F1 Grand Prix Preview Bahrain, Round 4

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2015 FORMULA 1 GULF AIR BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX

ROUND 4

Date: 19 April 2015

Circuit name; Sakhir Bahrain International Circuit

First Grand Prix: 2004

Type: Permanent, purpose-built racetrack dominated by a multitude of straights and a balance between fast medium and slow corner. Medium downforce required.

Circuit length: 5.412 km

Laps: 57

Lap Record: 1:31.447 – Pedro de la Rosa (McLaren)

Tyre Allocation: Medium (White rimmed) and Soft (Yellow rimmed)

DRS Zones: Two, with two separate activation points. DRS zones ar: Main straight; The straight in sector 2.

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2014

Pole Position: Nico Rosberg – 1:33.185

Winner: Lewis Hamilton

Fastest lap: Nico Rosberg – 1:37.020 on lap 49

Sakhir Bahrain

The world welcomes the Arabian “night”. Formula One makes its first and penultimate stop to the Middle East this year to have the inaugural 2015 night race. There is not much to stimulate the eye as the ever restless dunes of Bahrain are constantly on the move, dusting the track as they creep along the desert floor. Aside from the rolling dunes that surround, the fans thirst for visual colour is quenched by the rows of planted palms, artistic painted stripes on the run-off areas and, of course, the pit lane full cars dressed in their racing liveries. This weekend, the desert comes alive.

The large structure sticks out abruptly in this over-sized sand pit and has been a present feature on the F1 calendar since 2004, missing only one race until present, subsequently being left out of the 2011 season due to civil unrest. The only burning rubber that was present came from protestors.

This track provides fans and drivers with the thrills of high-speed bends, all divided by four generously long straights to give drivers a much needed “break” during a lap. Its first sector is dominated by two of these straights, where speed is negated in three slow corners of the four. Sector two is less predictable for drivers. Harder on tyres, cars weave through the quick S-bends of turns five, six and seven before entering perhaps the trickiest corner of all on the five-and-a-half kilometre track. Turn 9 is a quick steer to the left before a tighter, narrower turn to the left immediately after. Drivers play with the brake pedal during practices and on race day, seemingly dance around the corner with tender ease. Pilots who battle to get to grips with this corner often find themselves in a plume of white smoke as their front left tyre locks up. Sector three is no massive challenge in technicality as it is down to well-planned and executed breaking distances. Turn fifteen sling shots them back onto the pit-straight again to begin another lap through the desert’s night.

TOPSHOTS

What to expect

Mercedes can be thankful that this desert race takes place at night, albeit it with slightly cooler temperatures and thus minimising the Ferrari threat. The Scuderia will be keen to continue its bites at the heels of the German works team and is likely to secure yet another podium, most likely with four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel filling one of the top steps on Sunday.

Williams now has incentive to be the second quickest team this season, though its incentive is not positive, it aims to free themselves from Red Bull’s grasp instead of catching up to Ferrari. Their efforts could go on well this weekend as the Renault engines that power both Red Bulls and its sister Toro Rosso team have little confidence over having a successful weekend. A blown engine obliterated Verstappen’s chances of some solid points in China.

Sauber looks to continue finishing ahead of the Lotus duo that has been wreathed in bad luck. The Enstone team hope to catch the red, blue and white Williams cars.

Force India will look to continue their race finishes but remain to be further behind than they had hoped for this season.

Where does this leave us now? Alas, the back of the grid. Manor will be eager to escape the 107% qualifying rule as McLaren should finish ahead of them. The Honda boys will have more confidence in their engine this weekend as things are expected to “get turned up”.

Have great race weekend all.

Dane Hansen

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About dphansen24

I am an avid freelance Formula 1 writer and blogger. My writings are diverse and range from historical insights, to thorough and exciting analysis of the modern era and the topics that come with it. I am also able to take in requests from readers that wish to gain vision into particular stories. All are welcome. I encourage constructive criticism and conversation in comments or via email. My passion for the world’s fastest show consumes my daily efforts and I am always enthused to write about the sport I love most. Even as a pundit, I too have a curiosity and am always ready to learn more about an ever expanding sport.

Posted on April 15, 2015, in Grand Prix in Preview and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. One thing, it was left out of the 2011 season, not 2012. Do you think Ferrari can challenge for the win as I believe they have updates coming to this circuit?

    • Just a slip of the finger I guess, it has already been rectified. I certainly do think they can based on how they have closed the gap. Seb and Kimi’s comments before China revealed they had little confidence in taking a win. This week however, has been a little different. They both believe that the challenge is on and with the warmer temperatures (which seems to favor Ferrari) they should be up there. I’m quite sure that Lewis and Nico will be on the podium, but I would not put money on it. Seb is fired up is as ever and Kimi has been on the podium there six times. But as always, I guess we will have to wait and see. Thanks for the comments, it’s fantastic to interact with my readers, so keep em’ coming!

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