Initially, the Bahrain stage was supposed to take place a week after the Australian Grand Prix, but the pandemic completely reshaped the championship calendar, and as a result, the Sakhir circuit will host two races in late November and early December, and even on two different track configurations.
Ferrari drivers have won the Bahrain Grand Prix six times, and the first of them back in 2004 was Michael Schumacher. In 2017 and 2018, Sebastian Vettel climbed to the top of the podium, and last year Charles Leclair was on his way to victory, until he was let down by technique. This season, Scuderia is difficult to count on a repeat of past successes, and yet the team’s riders are optimistic.
Sebastian Vettel: “The track in Sakhir has always posed very difficult challenges for the riders, but the cars there also work with the maximum load. The race takes place in the desert, it gets very hot during the day, and you can feel it in the cockpit.
The characteristics of the track require the car to accelerate as best as possible when exiting corners, in addition, the brakes there are very severely tested and work with a huge load during the entire circle. On this track, acceleration constantly alternates with deceleration, you all the time have to brake hard, then accelerate sharply.
We see that our car has been working better lately, and now I want to check how competitive we will be on this track. We haven’t performed in Bahrain in late autumn, but in terms of weather and temperatures, it doesn’t change much. “
Charles Leclair: “The Bahrain Grand Prix is a rather unusual race, this is due to various factors, including because conditions are constantly changing during the weekend. During the first trainings, the track surface is very dirty, there is a lot of sand on it, which the wind blows from the desert.
Gradually the asphalt becomes cleaner, but on its abrasive surface the tires wear out very intensively. Lighting and temperatures are also constantly changing, because the race starts in the late afternoon, when the asphalt is still hot, but as the sun tilts towards the horizon, the track cools down, and therefore has to adapt, adjusting the driving style.
I have good memories of last year’s Bahrain Grand Prix, even if it ended worse than it could have been. Hopefully we will be able to continue the trend that has been shown in the last few races, as we are more and more competitive. “