Preview | Battle for third in the Constructors' Championship heats up in Bahrain

25-11-2020 09:03 | Updated: 25-11-2020 10:51
F1 News
Preview | Battle for third in the Constructors' Championship heats up in Bahrain

The Bahrain Grand Prix has been one of the earlier races in recent seasons, but it is the first race in the final Triple Header of this special season. Will Mercedes come out strongest in Bahrain or will we see a surprise winner in the warm conditions?

Bahrain International Circuit

The Bahrain circuit is now familiar territory for the drivers. The race took place for the first time in 2004 and from 2012 to 2019 Formula 1 have been racing here non-stop. Mercedes have already won four times, but Ferrari are also strong here with victories in the names of Sebastian Vettel, Felipe Massa, Michael Schumacher and Charles Leclerc's recorded his first-ever career pole in Bahrain last year. 

On this circuit, the drivers drive at full throttle for most of the lap, which means that the team with the strongest engine usually wins. Turn ten is a good time to pick out the real drivers.

 
 
 
 
 
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A short but rich history in Bahrain

As mentioned, Formula 1 first came to Bahrain in 2004 and it was World Champion Schumacher who managed to win for Ferrari. Over the years there have been many impressive races at the Bahrain circuit. Consider, for example, the exciting battle in 2006 when the victory went to Fernando Alonso or the unique battle in 2014 between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.

Verstappen has never visited the podium

Max Verstappen has been coming to the track in the desert for some years now, but the Dutchman has not had good memories. For example, Verstappen has retired three times in five attempts and has never been on the podium. The fact that Verstappen was never part of the team with the strongest engine naturally plays an important role in this.

In 2016, Verstappen achieved a good result with a sixth-place, after he had qualified in tenth on Saturday. For Red Bull Racing, Verstappen has not yet been able to achieve such a great result. Last season, Verstappen finished fourth, but the gap to the leaders was very big.

In the race last year, Leclerc was looking likely to win the race until his engine started to lose power. Hamilton managed to overtake and the man from Monaco was expected to lose his podium until the safety car was deployed in the final few laps. 

Read the full report of the 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix here

Hamilton on for personal best winning streak

Almost remarkably, Hamilton has won five consecutive races just once in his career. The now seven-time F1 World Champion has won the last four races in F1, a streak he has managed on seven different occasions. But he has only gone on to make that five once, all the way back in 2014. 

Including Bahrain, there are just three races left in the season. This means that Hamilton will not be able to repeat Sebastian Vettel's feat at the end of the 2013 season. 

Meanwhile, the battle for third place in the Constructors' Championship is heating up. With Sergio Perez scoring well in the Turkish Grand Prix, Racing Point have moved up to third place. McLaren are just five points behind. Renault, who are expected to be strong this weekend are only 18 points behind third. And Ferrari aren't exactly out of the battle after Sebastian Vettel's podium last time out. 

Weather forecast

For the first time in a long time, the drivers will return to a track with warm temperatures. Of course, these races will take place at the start of the evening, but according to Weather.com, the temperatures are still to be higher than the last races. We shouldn't expect rain in the desert either.

Bahrain GP prediction

The Bahrain Grand Prix is ​​normally won by the team with the fastest engine and the least drag. Overtaking is fairly easy in Sakhir, with three DRS zones and many long straights followed by a slow turn. 

It is therefore only logical if Mercedes record a 1-2 at the end of qualifying and the race. Hamilton is rarely strong after taking the title and Valtteri Bottas has proven strong in the desert in the past. A unique opportunity for the Finn to finally win a race in the desert again?

Normally you would say this season that Max Verstappen finishes in third place, but do not eliminate Racing Point and Renault. With lots of straights and both teams that are strong when it comes to fast tracks, those teams could be very close. Especially in qualifying.

Timetable Grand Prix of Bahrain

Friday

First free practice: 11:00 - 12:30

Second free practice: 15:00 - 16:30

Saturday

Third free practice: 11:00 - 12:00

Qualifying: 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Sunday

Race: 2:10 PM - 4:10 PM

This article originally appeared on the Dutch version of GPblog.com, and was written by Tim Kraaij. 

Check out the Story of the CRAZIEST F1 Season in History HERE!

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