On the Way to Bahrain GP: race schedule
What’s new in F1 Bahrain GP 2020 – Ferrari aims for third place in the constructors’ standings
The World Drivers and Constructors’ Championship has already been awarded with Hamilton and Mercedes once again being the winners. But 2020 still has to define the role of third force with Ferrari who, after the excellent performance of the GP in Turkey, got back in the race for third place. The lowest step of the podium will not be easy to reach, but the Ferrari has all the intention of trying. At present, racing point is in third place with 154 points. The team that next year will become Aston Martin precedes McLaren at 149, Renault at 136 and Ferrari at 130. The detachment is not prohibitive, but to be able to catch the goal the Maranello house will need three perfect weekends, with both drivers able to fight for very ambitious positions.
The trend is positive, but it will have to confirm it even on tracks that do not seem to fit perfectly with the SF1000. The remaining GPs will race on tracks where the engine will play a very important role and we know that, this year, the lack of horses was the biggest shortcoming of this car. But in Maranello they believe it and even the Team Principal, Mattia Binotto, tried to shake up the environment to try to fight for third place:
“It’s not over and Sunday’s result is encouraging. We have improved in recent races and the performance of the SF-1000 highlights this. It is a trend that gives us confidence not only for 2021, but also for the next races”.
Race schedule (UTC+1)
Friday 27th November:
- Free Practise 1 12:00-13:30
- Free Practise 2 16:00-17:30
Saturday 28th November:
- Free Practise 3 12:00-13:00
- Qualifying session 15:00-16:00
Sunday 15th November:
- Race 15:10-17:10
The characteristics of the track – F1 Bahrain GP 2020
The track measures 5142 m and at an aerodynamic level a medium and high load setup will be used. We can consider it a Stop&Go circuit, as there are quite important injuries followed by elbow bends. The most demanding braking points are those of turn 1, since on the main straight, thanks to the use of DRS, the cars will touch speeds around 330 km/h and then face a very wide curve at a rather low speed. Later follows an extension, which alternates with the complicated curve 4, which presents a sustained change of slope. It is the stretch where the most guided route begins, consisting of a quick stretch, a rather short straight and another hairpin bend downhill. Subsequently, the drivers will have to face the fearsome turns 9 and 10, which are quite difficult to interpret, since in addition to being on the slope, they will see a continuous succession of locking of the tires in braking. After this guided stretch the drivers will face a rather long straight followed by the only real stretch of curves, the 11 and the 12, followed by another straight. Finally, turn 14 and 15 remain, leading the pilots to the main straight. Sakhir’s is a circuit that requires a lot of traction so, especially the rear tires, they will be very solicited.
The setup of the car
Engineers will have to choose a compromise aerodynamic trim to have the right speed in the straights and the right aerodynamic load to facilitate braking and traction. Setup that will also have to take into account the wear of the tires since, the use of a less charged aerodynamic setup, also negatively affects the consumption of the tires. Given the very demanding braking, the braking system will be very much in demand, which is why the teams will have to use rather generous cooling sockets to ensure the right heat dispersion. Another aircraft of the car that will be put under stress is the Power Unit precisely because of the technical characteristics of the track and environmental temperatures. The hybrid part will make a very important difference in the performance of the various cars since, both MGU-K and MGU-H, they will be able to “recover” large amounts of energy. The aerodynamic setup of the cars combined with the characteristics of the track will also make the fuel consumption in the race problematic. The safety car’s entry could help teams finish the race without saving gasoline.
Tires: beware of abrasive asphalt and thermal degradation
The Milanese company for the Bahrain race will bring to the track the compounds P Zero White hard C2, P Zero Yellow medium C3 and P Zero Red soft C4. This year’s nomination is one step softer than in 2019, when most drivers chose a two-stop strategy using only the two softer compounds and excluding the C1, which was deemed too hard. The race in Bahrain offers very different challenges than the previous GP, where drivers struggled to carry tyres in the window. Bahrain is a Stop&Go track, where longitudinal loads matter a lot and rear tires are the most solicited. The asphalt is very abrasive and there will be a high thermal degradation and that is why it will be quite difficult to complete the race with a single pit stop. During the first weekend, that of the Bahrain Grand Prix, each driver will have two sets in compound C3 of the 2021 specification to try on Friday, in addition to the standard allocation for the weekend (two sets of hard, three medium and eight soft). Also during FP2 of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, drivers will have a C4 compound set of the specification available for next year.