FORMULA 1 BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX

Posted By F1 Fast Lap













Sakhir

Race Date:
6 Apr 2014
Circuit Name:
Bahrain International Circuit
First Grand Prix:
2004
Number of Laps:
57
Circuit Length:
5.412 km
Race Distance:
308.238 km
Lap Record:
1:30.252 - M Schumacher (2004)

The 2004 Grand Prix of Bahrain marked the first ever round of the FIA Formula One World Championship to be held in the Middle East and the official culmination of a multi-million dollar project started back in September 2002 when the Kingdom of Bahrain signed a long-term deal to host the event.

Located at Sakhir, 30 km south-west of the island's capital, Manama, the Hermann Tilke designed circuit contains no less than five track layouts within one complex. Construction began in November 2002 and in the months prior to its March 2004 completion, work was going on around the clock. Over 12,000 tonnes of stone were used in the build, a third of it Welsh granite, chosen for the track surface due to its excellent adhesive qualities.

The original 5.412 km Grand Prix circuit was designed with the spectator in mind, with 50,000 grandstand seats, all providing excellent views. Those spectators (a total of 100,000 over a race weekend) get to see the cars heading into the external desert area, before coming back into the oasis-styled infield. Up to 500 journalists can also witness the action from the venue's purpose-built media centre.

A revised 'endurance' track layout was used for the 2010 event, with an additional complex starting at Turn Four extending the lap to 23 corners and 6.299 km, but the event is expected to return to the original track configuration for 2012. It offers the driver a unique experience in the way the circuit's width varies at the end of the different straights. This allows for diverse racing lines, and the 15-corner design provides at least three genuine overtaking opportunities.


The DRS zone is on the pit straight at the Bahrain Grand Prix (starting 2012), so turn 1 is the prime overtaking opportunity. The corner itself is incredibly tight, and you have to break 100 metres before the corner and shift right down to gear one. The width of the track further adds to the overtaking possibilities. Turns 2 and 3 are flat out and gaining a good exit can set up an overtaking opportunity into turn 4. The straight leading to turn 4 is very long, and the track at the corner itself is incredibly wide, at about thirty metres. Turns 5, 6 and 7 make up a flat-out, high-speed, left-right-left 'S' section that leads into turn 8, a right-hand hairpin where taking a wide line can avoid the bump on the apex which unsettles the car. Turns 9 and 10 are very challenging as they are two blind left-handers where cars must brake, downshift and turn simultaneously - they go from 205 km/h in gear 5 down to 63 km/h in gear 1 whilst trying to avoid locking up their inside front tyres. The backstraight leads down into turns 11, 12 and 13, a medium-speed complex of corners. Turn 11 is a forth-gear left hander that leads immediately into the flat-out right hander of 12, then the third gear right-hander of turn 13 which requires a good exit to gain speed down the following straight. It is worth braking quite early for turn 14 to gain speed down the main straight. If you brake about 100 metres before the apex then it is easy to keep it tidy through the slow right hander and you can also put the power down early, and gain speed all the way through turn 15 and the main straight (which is the DRS zone).

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