Formula One Managing Director of Motorsports Ross Brawn admitted that the race in Bahrain should be considered as further proof that the large performance gap between the leading three teams and the remaining squad must be addressed for the future. Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly led the midfield charge throughout the weekend in Bahrain, but qualified over a second behind nearest rival Daniel Ricciardo, and finished the race almost a minute adrift of third place.
It has been a theme in Formula 1 across recent years, with last season’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix the only instance since mid-2016 that a team from outside the top three (Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull) has claimed a podium finish: “The different strategies produced a thrilling duel between Ferrari and Mercedes, even though that didn’t include much overtaking, but behind the top group there were plenty of passing moves. The most exciting one came from [Lewis] Hamilton early on in his rise through the order, when he dealt with [Fernando] Alonso, [Nico] Hulkenberg and [Esteban] Ocon in one fell swoop in the braking area at Turn 1 However, it’s a shame that we were pretty much watching two grands prix: one conducted in the absence of Red Bull was a battle between two teams, Ferrari and Mercedes, and then there was a race involving everybody else. Just six drivers completed the full 57 laps and the gap between third-placed Hamilton and fourth-placed Gasly there was a huge 55 seconds.” – Ross Brawn explained, as reported by the British media.
“However, the size of the performance gap is not surprising when you consider that out of last year’s 60 podium places, just one went to a driver not driving a Ferrari, Mercedes or Red Bull – Lance Stroll, for Williams in Baku. It is further proof that we need to do something. It is one of the goals outlined in our vision for the Formula 1 of the future, which we presented to the teams and to the FIA last Friday in Bahrain. Along with the organising body, we want to work on achieving this to make this sport even more spectacular and appealing. Above all we need to do it for our biggest asset: the fans.” – Formula One Managing Director of Motorsports Ross Brawn concluded.
Mercedes, Scuderia Ferrari and Red Bull have shared each Grand Prix win since Australia 2013, when Lotus triumphed with Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen.