• Chris Kato

Your A-Z Guide to the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix

The first race of the season is finally here and so is our complete guide to everything you need to know about the race weekend!

Welcome to your A-Z guide of the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix, the very first race of this year's F1 World Championship. In this video, I'll take you through every little and large detail that you need to know before this race weekend in Bahrain. If you like this type of content, be sure to give this video a like and comment your predictions for this weekend's race down below. Let's begin by looking at the track facts of the Bahrain International Circuit.

Track Facts

First hosting a race in 2004, the Bahrain Grand Prix has given us some great racing in the past and we hope that continues this weekend. The 57 lap race will be contested around the 5.4KM Bahrain Circuit with 15 corners overall, 9 to the right and 6 to the left. Bahrain is synonymous with its power sensitive straights so the downforce level is rated as low to medium as you still need good grip through Sector 2. Top speed is critical around here as you take the lap at full throttle 72% of the time. Pole position is important around here and I'm curious to know who you think will be on pole so let us know down below! The number one grid slot is positioned on the left hand side of the grid which is the natural racing line and has historically been a good place to start which we'll get to in a moment. Finally, the average pit lane time lost during racing conditions is around 18.9 seconds with the pit lane speed limit set at 80km/h.

Grand Prix History

This year's race will be the 16th Bahrain Grand Prix to take place in Sakhir. Ferrari is the most successful constructor in Bahrain taking 37% of the victories with 6 all together. Mercedes are close behind with 31% and 5 total victories while Red Bull and Renault have managed to grab 2 wins in the dessert themselves. Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton share the honors as most successful drivers around the Bahrain International Circuit with 4 wins each while returning Fernando Alonso is third most on the current grid taking 3 wins himself with Renault and Ferrari. No other driver on the current Formula 1 grid has won the Bahrain Grand Prix. Although a track with large runoff areas, Bahrain has seen its fair share of big accidents that necessitates the safety car. Historically, their is a 37% chance of a safety car during the Bahrain Grand Prix with at least one appearance in the last four races here. As mentioned earlier, qualifying here on pole is important as 44% of race victories have been taken from pole position. Alternatively, starting from outside the top 3 is not going to help your chances as only one driver has managed to win from outside the top 3, that was Jenson Button back in 2009 who won from 4th. 12 out of the 16 victories in Bahrain have come from either 1st or 2nd on the grid so qualifying on Saturday will be a must watch event!

Grand Prix Schedule

It is important to remember the changes to Free Practice for 2021 as all three practice sessions will be only one hour in length. Here you can see the start times for qualifying and the race in some different areas around the world. The race will begin at the top of the hour at 6PM Bahrain time while viewers in the Eastern time zone will enjoy a 11AM race start time. Check your local listings for more info on when the sessions will be broadcasted in your area.

Weekend Notes

Starting off for the weekend notes, let's take a look at the tentative forecast for the race weekend in Bahrain.

Weather - As typical of the Bahrain climate, we're expecting a hot and dry weekend in the dessert. Friday is projected to be the hottest day with a high of 34 degrees Celsius but those conditions will cool as we move into the evening sessions which are more representative of qualifying and race conditions. I will highlight that they are calling for high winds on race day out of the North with gusts up to 41km/h which could make car handling tricky in corners such as turn 4, and turn 15 for example. High winds could also lead to plenty of sand being blown onto the track as we saw during testing which makes conditions quite tricky to drive in.

Tyres - Pirelli will bring the C2, C3, and C4 compounds to the first race of the season. As we did in 2020, all drivers will have the same allocation at the start of the weekend which is 2 sets of hards, 3 mediums, and two sets of the soft. Bahrain has a lot of big braking zones so we usually see a lot of rear tyre wear due to the repeated acceleration out of slow speed corners. The track is very abrasive but does provide a high level of grip. It will be interesting to see if any of the teams opt to qualify on the medium tyre as was popular in the race here last season.

Most Laps Led Record - If Lewis Hamilton leads13 laps of the Bahrain Grand Prix, he will pass Michael Schumacher's record of most laps led in Formula 1 with 5,111.

Williams' New Hiring -

Predictions/Betting Favorites

It's always difficult to predict the outcomes of the first race of the season and it this one is no different. In a few days time, we will see whether Mercedes were hiding their true pace and if they've gotten on top of the rear instability plaguing their W12 during testing. We're also going to see whether Red Bull can build off of their strong start to the season and actually close the gap to Mercedes first in qualifying and then ultimately in the race itself. I see Mercedes as the favorites heading into Bahrain as this has been a happy hunting ground for them but I expect both Red Bulls to put on a serious challenge to the Silver Arrows. Further down the grid, McLaren will be close behind the top two teams and I think they'll have a chance to capitalize on any miscues at the front if they were to happen. They seem to be at the front of the mid-field at the moment and their 2021 package seems well suited to the characteristics of this circuit. My personal question marks for this weekend are what kind of pace will we see from Aston Martin and Ferrari? Aston Martin completed the second fewest laps during testing and we didn't see very many performance runs, especially from their new driver Sebastian Vettel so I'm curious as to where they will slot in on the grid. And for Ferrari, this track is a good test for their upgraded power unit and whether it will hold up against the likes of Honda and Mercedes. They had a decent winter testing but both drivers still didn't look completely happy with the SF21 so let's see where Ferrari falls in the pecking order.

That will do it for your A-Z guide to the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix and I hope you found some useful information in this video. We hope you guys can join us this Saturday, March 27th as we'll be live at 1030AM Eastern time for a qualifying watch along livestream right here on our YouTube channel. In the meantime if you enjoyed this video, give it a like, comment your weekend predictions, and subscribe to us on YouTube and also on our alternative platforms like Odysee.

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