2020 Bahrain Grand Prix - Preview

24.
November 2020
Brackley

Looking ahead to the 15th round of the 2020 Formula One season at the Bahrain International Circuit

  • Toto Talks Bahrain
  • Fact File: Bahrain Grand Prix
  • Stat Attack: Bahrain and Beyond

Toto Talks Bahrain

We witnessed something truly remarkable at the last race in Turkey with Lewis winning his seventh Drivers’ Championship. And the way in which he did it was spectacular. In general, it was a difficult weekend for us as a team and a big challenge for everyone, but Lewis did an outstanding job to come from sixth on the grid to take victory and he has cemented his position among the all-time best sportspeople in the world.

We had some mixed fortunes as it was a tough weekend for Valtteri, but we know how resilient and strong he is. I know he will bounce back stronger in these final three races.

Now we look ahead to Bahrain and returning to a familiar circuit. It always presents an interesting challenge, because of the variation in track conditions and temperatures between the sessions. FP1 and FP3 are held in the warmer daytime temperatures, but FP2, qualifying and the race take place in the cooler evening climate. This makes it challenging to set up the car and gather the right information when it counts.

We’ve enjoyed some strong performances in Bahrain in the past and it’s always a track that produces interesting racing. Both titles may have already been decided, but we’re still going to give it our best shot and we will be following the intense battle for P3 in the championship with interest.

Fact File: Bahrain Grand Prix

  • The Bahrain International Circuit’s complex is located in the middle of the desert on a former camel farm and features 1,120 palm trees.
  • Despite the track’s rural location, surrounded by sandy desert, the sand does not present the cars with any major issues and the circuit surface can clean up very quickly.
  • 495 lighting posts are used to illuminate the track for FP2, Qualifying and the 57-lap race.
  • The Bahrain International Circuit has one of the roughest surfaces of the season, which can lead to higher tyre degradation as a result.
  • Turn 10 is one of the trickiest corners because it has a long, combined corner entry that gets tighter towards the apex – which is blind over a crest. Drivers begin to apply the brakes while also negotiating the wide corner arc of Turn 9 and the track drops away at the apex. All of these factors cause the front-left tyre to go light and increase the risk of a lock-up. The balance is on a knife-edge through this sequence, as drivers battle cornering and braking, which is why we often see mistakes at this point on the track.
  • Because FP1 and FP3 are run in daylight, they hold little value when it comes to car balance and set-up work for Qualifying and the race – which take place in twilight.
  • However, FP1 and FP3 can still prove useful for work on other items such as testing new parts or understanding the tyres.
  • Therefore, FP2 becomes a crucial session for teams, in order to properly prepare for the race weekend’s main events.
  • When it comes to set-up, the focus is very much on tuning the car for low and medium-speed corners, because the high-speed sections of track are easily taken flat-out. Mechanical grip is an important area in Bahrain, to propel the cars out of the slow turns. This is in stark contrast to the set-up approach for tracks like Silverstone and Mugello, where high-speed corner performance is the priority.
  • Bahrain’s F1 track has the joint-second highest gear change figure per lap of the 2020 season, with drivers shifting gear 58 times. This is behind Sochi and tied with the Yas Marina Circuit.
  • The Bahrain Grand Prix is always punishing on the brakes, with seven braking events and three of those being classified as ‘heavy’ by our engineers – meaning the driver is braking for 0.4 seconds or longer, with 4G or more. However, we actually expect the Sakhir Grand Prix – around the Bahrain International Circuit’s ‘Outer Loop’ – to be even tougher on the brakes.

Stat Attack: Bahrain and Beyond

Bahrain Grand Prix Timetable

Session

Local Time

(AST)

Brackley

(GMT)

Stuttgart

(CET)

Practice 1 - Friday

14:00-15:30

11:00-12:30

12:00-13:30

Practice 2 - Friday

18:00-19:30

15:00-16:30

16:00-17:30

Practice 3 - Saturday

14:00-15:00

11:00-12:00

12:00-13:00

Qualifying - Saturday

17:00-18:00

14:00-15:00

15:00-16:00

Race - Sunday

17:10-19:10

14:10-16:10

15:10-17:10

 

Race Records – Mercedes F1 at the Bahrain Grand Prix

 

Starts

Wins

Podium

Places

Pole

Positions

Front Row

Places

Fastest

Laps

DNF

Mercedes

9

4

12

5

8

4

0

Lewis

Hamilton

12

3

8

2

6

1

0

Valtteri

Bottas

7

0

3

1

1

1

0

MB Power

15

5

18

5

10

6

4

 

Technical Stats – Season to Date (Barcelona Pre-Season Test 1 to Present)

 

Laps

Completed

Distance

Covered (km)

Corners

Taken

Gear

Changes

PETRONAS

Fuel Injections

Mercedes

4,947

25,109

74,593

209,603

197,880,000

Lewis

Hamilton

2,492

12,642

37,607

105,855

99,680,000

Valtteri

Bottas

2,455

12,466

36,986

103,748

98,200,000

MB Power

13,793

92,875

207,786

583,854

551,720,000

 

Mercedes-Benz in Formula One

 

Starts

Wins

Podium

Places

Pole

Positions

Front Row

Places

Fastest

Laps

1-2

Finishes

Front Row

Lockouts

Mercedes

(All Time)

224

114

233

124

224

83

58

74

Mercedes (Since 2010)

212

105

216

116

204

74

53

72

Lewis

Hamilton

264

94

163

97

157

53

N/A

N/A

Valtteri

Bottas

153

9

55

15

37

15

N/A

N/A

MB Power

494

200

503

208

405

178

89

111

Press Contact

  • Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Communications Director / F1-Communications
  • Tel: +44 1280 844484

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