Incredible to think that this weekend marks the fourth race of what has been an enthralling 2013 season so far. Since Australia, the action has had everyone on the edge of their seat, with the first three Grand Prix’s resulting in three different winners. The championship standings reflect the tight competition between all of the teams up and down the grid. With intense rivalry’s up and down the grid, there is plenty to play for in Bahrain this weekend.
Sergio Perez Hits Back At Criticism
Following Martin Whitmarsh recent outburst, Sergio Perez has hit back against the strong criticism angled at him proceeding his mediocre start to the season. The Mexican has not been exuding confidence so far this season, yet has shown determination and bravery to speak out against Whitmarsh.
Another lackluster performance in China prompted some strong criticism from Martin Whitmarsh, who stated that the young Mexican needed to “toughen up” in order to find success. However, Perez has expressed his displeasure at being targeted so soon in his McLaren career. Moreover, he has stated his belief that the MP4-28 has significantly hampered his opportunities to perform at the peak of his abilities.
The Mexican admitted that “at McLaren everyone is watching your performance – in every single practice session, every single race.” He continued, stating, “I find it quite amazing that after three weekends when I had two good weekends in terms of maximising the car potential, that after one bad weekend I received so many criticisms. But I think this is quite normal and usual for a team like McLaren.”
After writing an article regarding Whitmarsh’s abnormal statement, it is quite clear that key figures within McLaren are beginning to lose patience with Perez. These ideas are no doubt catalyzed by the MP4-28’s underlying flaws, yet publicly criticizing a driver as young and as susceptible as Perez may not be the wisest choice. Perez knows that any mistakes this weekend will be noted with the spotlight fixed firmly upon him. Rather than galvanize his performances, McLaren may have hampered his progress.
Button: “F1 Is Great At The Moment”
Lotus are typically the dark horses for any race weekend, however, on this occasion they can surly hold the mantle of outright favorites. The E21 is famed for having excellent traction, similar to that of its predecessor Their incredible performance in the 2012 Bahrain GP, will undoubtedly fill them with confidence. After a mediocre start, this weekend will mark the perfect opportunity for Romain Grosjean to discredit his doubters, with a solid performance. In terms of victory, he will struggle to overhaul his teammate Raikkonen.
While I have always stated, “never count Fernando Alonso out”, this weekend I am willing to rule him out of the victory. Since Jerez, the F138 has struggled in the traction zones, which will significantly hamper their performance this weekend. Ferrari will still secure solid points, however, this will be as a result of the teams around them (such as McLaren) continuing to struggle. Anything other than damage limitation is difficult to foreshadow this weekend for Ferrari.
Red Bull and Mercedes are likely to be the only two teams who can take the fight to Lotus. The Mercedes may be able to find performance in Qualifying, but their race pace may suffer as it did in China. It is an area in which the team needs to develop. Meanwhile, Red Bull will inevitably be strong, with Vettel looking to seal a second successive victory in Bahrain. Raikkonen will be looking to avenge last year’s failure to topple the German, despite having the faster car for the majority of the race. Expect fireworks between the fiery German and the Iceman this weekend.
As always, you can keep track of all of the weekend’s action on the blog, with in-depth analysis of each and every session going up soon after the flag drops. Miss nothing this weekend, on the KGibbsF1 Blog!