Pirelli Bahrain Grand Prix Preview
Bahrain features a twilight start and a finish under lights. Teams have now experienced the new tire regulations, so may have more ideas as to how to get the best out of them.
The three nominated compounds (medium, soft and supersoft) are the same as those for Australia.
THE CIRCUIT FROM A TIRE POINT OF VIEW:
• The 18:00 start time means that track temperatures fall dramatically as the race goes on.
• The granite-based asphalt is rough and abrasive, which increases tire wear.
• Sand can often blow onto the surface from the surrounding desert, affecting grip.
• There are a number of slow corners where good traction is crucial, so the track is rear-limited.
• At the same time, there are four fast straights, so a versatile compromise set-up is required.
• Safety cars rarely affect strategy: there have only been two in the 12-year history of the race.
THE THREE NOMINATED COMPOUNDS:
• White medium: a low working range compound that is one of the most versatile in the range.
• Yellow soft: a high working range compound with the accent on performance.
• Red supersoft: a low working range compound that is rapid but with a limited overall life.
PAUL HEMBERY, PIRELLI MOTORSPORT DIRECTOR:
• “The new tire regulations for 2016 proved to be a big success, providing many different strategy options and talking points for all the teams in Australia. Bahrain is a very different type of circuit, with tire behaviour affected by a big drop in temperature as the race goes on. This provides a different set of challenges and parameters, so it will be interesting to see who has learned most from Australia in order to take best advantage of another new situation. There are some quite diverse choices from the teams, which will play a key role in the race outcome.”