With two Toyotas firmly on pole, and their first win in Formula One within their grasp, they faltered. In the end, it was the Brawn of Jenson Button who came through to clinch victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix.
At the beginning of the race though, it looked as if the Toyotas had the full advantage. They were running faster than the rest of the field and had pulled out a fairly nice gap by the time their pit stops came around. Then they messed up and put on the harder of the two compound tires. This led to the cars running much slower than the rest of the front runners and neither Jarno Trulli nor Timo Glock could make up any ground. Jarno held on to score a respectable third place but was outpaced in the end by both Jenson Button (who ended up running away with the victory) and Sebastian Vettel. The rest of the points scorers consisted of Lewis Hamilton in fourth, Rubens Barrichello in fifth, Kimi Raikkonen in sixth, Timo Glock in seventh and Fernando Alonso in eighth.
As the teams return to the Europe this week, we have learned that the speed from the Brawn GP car is for real. Jenson Button has walked away from the first four rounds of the Championship with three wins under his belt – and historically, 100% of the drivers to do that previously went on to win the World Championship. Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull is the other race winner and we know that that car is also very quick. We have also learned that both McLaren and Ferrari are desperately slow for the budgets and knowledge that they have and that the BMWs are flat out horrible.
Will we see a shift in the Championship once the other teams figure out the rear diffuser problem or will the dominating season of Brawn GP continue unabated? Only time will tell and there are still 13 races left for the other teams to get their acts together.