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Ready For Another Desert Storm

What?

The 2014 Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix
Round 3 of 19

Where?

Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir

When?

April 4 - 6
Qualifying • Sunday April 6,2014. Time: 0200 AEDT
Race start • Monday April 7, 2014. Time: 0100 AEDT

Laps?

57

Track records:

Best record:
Ferrari: 4 victories in 9 races here (Schumacher ’04, Massa ’07, ’08 & Alonso ’10)
Alonso: 3 victories (’05, ’06, ’10)

Lap record:
1:31.447 = 213.054 km/h • Pedro de la Rosa (McLaren Mercedes) 2005

2013 pole:
Rosberg (Mercedes) 1:32.330 = 211.017 km/h

2013 results
1 Vettel (Red Bull Renault) 1:36.00.498 = 192.632 km/h
2 Raikkonen (Lotus F1 Renault)
3 Grosjean (Lotus F1 Renault)

Best Moments

In 2004, Michael Schumacher does the F1 ‘hat-trick’ – pole position, race win and fastest lap – as Bahrain stages its first Grand Prix.

In 2006, reigning GP2 champion Nico Rosberg announces his arrival in F1 by setting fastest race lap on debut for Williams.

In 2011, Bahrain is the scene of the first pole position for popular Polish driver Robert Kubica in his BMW Sauber. Sadly it is also Robert’s last, as a rallying accident leaves him unable to continue with his richly promising Grand Prix career.

Man of the Moment

The aforementioned Rosberg: Mercedes teammate Hamilton out-gunned the German in Malaysia last week but second place puts Nico on top of the table with 43 points from two starts in 2014.

Big issues

Stewards and their powers: has officialdom gone mad? Daniel Ricciardo was ‘pinged’ for unsafe release in Malaysia and served a 10-second drive-through; now he has a 10-place grid penalty for Bahrain as well so in effect he has been hobbled for two Grands Prix, not just the one during which he – or rather his Red Bull Racing team – transgressed. Meanwhile, neither Daniil Kvyat nor Fernando Alonso incurs any kind of penalty for their qualifying clash, in which the stewards said both drivers were free of blame. But so was Ricciardo…

Night and day: Bahrain is following in the shining wake of Singapore and Abu Dhabi by switching race start to 18:00 local time. What effect will this have on ambient and track temperatures, humidity and other conditions?

Track surface: one of the most abrasive on the calendar, with lots of marbles off the racing line and of course a fair bit of that desert sand. But F1 tested here twice in the northern hemisphere winter so they should be well prepared.

Quote of the week

Fernando Alonso on the Sakhir challenge:
“We have seen different types of racing over the first two Grands Prix, with the first one highlighting fuel saving a bit and the other shifting the focus to tyre management because of degradation, due to the high temperature. I think Bahrain will feature a combination of both these factors. We will have to save fuel more than in Malaysia and the tyres will be affected by the temperature in the Bahraini desert.”

Don’t quote us

Hamilton to make it two in a row – and three for Mercedes. But keep an eye on Hulkenberg again, and expect Dan the Man to enjoy – at last – a touch of good fortune with his first (legal) Red Bull points.

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