The first hurdle is over for Sebastian Vettel. The Red Bull
Massa and Alonso are waiting for Vettel mistakes
'The Red Bull is slightly faster on this track under these conditions,' explained Fernando Alonso, who will position himself in third place in Vettel's rear-view mirror at the start. However, the red cars drove slightly better times on long runs in practice. And tire wear also speaks for Maranello. Thus, the race is decided at the start, which did not turn out to be a strength of the Heppenheimer last season.
Should Felipe Massa, who starts right next to Vettel from the front row, already overtake in the acceleration phase , it will be almost impossible for the German to make up for the position. It is unlikely that the two Ferraris will engage in a duel. 'We'll be careful in the first race,' said Alonso. The plan: 'It's best if we drive past the Red Bull together.'
Webber pushes from sixth
Vettel's team-mate Mark Webber was able to open Sixth place did not call up the Red Bull's potential. Three mistakes on his fastest lap meant sixth place. The Australian will try to catch Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in the first few meters. If that doesn't work, the fans can look forward to action in the further course of the duel.
On the other hand, it will be difficult for Michael Schumacher in seventh place. He wants to win positions with his routine at the start. Later on, make up more ground through clever budgeting and a good strategy. 'The podium is not unattainable', the record champion gives his fans hope. But Webber in front of him is simply sitting in the faster car. The tests so far have shown that. It doesn't help much that Schumi feels much more comfortable on the long runs than in the qualifying sprint.
Tire poker in the battle for the last points
Robert Kubica is the first driver in ninth place who is not in one of the four top cars. He will fight for the last points with Adrian Sutil and Rubens Barrichello. But the Pole does not see himself in the defensive position. 'I'm not looking back, just looking ahead.' It will be interesting to see which tire strategy is the better. Kubica starts on the soft rubbers, Sutil on the hard ones. Barrichello can still choose the mix.
Nobody knows how the route will develop. How long the tires will keep running and when is the right time to change. Sutil hopes the soft tire will be even faster at the end of the race with a lot of rubber on the track. 'For that I have to be careful with the hard tires at the beginning. The others have a small advantage there.' Barrichello can start in eleventh on very fresh tires, which is only little consolation for the veteran. 'We expected more. Unfortunately, some parts did not work as well as when we tested in Barcelona.'
Bahrain not perfect for Sauber
Also at Sauber one could qualify do not confirm the good impression of the tests. 'Bahrain is not exactly our route,' explains Pedro de la Rosa. 'We have a lot of downforce and a lot of air resistance. The long straights are not so good there.' A look at the top speed table confirms the Spaniard. Both Sauber are in the back field here. Five to six km /h are missing from the midfield alone.
In the duel between the newbies, Timo Glock delivered the fastest lap in qualifying. The German succeeded in Bahrain, which has rarely succeeded in the past few years: He left the former team-mate and qualifying specialist Jarno Trulli just behind. Whether this also works in the race is only partially within the driver's sphere of influence. The Virgin could hardly do a longer stint in free practice without some important part on strike. The two green Lotus cars made a much more stable impression.