MotorSportsTalk’s Predictions: Bahrain GP

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Lewis Hamilton may have dominated proceedings at the Chinese Grand Prix last weekend, but the real talking point coming out of Shanghai was the renewal of the tension between the Briton and his Mercedes teammate, Nico Rosberg – “renewal” being the right word if you believe it ever really went away.

Rosberg’s accusations following the race fell largely on deaf ears, but did provide a fascinating insight into the German’s bid for this year’s world championship. With nine defeats in the last ten races to Hamilton, a change is needed soon.

Ferrari also once again proved that it won’t roll over in the face of Mercedes dominance in 2015, and with a warmer race on the cards in Bahrain, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen could prove to be serious threats this weekend.

As usual, we’ve made our picks for the coming weekend, so take a look and let us know your predictions in the comments section below.

Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1)

Race WinnerLewis Hamilton. Ferrari will be a genuine threat to Mercedes once again in Bahrain, but I still cannot see past a victory for Lewis Hamilton. The defending champion is in the form of his life and well on the way to a third world title. Expect his good form to continue in Bahrain this weekend.

Surprising FinishKimi Raikkonen. The Finn has had something of a rotten deal so far in 2015, being hampered in Australia and Malaysia by incidents that he was blameless for. In China, he proved that he can compete with Vettel, and I’m tipping him for a podium finish on Sunday alongside his teammate.

Most to ProvePastor Maldonado. Contrary to what most may say, Pastor Maldonado is a quick and competitive racer – he just needs to keep the car on track. His efforts in China were hindered by a brake problem, but he now needs to prove in Bahrain that Lotus truly is the fourth-quickest team by scoring his first points of the season.

Additional Storyline to WatchThe podium ceremony. It’s the biggest non-story ever: Lewis Hamilton sprayed a girl with champagne; cue worldwide outrage. She didn’t care, nor do those who actually follow racing or know the context. There’s no champagne on the podium this weekend, but rose water instead. Will Lewis be more careful this time around? Who knows. And who cares?

Predict the Podium

1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari
3. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno)

Race WinnerLewis Hamilton. At the track where he delivered a mental and physical blow to Nico Rosberg with his pass for the win last year, I see no reason why he won’t continue his domination this time around.

Surprising FinishValtteri Bottas. The Ferraris have been clear second best to the Mercedes since the season started but I like the Williams-Mercedes to upend that trend this week. Few would have pegged a Sergio Perez podium this race last year, and a Bottas podium pick this year isn’t nearly as off the reservation – if it would still be a surprise to beat the Ferraris.

Most to ProveNico Rosberg. Less talk. More walk. If you want to beat Lewis, then actually go and do it on track…

Additional Storyline to WatchMcLaren’s continued improvement. Within 2 seconds in Q1 at China was a promising development, and both cars made it home for the first time this year. Is this the weekend where either Fernando Alonso or Jenson Button makes it out of Q1 and/or into the points?

Predict the Podium

1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes
3. Valtteri Bottas Williams

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For full broadcast information on the Bahrain Grand Prix, click here.