14 April: Practice 1 (14:00) / Practice 2 (18:00)
15 April: Practice 3 (15:00) / Qualifying (18:00)
16 April: Race (18:00)
Track: Bahrain international circuit
Location: Sakhir, Bahrain
First race: 2004
Length: 5.412 km/ 3.362 m
Fastest lap: 1:31.447 (Petro de la Rosa, 2005)
2016 winner: Nico Rosberg
The next round of the 2017 world championship takes us to Bahrain, under flood lights for the fourth time in the races history. The desert circuit has really come into it’s own in the hybrid V6 ear, with a spectacular race under the flood lights back in 2014.
Last year saw a couple of surprises. Vettel failed to start the race as his engine went up in smoke near the end of the formation lap, leaving Riakkonen to get the podium. Hamilton was spun at turn 1 and Stoffel Vandoorne, in place of Fernando Alonso, scored his first (and currently only) F1 point.
Last year was a pretty bad race for Hamilton. Despite starting on pole he got a bad start and was then spun by now team mate Bottas. He still recovered to 3rd, but it certainly wasn’t what he hopped for, as Rosberg went on to win the race.
As for Ferrari, Vettel failed to start last year after an engine failure near the end of the formation lap. On the other hand is team mate Riakkonen is the most successful non-winner at the Bahrain international circuit, with 8 podiums. Including 5 second places in the last 6 years. However as I said he has yet to win there and after a poor start to the season so far, which has seen him been drawn into talks with team boss’s over his performance, he’ll be hoping for the first victory.
Pascal Wehrlein is back in the car this week after missing both opening rounds due to a neck injury, the German now fully fit to race. He needs to get up to speed pretty quickly if he is to stay.
Top 3 prediction