Once again Lewis Hamilton failed to convert a pole position to a win, as he got bogged down on the start, shoved wide in the first corner, and surrounded by mid-pack drivers.
|Lewis Hamilton (right) about to get tagged by Valteri Bottas (center)|
Source: Bleacher Report
|10||--||Sainz Jr.||Toro Rosso||1071||--|
Further down the grid, Romain Grosjean continues to impress as the lead driver for the new U.S.-based Haas F1 team. His fifth-place finish moves him up two spots in our ratings, breaking the top ten. This is the first time in the last 20 years that a truly new team -- not a rebranded team such as Jaguar-to-Red-Bull or Honda-to-Brawn -- has had a driver break the top ten. Not only that, but Haas and Grosjean have managed to do it by the second race. It's unclear if they'll be able to sustain this pace, as Kvyat and Force India both had off-races, but it's been made clear that Haas is not going to be another Manor or Caterham.
As for Force India, Bahrain saw the end of a run of top-ten finishes, dropping both drivers out of the top ten and to the back of the mid-pack teams. Finishing behind both Saubers and one of the Manors is not exactly the best way to claw your way towards the front of the pack.
One bright spot was Stoffel Vandoorne, the GP2 champion and reserve driver for McLaren, filling in for the injured Alonso. Vandoorne qualified 12th, ahead of Button, and managed to score a point in his Formula One debut. This makes for the seventh-best debut since the 2000 season.
Alonso is still questionable for China next week, so Vandoorne may get another chance to prove himself. We'll keep an eye on this new talent and how he does in comparison to other rookie drivers in their second outings.