Fernando Alonso’s dream Ferrari debut
Fernando Alonso and Ferrari have got their driver/team relationship off to the perfect start, winning the opening round of the 2010 Formula 1 World Championship at Bahrain.
The Spaniard led home team-mate Felipe Massa to a comfortable one-two result – the first Ferrari quinella since 2006.
Pole-sitter and early race leader Sebastian Vettel was hampered by an exhaust problem, costing him speed and ultimately victory. He dropped down to fourth by race’s end.
Lewis Hamilton was the last driver to get past the fast Red Bull, claiming a first-up podium for 2010.
Hamilton actually ran in fifth in the opening stanza of the race behind Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg but jumped him in the pit stops.
The Mercedes duo of Rosberg and Michael Schumacher eventually finished fifth and sixth ahead of reigning world champ Jenson Button (McLaren) while Australian driver Mark Webber.
Webber qualified sixth and had a trouble-free race, running in close to the Mercedes and McLarens ahead. The only cause of concern for his team were the two huge clouds of white smoke that pumped out of his Red Bull at the first two corner.
Ninth place went to Tonio Luizzi (Force India) from Rubens Barrichello (Williams).
Out-of-luck rookies Vitaly Petrov and Nico Hulkenberg had difficult debuts. Hulkenberg spun his Williams in the fast downhill corners on the new section of circuit, while Petrov pitted with a suspension problem.
Of the new teams, Lotus got both cars to the flag, with Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli 15th and 16th. Both of the Virgin entries suffered mechanical problems, while HRT’s Karun Chandhok crashed on lap two and team-mate Bruno Senna had a mechanical failure.