2013 Bahrain Grand Prix
The 2013 Bahrain Grand Prix (formally known as the 2013 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix) was a Formula One motor race held on 21 April 2013 at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, Bahrain. Mercedes' Nico Rosberg started the race from pole. Sebastian Vettel won the race, with Lotus F1 drivers Kimi Räikkönen and Romain Grosjean completing the podium.
Contested over 57 laps, it was the fourth round of the 2013 season, and the ninth time that the Bahrain Grand Prix had been held as a round of the Formula One World Championship. The controversial race went ahead despite ongoing protests which had been taking place since the cancellation of the 2011 event. This race also marked the 200th Grand Prix for Mark Webber.
Tyre supplier Pirelli had originally planned to bring their hard and soft compounds of tyre to the race, to be designated as the prime and the option respectively. However, the teams experienced problems with the soft compound at the Chinese Grand Prix, with the tyres degrading after just seven laps, which prompted Pirelli to alter their allocation for the Bahrain Grand Prix, changing the options from the soft compound to the medium.
At the start, Nico Rosberg kept his lead into the first corner, with Vettel and Alonso keeping close company. On the second lap, Vettel went into the lead, and Alonso went into second place. Around the same time, Adrian Sutil, Jean-Eric Vergne and Giedo van der Garde were involved in a collision. Vergne eventually retired on lap 16, with damage caused by a puncture. Sutil would remain in 13th place, stuck behind Nico Hülkenberg for most of the race. Meanwhile, Fernando Alonso was complaining about his DRS system not working properly. It was in fact stuck open. He pitted to get the wing fixed. However, when trying to overtake, it got stuck open again, and was forced to remain without DRS for the rest of the race. He eventually finished 8th as a result. There was drama between the two McLarens of Jenson Button and Sergio Pérez. The two went onto the radio, and complained about each other battling aggressively for the past few laps. Button fell to 10th by the closing stages, while Pérez managed to get into 6th, only two seconds ahead of Webber and Alonso, and only 6 tenths behind Lewis Hamilton at the finish. Rosberg had fallen rapidly down the field, and would barely finish in the points, in 9th. Paul di Resta on the other hand, was more successful. He was running in third place at the finishing stages, before Romain Grosjean took the honours with just a few laps remaining. Grosjean's team mate Kimi Räikkönen managed to get into second place, and stay there until the end of the race. Vettel was challenged by him, but he held his own until the flag had fallen, taking his second victory of the season. Felipe Massa on the other hand, had a disappointing weekend. He qualified well in 4th place, but during the race, dropped to 15th place due to two tyre failures.
- ^1 — Lewis Hamilton was given a five-place grid penalty for an unscheduled gearbox change.
- ^2 — Mark Webber was given a three-place grid penalty for his role in causing an avoidable accident with Jean-Éric Vergne at the previous round of the championship.[N 1]
- ^3 — Valtteri Bottas and Pastor Maldonado recorded identical times during Q1. As Bottas set his time before Maldonado, he was considered to have placed higher than Maldonado, and so advanced to Q2 while Maldonado was eliminated.
- ^4 — Esteban Gutiérrez was given a five-place grid penalty for causing an avoidable accident with Adrian Sutil in the previous race.
Championship standings after the race
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
In the context of the ongoing Bahraini uprising, public protests also occurred over the 2013 staging of the race, after the 2011 event was cancelled and the 2012 event went ahead despite efforts by demonstrators to disrupt the race. According to Reuters, the race went ahead "largely unhindered" by the protests. Reflecting on the changes in the government strategy compared to 2012, they concluded that the public relations battle over this year's race had produced a stalemate, reflecting the situation in the opposition movement generally.
- As penalties are applied in the order that they are incurred, Webber was first moved from fifth to eighth. Hamilton's penalty was then applied, moving him from fourth to ninth, and Webber was moved back up to seventh on the grid.
- "2013 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix". Formula1.com. Formula One Administration. Retrieved 15 April 2013.
- "FIA Formula One calendar". FIA.com. Fedération Internationale de l'Automobile. Retrieved 15 April 2013.
- Beer, Matt (20 April 2013). "Bahrain GP: Nico Rosberg takes surprise pole for Mercedes". Autosport.com (Haymarket Publications). Retrieved 20 April 2013.
- "2013 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix — results". Formula1.com (Formula One Administrations). 21 April 2013. Retrieved 21 April 2013.
- Alan Baldwin (22 April 2013). "Bahrain looks long term with F1 race". Euronews. Reuters. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
- Collantine, Keith (13 February 2013). "Pirelli changes tyre choices for Australia and Bahrain". F1 Fanatic (Keith Collantine). Retrieved 18 April 2013.
- Collantine, Keith (14 April 2013). "2013 Chinese Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops". F1 Fanatic (Keith Collantine). Retrieved 18 April 2013.
- Collantine, Keith (16 April 2013). "Pirelli swaps soft tyre for medium in Bahrain". F1 Fanatic (Keith Collantine). Retrieved 18 April 2013.
- "Bahrain GP: final starting grid". Autosport.com (Haymarket Publications). 20 April 2013. Retrieved 21 April 2013.
- Straw, Edd; Beer, Matt (20 April 2013). "Bahrain GP: Lewis Hamilton gets five-place grid penalty over gearbox". Autosport.com (Haymarket Publications). Retrieved 20 April 2013.
- Collantine, Keith (14 April 2013). "Webber handed grid penalty for Vergne collision". F1 Fanatic (Keith Collantine). Retrieved 15 April 2013.
- Elizalde, Pablo (14 April 2013). "Chinese GP: Esteban Gutierrez punished for Adrian Sutil clash". Autosport.com (Haymarket Publications).
- The Independent
- Alexander Dziadosz (21 April 2013). "Bahrain Grand Prix 2013: Crisis Endures Despite Rulers Avoiding Fiasco". The Huffington Post. Reuters. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
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