Bahrain International Circuit, home of the Formula One Bahrain Grand PrixEnlarge Photo
Despite the ongoing political situation, Bahrain’s annual Grand Prix
has managed to morph into a permanent fixture on the Formula One calendar and so far there have been no disruptions to the preparations for this weekend’s event. Having conducted two four-day test sessions at the Bahrain International Circuit in February and March, teams are used to the Island’s hot and arid conditions.
But there won’t be any sunshine during this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix. The event is the latest night race to be added to the calendar, starting under floodlights at 6 PM local time.
The Bahrain International Circuit stretches 3.3 miles in length, with its layout defined by four relatively long straights, leading into heavy braking zones. As a result, stability under braking and good traction are vital to a good lap time, as is an efficient DRS system. Engines are at full throttle for 50 percent of the lap in the race and 57 percent in qualifying. As a result, Bahrain sits in the middle of the table for the demands put on engines.
Tire supplier Pirelli has nominated its P Zero White medium and P Zero Yellow soft compounds. Teams need to be wary of weather conditions, though. If it's windy, sand from the surrounding desert sometimes gets blown onto the track and that can adversely affect grip levels. Also, significant temperature drops can also have adverse effects on tires.
Ferrari is the most successful team at Bahrain, having won four of the previous nine races. Last year top honors went to Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel. Going into this weekend's event, Mercedes AMG’s Nico Rosberg leads the Drivers’ Championship with 43 points, with his teammate Lewis Hamilton in second with 25 points and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso in third with 24 points. Mercedes AMG leads the Constructors’ Championship with 68 points while McLaren sits on 43 points and Ferrari on 30._______________________________________Follow Motor Authority on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.