Renault Sport F1 report from the Bahrain Grand Prix, Round 3 of the 2014 Formula 1 World Championship at Sakhir.
Thrilling end to Bahrain GP sees Daniel Ricciardo (Infiniti Red Bull Racing-Renault) finish a fighting fourth, just 0.4secs from the podium
Team-mate Sebastian Vettel passes the flag in P6 from tenth on the grid
Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat scores P11, his third finish in three races
Double finish for Lotus F1 Team, with Romain Grosjean P12
Caterham F1 Team’s Kamui Kobayashi gets P15
Infiniti Red Bull Racing: Daniel Ricciardo scored his second points of the season in Bahrain with a fighting fourth. Starting from P13 after a grid penalty was applied, the Australian swapped positions with the two Ferraris and McLarens throughout the race, with team-mate Vettel just in front. Timing his pit stops perfectly before the safety car period, Ricciardo was able to move past Vettel for fifth and then Hulkenberg for fourth on lap 50. Vettel led the midfield train for much of the race after starting tenth, but seized his opportunity following the safety car period. Despite losing a position to Ricciardo he kept the two Williams behind to finish in sixth overall.
Scuderia Toro Rosso: Daniil Kvyat finished his third Grand Prix in 11th, the third finish of his short F1 career. The Russian remained on the tail of the Ferrari-Red Bull-McLaren group in front throughout the race, battling at various points with the pack. He lost some time in the restart to Raikkonen but nevertheless withstood pressure from Grosjean in the closing stages of the race. Jean-Eric Vergne retired on lap 14 following a clash with Pastor Maldonado. Although he was able to continue, the damage caused a significant loss of performance and he stopped in the pits.
Lotus F1 Team: Romain Grosjean finished in 12th position from P16 on the grid. The Frenchman fought with both Caterhams and Saubers until moving clear following his final pit stop. After the safety car period Grosjean moved to within two seconds of Daniil Kvyat. Pastor Maldonado started the 57 lap race from P17 but a long first stint had moved him inside the top ten by the midpoint of the race. He was running in the top 12 until lap 40 and his second stop, but on exiting the pits he made contact with the Sauber of Esteban Gutierrez through turn 1. Gutierrez rolled, but Maldonado was able to continue, albeit further down the field. He recovered to finish in P15.
Caterham F1 Team: Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson enjoyed a race-long battle with both Marussias and Saubers, plus the Lotus of Pastor Maldonado, running as high as the top 12 in parts. Ericsson’s race was however cut short on lap 33 with an oil leak, which will be investigated further.
Rémi Taffin, Head of Track Operations: “The fastest cars are still a long way ahead of us but we are definitely there mixing it. We are in a challenger position and although we still have some way to go, we are on the tail end of the group. This just gives more motivation for the coming days, starting with the test next week where we have a hefty job list over all four teams. Aside from a couple of issues, which are becoming fewer and fewer, the weekend has been relatively reliable for us, allowing us to focus much more on performance and we are improving all the time as the problems are minimized. We may well be on the back foot in China, which has a long straight similar to this one, but the updates we will test next week should see the Renault-powered cars a lot closer to the front in the races thereafter.”