Previewing the Bahrain GP

Formula One heads to the deserts of Bahrain for Round 2 of the F1 2018 Season. After a very interesting and decisive race in Australia, the drivers and teams prepare themselves for a challenging Bahrain GP.

05/04/18

Here’s a run-down of all the news after the Australian GP and pre-race gossip heading into Bahrain.

Haas ruffling feathers in mid-field

Haas F1 were on for their best finish in F1 in Australia until cross-threaded wheel-nuts at their round of pit-stops put an end to it. Haas, who showed great pace in Pre-Season Testing, appeared to be the 4th best team in Australia with Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean and this has baffled many teams fighting against them.

Haas are in a unique position as they buy many parts from another team – in this case Ferrari – and designing the rest of the parts themselves. McLaren’s Fernando Alonso and Force India have questioned the legality of the Haas/Ferrari relationship.

The first concern is the apparent resemblance between parts of the Haas car and the Ferrari, particularly last year’s car from Maranello; and secondly how Haas can design such a competitive car with the smallest workforce in F1. This looks to be a topic of conversation that’ll rumble on for the rest of the season. What’s your opinion?

Melbourne to change to aid overtaking?

The one thing that Formula One has lacked in the past couple of years by going to Melbourne for the first round of the season is the lack of overtaking. Following the first lap, only 5 on-track overtakes were made and these were made by predominately Daniel Ricciardo and Valterri Bottas. A third DRS zone was added before the weekend to aid drivers in overtaking.

F1’s managing director of motor-sports, Ross Brawn, said that the “one vital ingredient was missing, namely overtaking, as there were really very few passing moves in this opening round.” Is the lack of overtaking down to the regulations making it harder for drivers to follow each other? More will be revealed when Brawn sets to reveal 2021 blueprint to teams in a meeting before Sunday’s race.

Tyre Choice

For the second race of the season, Pirelli have chosen the Medium, Soft and Supersoft tyre for the teams and drivers to chose from.

Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull are near identical with the exception of Valterri Bottas. Bottas is opting for one less Medium tyre but one more Soft tyre than the rest of the “top-flight”.

Going aggressive on the Supersoft tyre, are both McLaren drivers of Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne on 9 sets each.

Bahrain is much hotter than Australia, and it’s a lot more about traction, so the drivers  experience more degradation from the rear tyres.

Bahrain GP Facts

  • Lap record: 1:31:447, Pedro de la Rosa, 2005
  • Laps: 57
  • Circuit length: 3.36 miles
  • Race distance: 191.53 miles
  • Corners: 15
  • First held: 2004
  • Past Winners: Sebastian Vettel (2017), Nico Rosberg (2016) & Lewis Hamilton (2015)
  • Past Pole-sitters: Valterri Bottas (2017), Lewis Hamilton (2015 & 2016)

My Predictions

Pole Position will go to Lewis Hamilton. After a superb lap in Australia, it’s hard to see anyone else toppling him when it comes to one-lap pace on Saturday’s.

However, the race will go Ferrari’s way with Sebastian Vettel leading Kimi Raikkonen home. in.

Last year’s Bahrain GP wasn’t kind to Max Verstappen and I reckon he’ll not make the end of this year’s race.

 

 

 

 

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