• Bahrain Grand Prix

Press slam 'Bore-rain GP'

ESPNF1 Staff
March 15, 2010 « Button admits he should have pushed harder | »

Race report | Driver quotes | How they fared | 'Now it's time to push' - Alonso

After all the pre-season expectation, the press wasted no time in slamming the new regulations which reduced the Bahrain Grand Prix to something of a procession.

Drivers and insiders are blaming the refuelling ban, with most cars adopting similar race strategies at the Sakhir circuit and then being unable to follow their rivals closely enough to overtake.

Red Bull's Mark Webber blamed the rule makers, asking scathingly: "Why do they keep dicking with it?" The Daily Telegraph's Kevin Garside agreed, arguing that Bahrain was a "warning of the dangers of tinkering beyond repair".

The Sun predictably slammed the 'Bore-rain GP', with the Daily Mail adding: "The FIA and teams must look at the problem urgently and see what can be tweaked. The sport is in danger of missing out on its greatest bonanza. There are four champions on the grid, all in competitive cars. The racing should be sparkling rather than as dry as the desert."

The most scathing criticism was in the Times

"It was difficult not to imagine the click of millions of remote controls around the globe as viewers started scouring the channels for an alternative sporting event a little more exciting, such as international conkers from Rutland or celebrity cheeserolling from Amsterdam."

The foreign press was less vociferous in its condemnation, but even Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport - delighted with the Ferrari one-two - had to mention the lack of fizz. "Looking at it objectively, this new and highly anticipated F1 produced a rather boring race, with very few passes and most of the field bunched at the back. But Sakhir is an odd track. We'll see how the season unfolds."

France's L'Equipe said it was "unanimous" that Bahrain "was deadly dull", while Auto Hebdo insisted it is "too early to say" the new rules have failed, "but the lack of excitement did not go unnoticed".

Germany's Bild quoted Adrian Sutil's father Jorge as saying: "Next time I will take with me something to read."

Michael Schumacher and race winner Fernando Alonso predicted more of the same in 2010, and reigning world champion Jenson Button played down Alain Prost's claim that the new generation will adjust to the formula that was last in place 17 years ago.

"It's not like the old days," Button said. "We have so much more downforce. You could follow cars [back] then. You could slide up the inside. You could race. It's very different now."