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2015 Bahrain F1 Grand Prix preview

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Previewing this weekend's 2015 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix


The 11th Installment of the Bahrain Grand Prix

This week’s 2015 Bahrain Grand Prix will be the 4th round of the 19 race-long Formula 1 season. This will be the 11th time that a Bahrain Grand Prix will feature in a F1 calendar and all the time Sakhir’s Bahrain International Circuit will have played host to it.  The race is also significant because this will be the first night race of the season. Singapore and Abu Dhabi will feature the other two floodlight races this year.

The Bahrain Grand Prix will also mark the 3rd Asian round of the year, and after this race, the whole of F1 circus will change continents for the European leg of the season, starting next month.

The layout of the Bahrain International Circuit:

Located in the middle of a desert, south of country capital Manama, the BIC was first opened for Formula 1 in the year 2004. It was also the first time that a Formula 1 Grand Prix took place in the Middle East. The track is another leaf from the portfolio of modern era circuit designing guru Hermann Tilke, and has all the tell-tale signs of his art-work. The track is very safe and is another marvel for F1’s safety oriented program.

The flowing layout of the BIC

The circuit, typically is fast in nature, and hence demands a lot from the engines. The BIC has many significant long straights where a F1 car can easily unleash its power. For example, the first sector and the third sector of the track promote high speeds, thanks to the long straights located in them.

The second sector of the track is technical in nature, and demands aplenty from a car’s aerodynamics. Tyre wear is also tested to the limit here, especially the left front. Hence, the 5.421 KM long track is a mixed bag for the teams in terms of everything, and that’s why; a good car-setup is always the key to success on this technical circuit. The track also has 2 DRS points, one at the start-finish straight and the other one between turns 10 and 11. But, both the DRS detection points are separately placed.

Thanks to the BIC possessing so many long stretches, overtaking is always a common feature of the Bahrain Grand Prix, especially at turns 1, 4 and 11. Overtaking is also felicitated by the fact that the track surface of this Astroturf Marvel is always top class. However, drivers still have to watch out for sand patches that can blow in, because the track is located in the middle of the desert.  

The tyre and the pit strategy:

Pirelli is bringing in their White marked Medium (Prime) tires and Yellow painted Soft (Option) compound tires for this weekend.

It is expected that, during the 57-Lap race at Bahrain, teams will opt for a safe 2 stop tire strategy. Although, last year, there was a split between 2 stops and 3 stops, because of the arrival of a late Safety Car. Fuel consumption is regarded as high here, because an F1car has to stay 66% of the time on full blast during a single lap.

Rain is not predicted throughout the weekend, but since the Grand Prix is a night race, you can expect cooler track and ambient temperatures.

Driver changes for the Bahrain Grand Prix:

There will be no substitutions for this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix, nor will any reserve driver, from any team, get a chance to spin a wheel during Free-Practice.

The Current Form Book:

Mercedes, particularly in the hands of World Champion Lewis Hamilton, also the winner of last year’s Bahrain Grand Prix, look the favorite to take their 3rd win of the season. Although, teammate Nico Rosberg, and the Ferrari duo of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, would like to make the Brit’s weekend a bit more challenging. Williams looks all alone as the 3rd fastest team, as they have a slight buffer over the rest of the field, but the British team would like to get amongst the midst in the front.

Sauber, Lotus and Red Bull look like the next teams in the pecking order and one from this trio would love to secure the best of the rest title this weekend.

While for Toro Rosso, Force India and McLaren, the goal will be to hit the points, and 2 Marussias will once more make up the numbers at the back.

Hamilton would like to register his 2nd Bahrain GP win

Driver and Team Records:

Last 5 Winners of the Bahrain Grand Prix:

Year

Driver (Nationality)

Team Name

2014

Lewis Hamilton (United Kingdom)

Mercedes

2013

Sebastian Vettel (Germany)

Red Bull

2012

Sebastian Vettel (Germany)

Red Bull

2010

Fernando Alonso (Spain)*

Ferrari

2009

Jenson Button (United Kingdom)

Brawn

Note: 2010 Track was configured to Endurance Circuit, No Race was held in 2011,

The Current Team and Driver records at the Bahrain Grand Prix;

Most Wins (Drivers) at the Bahrain Grand Prix:

Number of Wins

Driver (Nationality)

Team(s) and year of win

3

Fernando Alonso (Spain)

Renault (2005, 2006) Ferrari (2010)

2

Felipe Massa

Ferrari (2007, 2008)

2

Sebastian Vettel (Germany)

Red Bull (2012, 2013)

1

Jenson Button (United Kingdom)

Brawn (2009)

1

Lewis Hamilton (United Kingdom)

Mercedes (2014)


Most Wins (as a team) at the Bahrain Grand Prix

Number of Wins

Team Name

Years

4

Ferrari

2004, 2007, 2008, 2010

2

Red Bull

2012, 2013

1

Mercedes

2014

Note: Only F1 World Championship races counted. Renault (2) and Brawn (1) Wins not included.

Track Record:

2014 Pole Time: Nico Rosberg, Mercedes 1:33.185

2014 Fastest Lap Time: Nico Rosberg, Mercedes 1:37.020

Lap Record: Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren 1:31.447 (Year 2005)


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