The 2nd round of the 2019 Formula One season sees teams race under the artificial lights of Sakhir International Circuit for the Bahrain Grand Prix
Drivers will be looking to keep their cool in the desert heat as the 2019 Formula One season heads to the Middle East for the Bahrain Grand Prix.
After being dropped from the Formula One calendar in Y 2011 amid Bahrain’s civil issues, the race has been a lively thriller since its return the following year and has been further enhanced by its transition into a night affair in 2014.
Ferrari’s (NYSE:RACE) Sebastian Vettel. 31 anni, was the winner in Y 2018, and after seeing MercedesAMG dominating the opening round in Melbourne, eyes will be firmly fixated on the Ferrari garage to see what sort of response they can muster.
Back-to-Back Bottas Wins
Valtteri Bottas, 29 anni, will be looking to make it 2 consecutive victories for the 1st time in his career, and now working to build on his resounding Australian GP success.
The MercedesAMG driver got the better of his team-mate Lewis Hamilton at the start of the race before coasting to a comprehensive victory, and 1 he described as one of his “best races.”
It was a fighting statement from Mr. Bottas, who silenced a number of his critics with his win, but he will be well aware that he cannot afford to rest on his laurels if he is to become a contender.
Lewis Hamilton will be looking to make amends for the struggles he endured in Melbourne after his MercedesAMG team discovered after the race that Mr. Hamilton’s W10 had endured floor damage from debris – causing the 5X world champion to suffer from balance issues from as early as lap four.
Ferrari has to catch up
A 4X winner in Bahrain, Mr. Vettel is the most successful driver on the grid in the heat of Sakhir.
However, with Ferrari having suffered a humiliating weekend in Melbourne, the sweeping sectors of Bahrain should give a more definitive answer as to where The Scuderia lie with their Y 2019 package.
After all, Sakhir is a circuit that Ferrari have enjoyed some great success in recent years.
The Circuit de Barcelona, host to the Maranello Outfit’s impressive pre-season showing, draws similar characteristics with that of Bahrain and Mr. Vettel, along with his team-mate Charles Leclerc, 20 anni, will be looking to maximize their performance in the final sector.
There will be lots of intrigue over Ferrari’s stance with Mr. Leclerc, who was informed to hold stations at Melbourne, despite looking quicker than Mr. Vettel in the final stages of that race.
Ferrari needs a response, and if a positive result does not come this weekend, then an internal crisis could be on the horizon quickly.
Red Bull Racing in the Mix
An excellent drive from Max Verstappen seen him claim his 1st podium in Melbourne to qualm any fears over Red Bull Racing’s tie-up with engine supplier Honda.
Mr. Verstappen’s tire management was Key in allowing him to pass Mr. Vettel before mounting a late charge on Mr. Hamilton before the end of the race, coming to within a sec of the MercedesAMG driver.
The RB15 still remains to be somewhat of an unknown quantity, especially after the difficult weekend that Pierre Gasly endured 2 weeks ago after qualifying 18th before struggling to out-run the sister Toro Rosso car driven by Daniel Kvyat.
Bahrain is the circuit where Mr. Gasly produced a strong performance last season and astonished the paddock with a 4th-place finish.
Mr. Grasly has enjoyed success in the lower formulas, and if his Red Bull racer is unhindered by strategic miscalculations, expect he to be lurking around the podium places.
Haas headed the glorified ‘midfield pack’ in Melbourne with Kevin Magnussen’s excellent 6th place finish, although it could have been more for the American manufacturer had Romain Grosjean not suffered his 2nd consecutive Australian GP retirement.
The other midfield runners have some catching up to do if Haas’ opening showing was anything to go by, although the overtaking opportunities that Sakhir offers will mean competition for places will ignite in the desert climate.
Wheel-to-wheel racing is inevitable, and Bahrain has been host to the exciting thrills and the occasional spills. One team looking to avoid any further spills is Renault, who’s pre-season hype fell flat after their despondent qualifying session.
Nico Hulkenberg made amends in the race, but Daniel Ricciardo’s race was unfortunate to see his home outing come to a premature end following his lap 1 incident.
The 2 DRS zones, situated after Turn 10 and Turn 15, will be a welcome boost for the straight-line speeds of Alfa Romeo and Racing Point, who both produced credible performances in the opening race.
Friday 29 March
11:00 GMT / 14:00 Local Time – Free Practice One
15:00 GMT / 18:00 Local Time – Free Practice Two
Saturday 30 March
12:00 GMT / 15:00 Local Time – Free Practice Three
15:00 GMT / 18:00 Local Time – Qualifying
Sunday 31 March
15:10 GMT / 18:10 Local Time – Race
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HeffX-LTN overall technical outlook for RACE is Bullish across the board, and there is very little resistance here and none above 140.26. All of our Key indicators are Very Bullish in here.
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