It’s only a week and a half to go until the Bahrain Grand Prix and if you aren’t already, it’s time to get excited.
The teams have completed their 4 pre-season tests and the gloves are now well and truly off, it’s all systems go and we will finally see the drivers go head to head at the Bahrain International Circuit. The 2010 season opener will be very exciting as it will be the first time we will see the true performance of the teams and drivers and find out who is quickest.
It will be a tough race for everyone as not only is the track very demanding on brakes it will also be a critical test of tyre wear as it will be 20 degrees hotter in the Sakhir desert than it was in Spain during testing. Not only that, the circuit has also been extended and so all drivers will need to get used to the new layout.
The change is not significantly different, but the organisers believe it will ‘bring fresh challenges and exciting overtaking opportunities’.
The new layout is show below and you can see that the ‘new loop will sweep left as the cars accelerate out of the existing Turn 4 and then into a fast flowing right-hander before a complex sequence of five bends brings them back towards the original circuit. They will then ‘accelerate through a left-right kink before a tight and challenging hairpin brings them back on to the existing circuit’, adding a total of eight new corners and 0.887km to the track.
Turns 9 and 10 (now turns 18 and 19) have always been tricky for the drivers as they brake, go downhill and turn left all at the same time causing frequent lock ups and flat-spotting of tyres. This year with full fuel tanks, it will be even tougher and drivers will need to be very careful in the first part of the race to manage their tyres.
If you still need any help getting excited, then watch the opening lap and a bit onboard with Red Bull’s Mark Webber at last year’s Grand Prix.