F1: Bahrain Grand Prix ‘hot and not’ list

The drivers, teams and standouts that impressed and embarrassed in equal measure at the 2015 Bahrain Grand Prix.

Hot

Lewis Hamilton – despite sitting in the hot seat once again, the defending champion was in imperious form in the desert. With Ferrari’s challenge seemingly linked to track temperatures and his team-mate mired in a downward spiral, reliability appears to be the only thing in the way of more wins this season.

Kimi Raikkonen – another positive step on the road to getting back to his best. Great moves during the race and hunted Rosberg down mercilessly in the closing laps. More help with blue flags might have set up a battle for the win with Hamilton. More please.

Ferrari – for making the right call on tyres for Kimi’s final stint. Despite Kimi and most fans watching believing a move to soft tyres was completely the wrong decision to allow the Iceman to hunt down the Mercedes, Ferrari proved everyone wrong. How long has it been since we have applauded Ferrari for a sound strategic decision in the heat of battle?

Nico Rosberg – stay with it for a moment… The super aggressive moves pulled by Nico to get back in to second place were just what fans everywhere have been clamoring for. If the German can stay closer to Hamilton in qualifying and the races, moves like that could still salvage his season, but…

Not

Nico Rosberg – losing out to Raikkonen at the end of the race seemed to sum up his level. Tyres clearly played a big part but if Hamilton had been in the same position, you feel the outcome would have been different. One step forward, two steps back potentially.

McLaren Honda – Alonso making it in to Q2 on Saturday was little comfort after the unconquerable issues that hampered Jenson Button all weekend. Button should have/would have been in Q2 with Alonso and the team know the more running they can do, the quicker they can climb the very steep learning curve. Issues will continue to emerge during this painful first season but the team need to overcome them quicker during race weekends. Also a hint of division between team and engine supplier at times over the weekend – regular radio comms saying “Honda” and not “we” or “the team” need to review data …

Renault – further reliability and technical problems made for another race weekend to forget. Points finishes for the Red Bull’s will be some comfort but the sight of Daniel Ricciardo limping across the finish line with his engine blowing up is not going to fill Renault’s few teams with confidence.

Bernie Ecclestone – for the sheer audacity to tell BBC Sport that F1 is too expensive and needs a major overhaul. Him leaving would be a good start.

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