2010 F1 Season begins with a Ferrari 1-2

What started off as a daily habit of reading newspaper during my early years has now culminated in a craze for Formula 1 Racing. In those days , I started following Formula 1 courtesy "The Hindu" and the headlines related to F1 used to have two words sculpted in it no matter what - "Michael Schumacher". Everything in F1 was, in a way or other related to the supremely talented racer or his legendary driving on tracks. Yes, there were allegations against his aggressive driving habits, there were controversies over his team favoring him at the expense of his team-mate, but none can even think of denying the divine skills that he possessed, especially in wet tracks, which earned him the title "The Rain Master". 

The 2010 F1 Season, which started yesterday (14-Mar-2010) with the Bahrain Grand Prix is significant for the same reason - the legend has returned to F1 after 3 years in retirement. This along with the presence of 3 other World Champions in Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso had made sure that the expectations for the season-opener were sky-high. Not to mention the young talents like Sebastian Vettel, Nico Rosberg and Adrian Sutil all of whom lined up with all guns blazing, it was pretty obvious that there is going to be no dearth of excitement and surprises in this F1 season. The new regulations also means that this season is going to be a journey in an untrodden path. 

2010 Bahrain Grand Prix - Qualifying:
2009's star performer Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) just managed to nudge ahead of Felipe Massa (Ferrari) to take the pole position in the season-opener. Following Vettel and Massa was the second Ferrari of Fernando Alonso. Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) shared the second row with Alonso while Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) managed to pip his illustrious team-mate to take fifth place. Mark Webber (Red Bull) joined Rosberg in the third row while Michael Schumacher (Mercedes) started from the fourth row on the grid. Jenson Button (McLaren), Robert Kubica (Renault) and Adrian Sutil (Force India) completed the Top 10. India's F1 debutante Karun Chandok (HRT F1) started the race from the final position (24th place) after failing to manage a lap in any of the free practice sessions due to technical problems. 

2010 Bahrain Grand Prix - Race Day:
Fernando Alonso took a superb victory ahead of Felipe Massa to make it a Ferrai 1-2 in the season opener. Putting besides them a dismal show in 2009 season, Ferrari has come back with a bang and with two top drivers in top form, I think it will be difficult to challenge the scarlet team this year. By winning on his debut with Ferrari, Fernando Alonso has repeated the feat Kimi Raikkonen acheived in 2007, the year in which he went on to win the driver's championship too. Lewis Hamilton took a decent third place for McLaren. 

Sebastian Vettel had a clean start to the race and lead comfortably until problems in the exhaust system of his Red Bull slowed down his pace and allowed the podium finishers to move past him. Poor chap, let's just hope that he gets not only a quick but also a reliable machine in the forthcoming races. Felipe Massa was in hot pursuit of his team-mate Fernando Alonso for most part of the race after the latter moved past him in the very first corner of the race. Sebastian Vettel managed to bring his Red Bull to a respectable fourth place. Michael Schumacher never managed to get past Nico Rosberg and the two Mercedes drivers took the fifth and sixth places. The defending champion Jenson Button finished a disappointing seventh in his McLaren debut folowed by Mark Webber (Red Bull), Tonio Liuzzi (Force India) and last year's runner-up Rubens Barrichello (Williams). Totally 8 drivers failed to finish the race including Indian racer Karun Chandok, who crashed in his very first lap in F1.

2010 Bahrain Grand Prix - Top 3:
  1. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)
  2. Felipe Massa (Ferrari)
  3. Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) 

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