Last updated on November 15th, 2015 at 12:08 pm

F1 : Bahrain Grand Prix Preview

First of all we have news that Michael Schumacher is showing promising signs in his recovery with moments of consciousness, that is absolutely fantastic and we wish him well with his continued recovery. It is only fitting that the winner of the first Malaysian Grand Prix was Michael. Back to back Grand Prix sees a rush from Malaysia to Bahrain for what is going to be Bahrain’s first night race, that means a nice afternoon start time for us and perhaps a bit more sparkle for what can be a bit of a dull race.

Malaysia Grand Prix Recap

Another early start and another perhaps, underwhelming race? The threat of rain in the race never materialised and apart from a slight mistake from Rosberg into the first corner and a later, brief moment when Vettel was in DRS range after the pit stops, Mercedes had the race covered to finish with a dominant 1-2. Everyone was bored of Vettel starting from the front and driving off into the sunset in the previous few years and I don’t think it’s any better just because it’s now Lewis, just a little more pleasing for us Brits. The difference is however, Rosberg will give Hamilton much stiffer competition than Webber gave Vettel at Red Bull. Despite the poor start to testing, things aren’t looking too bad for Red Bull, starting on the front row and finishing on the podium. Considering the advantage Mercedes engines currently have over the Renault, it shows that Red Bull already have a strong aero package so if the engine catches up, they will be banging on Mercedes’ door.

There wasn’t a huge amount of overtaking in the race, with Nico Hulkenberg running a different strategy being able to go unnoticed and slot into a good fifth place. McLaren weren’t able to match their impressive first race with both drivers pushed way back into the pack and well off the pace. The main excitement came from Williams as Massa experienced a radio call that he never expected when making the jump to Williams. Massa was told that Bottas was quicker and to not hold him up but the Brazilian decided to ignore these team orders which potentially cost the team points as Bottas may have been able to overtake Button.

Bahrain Grand Prix Preview

With lots of pre season testing done in Bahrain, all the teams should have a very good idea of the car setup required so expect Mercedes to once again be front runners and the rest of the field squabbling for that podium place. The objective for Mercedes is to make this early season dominance count whereas the goal for Red Bull will be just to stay within touching distance of Mercedes until their development catches up and they can challenge for race wins.

While the multiple long straights followed by tight slow corners should make the Bahrain track suited to overtaking, this is rarely the case and with such large run off areas, mistakes are harder to punish. The one thing we do love about this track is that they put glue on the sand around to track to stop it becoming a problem and blowing everywhere! With the success of the Singapore night race, Bahrain will be hoping that this transfers to them but the added bonus for Singapore is that it is in a fascinating city which has much more to offer than the desert 30 miles south of the Bahrain capital.

Race Predictions

  1. Lewis Hamilton
  2. Nico Rosberg
  3. Jenson Button
  4. Fernando Alonso
  5. Nico Hulkenberg

With the multiple straights of Bahrain, a Mercedes engine dominated race is a high possibility with the Ferrari being the closest rival. Hulkenberg drove well in Malaysia and was up the timing sheets in P1 so expect him to be mixing it with the McLaren and Williams cars as well as Alonso and Raikkonen.

The Malaysian Grand Prix is live on Sky with late highlights on BBC 2, here are the times:

Qualifying – Green light – 16:00
Sky F1 – 15:00 – 17:45
BBC 2 – 21:00 – 22:15 (highlights)

Race – Lights out – 16:00
Sky F1 – 15:00 – 18:30
BBC 2 – 22:00 – 23:30 (highlights)

Agree, don’t agree? Let me know below!



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