The upcoming double-header at Bahrain will see grand prix run on the track’s standard layout and the outer circuit, presenting teams and drivers with a new challenge.
Speaking ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix, Alfa Romeo driver Kimi Raikkonen said “the layout we will race on in the second week is a bit of a question mark”, adding that its characteristics should make it interesting for drivers and fans alike.
“It’s very fast and it’s a very short lap, which should make finding space in qualifying a challenge […] there will be a lot to learn but it’ll be an interesting one,” Raikkonen added.
Williams driver George Russell echoed Raikkonen’s remarks, saying: “I reckon everyone will probably be within a second in qualifying. It will probably be a bit of a mess on the Saturday because everyone will be looking for slipstream.
“I don’t know how short it is but there’s probably not enough space to fit 20 cars on there and the racing will be pretty wacky.”
The outer circuit will have two DRS zones and lap times of less than a minute are expected in qualifying trim.
McLaren’s Carlos Sainz was less perturbed with Saturday and more focused on finding a good balance throughout the weekend.
“It will be a challenge to find the right compromise on the set-up because it’s not a typical track for Formula 1. There will be a lot of talk regarding rear wings, what downforce level you run and all that,” the Spaniard, who has just three races left with McLaren, said.
The 87-lap Sakhir Grand Prix’s will take place on 6 December and is scheduled to get underway at 5:10pm local time.