Early indications show that the fight is on between Scuderia Ferrari and Mercedes, with Red Bull joining the party on evidence from China to create one of the greatest battles in the modern Formula 1 era. The Bahrain GP plays host to round 3 for Scuderia Ferrari and is arguably one of the most exciting races of the season, with car set-up and race strategy decisions impacted by the melting hot 50°C temperatures and gritty sand blowing across Sakhir International Circuit.
The Bahrain International Circuit will engage teams in 57 exhilarating 5.412km laps forming an overall race distance of 308.23km. There are 15 neck-testing left and right corners with 2 opportunistic overtaking DRS zones standing between Scuderia Ferrari and the chequered flag for this weekend’s spectacle. The Grand Prix, also dubbed ‘the twilight race’ due to it’s later than normal start, runs into the evening with picturesque sunset views over the circuit, giving teams a battle between tyre temperatures at the start and finish of the race.
Here are the vital numbers for the 2017 Bahrain GP on Sunday.
57 – Laps make up this Sunday’s race for the Bahrain GP
5.412km – The length of each lap around the Sakhir International Circuit
308.23km – Total race distance covered on Sunday’s main race
1:31.447 – Current lap record set by Pedro de la Rosa in 2005.
For round 3 of the campaign, Pirelli has offered the team a choice of 3 sets of tyre compound. Similar to China there will be the Medium, Supersoft and Soft tyres available, so Scuderia Ferrari’s strategists will be tested again in Sakhir to find the perfect race plan for Kimi and Seb. It is another race into the unknown in terms of tyre degradation and understanding the track behaviour. Previous race data suggests a 1-stop strategy could again be in play for the teams.
The weather will be in stark contrast to last weekend in Shanghai, with the Scuderia Ferrari team relishing the opportunity to fight for the race win in dry and hot conditions. The weather forecast is set to be scorching throughout Free Practice, Qualifying and the Bahrain GP with temperatures reaching highs of 37°C, although as ever on-track conditions could push towards 50°C.
The real tests and strategic talking points for this season’s Bahrain GP will be how the tyres react to the extreme conditions. What tyre choices will the team opt for? How many laps will the tyres last? How many pit-stops will the team make?
Tune into the high-speed action from the Sakhir International Circuit and join Seb and Kimi for round 3 on April 14th – 16th! #BahrainGP #ForzaFerrari