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F1 Five Factors for Bahrain

Discussion in 'Motorsport' started by Zorg, Apr 5, 2014.

  1. Zorg

    Zorg Zorg Addict

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    Let’s not beat about the bush on this one: Bahrain isn’t infamous for its scintillating Grand Prix. Since its foray onto the calendar a decade ago, it’s been sand and politics that have reigned in the desert, as appose to close-fought wins (barring Raikkonen and Vettel’s battles in 2013 and 2012) and edge-of-the-seat racing.

    But what’s this? LIGHTS I hear you say? That’s correct; the event organisers have made the leap from sun to filament light for 2012, with the race being run in the night of the desert. Poetic perhaps, but any more exciting? Let’s investigate…

    -Williams: 3rd Time Lucky?

    Okay I know this whole ‘WILL WILLIAMS DO IT?!’ hype is becoming a regular occurrence in these pieces, but Bahrain is the perfect stage to for Williams to finally demonstrate the pace they undoubtedly possess in 2014. A dry qualifying session would seem odds-on, unlike in Australia and Malaysia, which should see them placed well according to dry-weather pace for the race. Furthermore, Bahrain isn’t a high downforce circuit compared to Malaysia, with Massa and Bottas’ relatively underwhelming pace in the wet pointing to a lack of out and out downforce, despite a strong powertrain/straight-line performance. Put it this way, Massa set the fastest lap at the track in Pre-season, and sat only 0.3 off of Lewis Hamilton’s ultimate pace on the Medium/prime tire race simulations during yesterday’s Practice 2 session…

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    Felipe Massa locking-up under the lights (Photo-credit: Williams F1/LAT)


    -Temperatures

    Unlike in Malaysia, and Bahraini races before it, this weekend’s race should be relatively chilly as far as Middle Eastern temperatures go. This is of course because of the race being run at night in a desert; two factors that will cause a whole host of complications for the teams. Firstly, the cold breeze expected brings with it issues both in terms of low brake temperatures, an area that teams have been struggling with in practice thus far and will do in qualifying at least, and the difficulty for drivers attacking crosswinds when it comes to corner-entry-always an issue in Bahrain. Sloppy brakes and poor turn-in points? Bring it on…

    -Hamilton Vs Rosberg

    At the forefront of practice, qualifying, and well pretty much all of 2014 so far has of course been the Mercedes duo of Hamilton and Rosberg. The team are streets ahead on single-lap pace at the moment, and a whole postcode ahead on race-pace, so barring a reliability hiccup (entirely possible), the weekend really should be between the two silver arrows. But which one? Hamilton had the edge over Rosberg last time out in Malaysia, and has in the past tended to have the merest advantage over one-lap pace at least. That said, Rosberg took full advantage of Hamilton’s demise in Australia, and has always gone well at the Sakhir International Circuit. Who can forget his debut race in F1 for Williams? Uncompetitive car, first race, first podium. The latter edges it in the opinion of yours truly.

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    2-in-a-row for Lewis? (Photo-credit: Mercedes AMG)


    -GP2

    Okay it’s not a ‘factor’ in the Formula One race, but it is a big talking point across the spectrum of the weekend in Bahrain, the start of GP2 2014. This season sees the championships title favourites and established names Jolyon Palmer, Stefano Coletti, and Williams-reserve driver Felipe Nasr, joined by the likes of McLaren and Ferrari-backed hotshots, Stoofel Vandoorne & Raffaele Marciello (respectively). Want more context? Check out our GP2 Season Preview before today’s sprint race and certainly before tomorrows feature race then!

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    GP2 is Back! (Photo-credit: Malcolm Griffiths/GP2 Series Media Service)


    Hulk a Force to be reckoned with in Bahrain?

    Here’s a question, what do you hear of more in modern-day Formula One; the word ‘powertrain’ or Martin Brundle’s insistence that Hulkenberg should be in a better car than that of the Force India? The answer is of course the latter, and as the majority would agree, with good reason. But that’s another story. This weekend however, Hulk is well positioned to claim his first podium, in the bosom of a team that have always performed well in Bahrain. Who can forget Paul Di Resta’s drive to fourth in 2013? Sixth in the 2012 event wasn’t too shabby either, but can the Mercedes-clad Force India team and the talents of their man Hulkenberg break the podium that has thus far eluded them? Worth a punt, we’d say.

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    Joe Diamond
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    This article "Five Factors for Bahrain" originally found on Badger GP

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