GP Bahrain: What conditions can we expect?



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GP Bahrain: What conditions can we expect?

The Bahrain International Circuit is a track created in the middle of the desert, but it provides great racing conditions and modern infrastructure. It was designed by Hermann Tilke, but it lacks uniqueness and authenticity due to the desert environment.

Due to the inevitable heat, the audience must be placed in one of the stands, which is why many parts are deserted and quiet, except for engine noise. However, since 2014, it is not what it used to be. Large, paved picnic areas forgive mistakes, while the problem of sand that the wind causes on the trail is present from the beginning, despite the efforts of the organizers to apply glue around the trail to prevent this phenomenon.

The 2011 race was canceled for political reasons, and the track was initially dubbed the ‘parking lot of the shopping center with cones’. And while such a description is a bit rough, a large number of uninteresting races throughout its history should be highlighted.

The extension of the track in 2010 only increased the lap time, but not the interestingness of the race itself, so the organizers in 2012 decided to return to the configuration that was current from 2004 to 2009. Overtaking is not too common, and most often occurs in the first turn preceded by a long straight section (a common feature of Tilke trails), in the fourth turn where a driver overtaken at the start of the lap has a chance to counterattack or in turn 11 followed by a longer straight section.

Brakes and engines

The track has medium downforce requirements due to three long directions, the longest of which is the start-finish plane, tires wear slightly more than average, and due to high temperatures and sand, engines are loaded and must be equipped with special air filters.

Also, the brakes are next to Canada and Monza the busiest in the calendar. Thus, the stability of the car on braking and good traction in a number of slow turns are the most important characteristics when adjusting the car.

Although temperatures in Bahrain are traditionally high, due to the lack of humidity in the air, conditions are far easier than in Malaysia, for example. So, as we said above, the extension of the track in 2010 only increased the lap time, but not the interestingness of the race itself, so the organizers in 2012 decided to return to the current set.

Since 2014, the date of the Bahrain GP has been moved to enjoy the night race. As a result, temperatures during qualifying and racing became significantly lower, which made it somewhat easier for drivers to race, and at the same time reduced the load on the tires, brakes and other components of the car.