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Race information - Bahrain 2014 // Formula One heads to the desert for round three

Published by Christine

Back to back racing means that F1 returns for another weekend of fast-paced action just a few short days after it wrapped up in Malaysia. With two weeks of Bahrain testing under their belts this pre-season, teams should be feeling slightly more confident about racing in the desert - although we're still seeing reliability problems aplenty, and the penalties are starting to hit home.

Event schedule

Mercedes' dominated in Sepang, which allowed them to not only secure a 1-2 race victory but also to move into the lead of the championship standings. Sebastian Vettel didn't want to let them get too far ahead, and also took home a trophy, meaning Red Bull and Mercedes are the teams to watch as we go into the third round of the season.

Daniel Ricciardo has a ten place grid penalty hanging over his head, however, whilst the Williams team are recovering from what could have been a crucial team orders row. They say all parties have moved on, perhaps we will see whether that's true or not in Bahrain.

Caterham recovered their tenth place in the championship standings, but the battle with Marussia continues in earnest. Both teams need to capitalise on the chance to get into the points before it's too late and development outpaces them once again. The grids are still mixed enough to make points a possibility, but not for long.

Session timetable
DateDaySessionTimeLocal time
04 AprFridayFree Practice 112:00
GMT +01:00
14:00
GMT +03:00
Free Practice 216:00
GMT +01:00
18:00
GMT +03:00
05 AprSaturdayFree Practice 313:00
GMT +01:00
15:00
GMT +03:00
Qualifying16:00
GMT +01:00
18:00
GMT +03:00
06 AprSundayGrand Prix16:00
GMT +01:00
18:00
GMT +03:00

Support racing for this event includes GP2 and Porsche GT3 Cup Middle East.

Expected conditions

The start time for the Bahrain race has been pushed back to the evening, making this year's Grand Prix a night race. That being the case, temperatures are expected to be a lot lower than they have been previously, particularly in comparison to the hot and humid Sepang. Rain isn't expected, but there could be an increase in wind conditions, which may make the track surface dusty, and could blow sand onto the tarmac.

Partly cloudy

Sakhir, Friday

25℃

  • Low 20℃
  • Humidity 35%

Partly cloudy

Clear skies

Sakhir, Saturday

25℃

  • Low 17℃
  • Humidity 31%

Clear skies

Clear

Sakhir, Sunday

26℃

  • Low 18℃
  • Humidity 36%

Clear

Track information

Bahrain International Circuit circuit map
DRS zones
DRS detection 110m before turn 9
DRS activation 150m after turn 10
DRS detection 2108m before turn 14
DRS activation 2270m after turn 15

There's an awful lot of space surrounding the Bahrain International Circuit, and designer Hermann Tilke was tasked with creating a full circuit out of nothing but sand. As such, there are the traditional elements including long straights and sharp corners, plus a handful of sweeping corners thrown in for good measure.

The lap starts off on the very lengthy start/finish straight before gliding round through the first sector towards another straight and a tight hairpin. The second sector is slightly more challenging with some twists and turns, but the final sector stretches back out for some fast corners and yet more straight line speed. We should get to hear the new engines at full capacity here.

Although the dusty conditions can cause problems, there haven't been too many accidents in the past - the chance of a safety car appearing is about 10%.

Circuit history

Circuit information
CircuitBahrain International Circuit
LocationSakhir
CountryBahrain
TimezoneGMT +03:00
Race debut2004
Laps57
Length5.412 km
Distance308.238 km
Line offset0.246 km

Qualifying in Bahrain is absolutely crucial to getting a good result. The race has never been won by anyone lower than fourth on the grid, although only four of the nine pole sitters have gone on to take victory.

Ferrari have the best history at the track, winning four races, whilst Red Bull and Renault have two apiece. In the midst of his domination, Sebastian Vettel has secured victory for the last two events in Bahrain, although Fernando Alonso has three overall.

An extension to the track was trialled in 2010, but the so-called endurance circuit wasn't popular and the layout was soon revised back to its more traditional form. There was no racing in Bahrain in 2011 due to the ongoing political difficulties but it returned in its shorter format for the 2012 season.

Results for the 2013 Bahrain Grand Prix
SessionDriverTeamTime
Free Practice 1Felipe MassaScuderia Ferrari1:34.487
Free Practice 2Kimi RäikkönenLotus F1 Team1:34.154
Free Practice 3Fernando AlonsoScuderia Ferrari1:33.247
QualifyingNico RosbergMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1:32.330
Grand PrixSebastian VettelInfiniti Red Bull Racing1:36:00.498
Fastest lapEsteban GutiérrezSauber F1 Team1:270202

Tyre compounds

Bahrain Grand Prix tyre selection
Medium and soft compounds

This weekend sees the return of the medium and soft compounds, with the lower temperatures and smoother tarmac expected to be less harsh on the rubber. We haven't seen tyres dominating the story like they did in previous years, although the Malaysian Grand Prix did see a three-stop strategy favoured over the now-traditional two.

Temperatures at the start of the race should still be reasonably high. We’ve noted a very big drop in temperature though as soon as the sun goes down: a variation that can be as big as 15 degrees. Managing that very wide range of temperatures to get the best out of the tyres is going to be one of the biggest challenges for the teams throughout the weekend.

- Paul Hembery

Press conference schedule

Official press conferences are organised by the FIA and happen four times during the weekend. The qualifying and post race press conferences will take place after the television unilateral interviews.

Press Conference Schedule
DayAttendeeRepresenting
ThursdayJules BianchiMarussia F1 Team
Jenson ButtonMcLaren Mercedes
Marcus EricssonCaterham F1 Team
Romain GrosjeanLotus F1 Team
Nico HülkenbergSahara Force India F1 Team
Jean-Éric VergneScuderia Toro Rosso
FridayRobert FernleySahara Force India F1 Team
Luigi FraboniScuderia Ferrari
Paddy LoweMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team
Adrian NeweyInfiniti Red Bull Racing
Pat SymondsWilliams Martini Racing
Rémi TaffinRenault Sport Technologies
SaturdayThree fastest drivers
SundayFirst three finishing drivers

Race stewards

The FIA stewarding process includes a former F1 driver to offer added insight. These stewards are overseeing the weekend's action.

FIA stewards
NamePosition
Lars ÖsterlindFIA World Council Member and Honorary President of the Swedish Automobile Sport Federation.
Vincenzo SpanoPresident of the Sporting Commission of the Automobile and Touring Club of Venezuela.
Derek WarwickFormer Formula One driver and World Sportscar champion.

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