The flop of the F1 opening raises threatening images for Valtteri Bottas’ season – EPN’s expert saw Ferrari’s difficulties already in the tests

The flop of the F1 opening raises threatening images for

The F1 season started in Bahrain when Max Verstappen drove to an overwhelming victory. Alfa Romeo Valtteri Bottas got off to a great start and was eighth thanks to it.

Sports expert Jukka Mildh go through the most interesting topics of the competition in this article.

How did the race end?

Two-time world champion Max Verstappen got a controlled start and his race pace was irresistible compared to the others. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc managed to rise to second place at the start, but he had no say in Verstappen’s pace.

Verstappen stated after the race that after the first few laps he only focused on taking care of his tires.

– The race was decided by Red Bull’s perfect car and speed at the moment. Red Bull’s qualifying performance and Verstappen’s great start decided. A very simple race in itself. Red Bull is ready for this season, says Mildh.

What are we talking about?

Ferrari is expected to challenge Red Bull this season. Leclerc was not able to challenge Verstappen with speed, and in addition, the opening race of the season ended in suspension.

– The fact that Red Bull’s number one challenger Leclerc has to stop due to a technical problem and probably an engine problem is really hard. It was quite a flop for Ferrari, says Mildh.

– If it’s an engine problem, is it reflected in other teams using Ferrari engines?

There has also been buzz around Aston Martin. Fernando Alonso drove perfectly in his new team and passed third Carlos Sainz. Alonso admired the drivability of his car and the development work of the team during the winter.

– It’s a pleasure to see that Alonso did such a great performance and brought new vigor and life to the F1 series, says Mildh.

Alonso recently revealed that he drove a long stretch last season with broken hands. Mildh sees that now Alonso has recovered from last year’s injuries and is in super shape.

The expert sees the Spaniard rising to the top of the F1 series this season. Even placing on the podium is a good sign, but the team has good opportunities to develop their car with the help of the wind tunnel.

– Alonso’s chance to make it this year is based on the fact that since the team has not been very successful, they have more aerodynamic test time compared to the top teams.

– The development potential of the car is really good. This could make Alonso a major surprise this season.

What about Bottas?

Started from grid 12 Valtteri Bottas had a great start to the race when he was as high as eighth in the first corners. Last season, Bottas had problems at the starts, especially because of the car’s clutch, but now the Nastola driver got off to a good start.

– He drove the first lap very intelligently and confidently. He found suitable gaps and driving lines, and was able to pass many cars. That was the deciding factor.

According to the expert, Bottas, who was eighth, drove a good and strong race. Achieving World Championship points right from the opening race is really important.

– Quite a promising start. The car clearly worked until the end. Let’s hope that Ferrari’s problems don’t show up at Alfa Romeo. I don’t think that will happen.

Bottas was unable to compete on the track against Aston Martin and Mercedes due to the lack of straight line pace. Mildh is not worried about it yet.

– Inevitably, in the first race, straight speeds do not tell everything about where the development curve is going. Of course, Ferrari’s engine has not faltered in tests either in their own use.

– The car still has a lot of work to do with aerodynamics and they (parts) are not necessarily ready for the first race. This shows that Alfa Romeo does not have the financial resources of the top garages and the development is slower. I’m not worried about that yet.


Aston Martin didn’t even score points in Bahrain a year ago, but in this season’s opening race, Alonso drove third and Lance Stroll sixth.

Mildh is surprised how the team has progressed at such a fast pace.

– The team has always had an excellent team spirit, even from the days of Eddie Jordan and Force India, and they have really skilled people. The owners have changed, but the same guys are committed and now it seems that results are starting to come.

– I have to remember that the Aston Martin was the fastest of the Mercedes engines. It was a remarkable start and a surprise. with Lewis Hamilton and George Russell’s there is something to do if things don’t start going well.

A flop

Alpine’s French shock by Esteban Ocon the competition was fierce. Ocon already received a five-second time penalty at the start for parking incorrectly on the starting grid. When he went to the pits, the team made the mistake of suffering a penalty.

– In my opinion, the flop is Alpine’s and Ocon’s unreadable pit penalties and failures. They were terrible mistakes from the team.

– The worst was that he received a stop and go penalty, and some mechanic touched the car before the penalty was completed. It was an amateurish thing to do. You shouldn’t make mistakes like that in F1.