THE BAHRAIN GP

F1 Racing (UK) - - RACE PREVIEW -

THE MAIN EVENT

While Sepang was the first of Her­mann Tilke’s new-era venues to join the For­mula 1 cal­en­dar in 1999, the Bahrain In­ter­na­tional Cir­cuit ini­ti­ated a flurry of Tilke-de­signed ad­di­tions from the 2004 sea­son on­wards. His com­pany has now built or mod­i­fied 12 tracks on the 2018 F1 cal­en­dar.

One of the most suc­cess­ful and pop­u­lar of that gen­er­a­tion, the Bahrain In­ter­na­tional Cir­cuit, twists through the Sakhir desert, an en­vi­ron­ment that re­quires teams to de­velop mit­i­gat­ing strate­gies against the dust and heat.

A state-of-the-art flood­light sys­tem was in­stalled for the cir­cuit’s 10th an­niver­sary in 2014 when Lewis Hamil­ton and Nico Ros­berg mem­o­rably scrapped for vic­tory. It has been a night race ever since, fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of the Sin­ga­pore Grand Prix and the twi­light Abu Dhabi round.

Bahrain also staged the sea­son-opener in 2006 and 2010, and was set to do the same in 2011, only for the event to be can­celled ow­ing to civil un­rest.

CLAS­SIC RACE: 2010

Through it was met with a col­lec­tive sigh by many fans ea­ger to see a re­peat of the pre­vi­ous sea­son’s top­sy­turvy form, the 2010 Bahrain Grand Prix proved unique in at least one way and is worth reap­prais­ing as a clas­sic.

Seven-time world champ Michael Schu­macher made his come­back with Mercedes as the grid swelled to ac­com­mo­date three new teams. Run­ning for the first (and so far the only) time on Bahrain’s longer 3.9-mile lay­out, Se­bas­tian Vet­tel sig­nalled Red Bull’s strength by lead­ing from pole po­si­tion, but a spark plug fail­ure cost him per­for­mance. Fer­nando Alonso charged through to lead a Fer­rari one-two on his first out­ing for the Scud­e­ria, with Lewis Hamil­ton third.

RACE DATA

Cir­cuit name Bahrain In­ter­na­tional Cir­cuit First grand prix 2004 Num­ber of laps 57 Cir­cuit length 3.36 miles Race dis­tance 191.53 miles Lap record 1m31.447s Pe­dro de la Rosa (2005) F1 races held 13 Win­ners from pole 5 Tyres Su­per­soft, soft, medium

TV TIMETABLE (UK TIME)

Fri­day 6 April Prac­tice 1 12:00 Prac­tice 2 16:00 Sat­ur­day 7 April Prac­tice 3 13:00 Qual­i­fy­ing 16:00 Sun­day 8 April Race 16:10 Live cov­er­age Sky Sports F1 & Chan­nel 4

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