On This Day In F1 - A Mercedes Double-Stack Didn't Quite Go To Plan

On This Day In F1 - A Mercedes Double-Stack Didn't Quite Go To Plan

A look back at what happened on 16 April in Formula 1 history

2017 Bahrain Grand Prix
Valtteri Bottas enjoyed leading from his first pole position, three races into his Mercedes career, but after being jumped by Sebastian Vettel during the first stops ended up on the wrong end of team orders. He twice had to let the faster Lewis Hamilton through to give him a chance at chasing down Vettel, though Hamilton himself hurt his own chances at the first stops. Since they took place under a Virtual Safety Car Mercedes elected to double-stack its drivers and in order to prevent himself from having to queue, Hamilton drove rather slowly through the pit lane, holding up Daniel Ricciardo and earning himself a five-second penalty.

That proved costly during his second pit stop as it gave him a much bigger gap to try and overcome - though in the end Vettel had things covered and took his second win of the season ahead of Hamilton and Bottas. Even without the penalty, it didn’t look like Mercedes had an answer for Ferrari on the day.

(c) Ferrari
(c) Ferrari

Birthdays
Christijan Albers (born 1979) made his debut with Minardi in 2005 and had a solid season, finishing fifth in the six-car race at Indianapolis in 2005. In 2006 he switched to the Midland team and was once again decent, if unspectacular. He stayed on as the team became Spyker for 2007 but the combination of being shown up by teammate Adrian Sutil, some unusual mistakes - he left his pit box with the refuelling hose still attached during the French GP - and lack of payments from his sponsors meant he was dropped halfway through the season. Bizarrely, he later resurfaced in F1 during the last throes of the Caterham team in 2014, when he spent two months as the team principal.

(c) Ryosuke Yagi/Creative Commons
(c) Ryosuke Yagi/Creative Commons

Paul di Resta (born 1986) came into F1 off the back of a DTM championship and also had the distinction on his CV of having beaten then-teammate Sebastian Vettel to the F3 Euroseries title in 2006. He raced for Force India for three seasons between 2011 and 2013 and was very solid - especially when it came to tyre management - and managed a couple of fourth places during his career. Despite being linked with Ferrari at one point, he ended up losing his seat and went back to race in DTM. He later joined Williams as a reserve driver and had a one-off chance to return in the 2017 Hungarian GP, where he subbed for Felipe Massa.