2016 Track Preview; Bahrain Grand Prix, Sakhir

All rights reserved to F1 Mix.

All rights reserved to F1 Mix.

Nico Rosberg wins the Australian Grand Prix ahead of Lewis Hamilton in second place and Sebastian Vettel in third place. Also Grosjean, Ricciardo, Bottas, Massa, Verstappen and Sainz Jr managed to score some much needed points for their respective teams.

The Bahrain International Circuit which is located in Sakhir in the southern part of the Kingdom of Bahrain, was purpose built for Formula 1 and is considered to be one of the safest tracks in the world thanks to the giant run-off areas.

The track’s width and layout also encourages safe overtaking. The track is 5.41 kilometers long, the race consisting of 57 laps, giving a total distance of 308.24 kilometers. It is a curvy circuit with lots of kinks and gradient changes that are quite large in some areas. Braking late at the end of a long straight into the right-handed hairpin turn 4 might provide the best overtaking opportunity. Also, turn 1 after the start/finish straight is a great overtaking point.

The Bahrain circuit has one of the most unique surroundings on the Formula One calendar due to its location in the middle of a desert. Sand on the circuit can result in loss of grip in the turns and additional thermal problems, if it gets into the car.

The engines air filters are thoroughly checked and more often changed than usual to avoid the intrusion of sand particles. Rumours says that organizers are trying to keep the sand away by spraying an adhesive on the sand around the track. Surprisingly the gravel used for building the race track was imported all the way from Wales.

The 2004 Bahrain Grand Prix, won by Michael Schumacher for Ferrari just 1.3 seconds ahead of his Brazilian team-mate Rubens Barrichello, made history as the first Formula One Grand Prix to be held in the Middle East.

Drinking alcohol is not banned in Bahrain, but in deference to the Bahrain’s Islamic rulers, winners of the Bahrain Grand Prix do not get to spray champagne on the podium. Instead the race organisers provide the drivers with Waard, a local non-alcoholic beverage made from rosewater and pomegranates.

Here are the facts and figures going into this race weekend in Sakhir…

Facts and Figures

  • Bahrain has hosted the Grand Prix since 2004 when it was added to the calendar.
  • Fernando Alonso is the most successful driver to win the Grand Prix with three wins
  • Ferrari are the most successful constructor to win the Grand Prix with four wins
  • Race distance: 308.23km (191.53 miles)
  • Number of turns:15
  • Top speed: 299kph
  • Lap record: Michael Schumacher- Ferrari (2004)- 1.30.252

 

Last Five Winners from the Bahrain Grand Prix:-

  • 2010-Fernado Alonso
  • 2012-Sebastian Vettel
  • 2013- Sebastian Vettel
  • 2014- Lewis Hamilton
  • 2015- Lewis Hamilton

 

My predictions for the top 5 finishers of the Bahrain Grand Prix:-

In no particular order, here’s my predictions on who the top five finishers of the Bahrain Grand Prix will be:-

  1. Lewis Hamilton
  2. Nico Rosberg
  3. Valtteri Bottas
  4. Sebastian Vettel
  5. Felipe Massa

With regards to my prediction, I believe that the drivers I have selected have the best possible chance to finish in Bahrain. However, we could have a surprise if we get another race last year and if that is the case; then I believe either Nico Hulkenberg orSergio Perez could be in the top five.

All eyes will be upon Mercedes at the front who have shown in Melbourne that they have a fast, consistent and reliable car once again and are the favourites heading into this weekend in Bahrain. It is now up to Williams, Ferrari, Sauber, Red Bull, Force India and Toro Rosso to improve and catch up to them and let’s hope that McLaren have made small improvements during the winter and can finish the race.

Sky Sports F1 are showing uninterrupted coverage of every Practice session, Qualifying and race for the Grand Prix (and every race of the season) and Chanel Four also are showing coverage, details for both are below:-

  • Sky Sports F1:- Friday (Practice 1 and 2) 11.45am and 3.45pm [Replays throughout Friday], Saturday (Practice 3 and Qualifying) 12.45am and 3pm [Replays throughout Saturday], Sunday (Race) 3.00pm
  • Channel Four :- Friday (Practice 1 and 2) 11.55am and 3.55pm, Saturday (Practice 3 and Qualifying) 12.55pm and 3pm, Sunday (Race) 3pm.
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