in a supporting role for the rest of the season.
There is no doubt about his ability to upstage Hamilton and in the hope that his experience in Shanghai will give him the impetus to fight a little harder this weekend, he’s worth sticking with at odds of 5/2.
Having announced their revival with victory in Malaysia, Ferrari couldn’t repeat the performance in Shanghai, but that doesn’t mean their success two weeks previously should be regarded as a flash in the pan and they have every chance of upsetting the odds in Bahrain. They are not quite up to the pace of the Mercedes yet but the high temperatures in the desert will make tyre preservation more important than it was in China, limiting Mercedes’ ability to exploit their speed advantage and making Sebastian Vettel a good bet to land his second win at 7/1
It could also pay to have one of the Williams drivers on your short-list in Bahrain, as both Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa have been driving well in the early weeks of the season.
Massa has been the more impressive of the two and has won this race twice before, so could be worth backing each way at 66/1 to capitalise on any Mercedes or Ferrari slip-ups.