It’s that time of the year again here in Bahrain. It’s time for the 7th Bahrain Grand Prix starting in approximately 4 days! Those unfamiliar, the Bahrain GP is the Formula 1 race that has been held every year since 2004, when Bahrain became the first country in the Middle East to host Formula 1.
There are many changes this season, teams wise, track and of course rules and regulations.
- Most surprising, Michael Schumacher is back! This time driving for Mercedes (yes, Mercedes has become a team after they bought Brawn GP). German car + German F1 champion that was supposedly retired = I HAVE NO IDEA!
- Last season’s champion, Jensen Button will be driving along with Lewis Hamilton for McLaren.
- Two times champion, Fernando Alonso will be driving for Ferrari alongside Massa.
- Barichello is now driving for Williams.
- Officially we now have the first ever Russian joining Formula 1 and driving for Renault, Vitaly Petrov (Renault’s last season was very shaky, filled with controversy…).
- Some new teams have joined the line up and they are: Lotus Racing, Hispania Racing F1 Team and Virgin Racing (remember that Virgin was one of Brawn GP’s main sponsors).
The Bahrain GP track has changed significantly ever since its debut, actually just a part of it, with added twists and turns. Below you can find the old track (2004-2009) and the new track (2010), source Wikipedia:
The new track has the part from turn 4 to turn 5 modified, the light gray piece has been added with extra turns as shown below:
The new section starts at turn 5 all the way to turn 14! This has increased the track length by approximately 400 meters give or take. It will be interesting to see how old (and new, but mostly old) drivers handle this new track after being used to the previous layout for all these years.
Rules and Regulations
- No more refueling DURING the race! This (kinda old) rule has come back ever since it was last seen in 1993. This means that the construction of the cars have changed to accommodate a much larger fuel tank. I think previous tanks were around 80 liters, now its up to 250 liters (unconfirmed). Reason: cutting costs (especially these days), but also adds more challenge!
- KERS has been optionally removed, or at least teams have agreed not to use it, although it is not banned.
- Those wheel caps (can’t remember the correct term) some teams had on their cars have been banned. Last season when it was introduced it simply caused a lot of problems, most notably when Renault’s wheel simply pulled away due to a badly placed cap.
- Due to the increase in the number of teams, the points system has been changed. Now first place gets 25 points.
- Not really a new rule, but part of its enforcer: the new safety car will be a Mercedes SLS AMG!
Where Can I Buy Tickets!!
Well if you are in Bahrain most malls will have the F1 stand somewhere inside. If you are from outside of Bahrain you can try the Bahrain GP site for more information including buying tickets.
To those coming from outside Bahrain, I wish you a pleasant stay in this wonderful country and I hope you enjoy the race!