Bahrain GP: Preview - Aston Martin


Lance Stroll: "The arrival of Aston Martin underlines all the potential in this team; it's a very exciting moment for us all.

"We're continuing to develop as an organisation - that means we'll have more people and more resources to understand the car and how it operates; but we're still understanding how the team is growing. I don't think we were able to show our full potential during the Bahrain test, so there's definitely more performance to come during these opening races, which is exciting."

Sebastian Vettel: "It's going to be a bit of a learning curve in these first few races: for me, it's a new team - I'm still getting to know everyone, still understanding how the AMR21 wants to be driven, and familiarising myself with the team. I'm very excited to be at the start of that journey in Bahrain this weekend. The conditions were very interesting during testing - high winds made it quite tricky to drive - and we know that tyre degradation is always a key factor here. It should make for an exciting race."

• Desert winds regularly deposit sand on the circuit, so there's fairly hefty track evolution across the race weekend as the cars clear the sand and rubber-in the racing line. Pirelli brings its C2, C3 and C4 compounds to this race (Hard, Medium and Soft) - the same as last year. The track surface is particularly abrasive, so expect to see high degradation and multi-stop strategies as default. Pole position is on the left-hand side of the track - it's a relatively short 460m run from P1 down to Turn One.

• In general, passing is relatively easy at Bahrain. Excluding the opening lap and restarts, there were 53 overtakes in last year's race - and 70 per cent of those were DRS-assisted. It's the fifth-easiest track on the calendar for overtaking. Austria and Montreal top the list for most passing action; Monaco, unsurprisingly, is the hardest place to overtake. The majority of passes happen into Turn One, where a following car is assisted by a DRS zone along the straight and heavy braking into a second-gear right-hander, which offers multiple lines for attack and defence. Another popular passing spot is into Turn Four, for the same reasons (DRS assist/heavy braking).

• Safety cars are less likely at Bahrain than at many other circuits. Why? Because the huge asphalt run-offs mean cars are less likely to end up stranded on the track. However, the first race of any season always brings additional reliability worries.

Power of Data

The team creates enough data each race weekend (roughly 220GB) to fill the memory of almost 28 laptops. Speedy and efficient transfer is essential to enable real-time analysis of the data by our engineers at both the track and the factory.

To aid the process, the team can log and monitor 1,300-1,400 different data channels in a system roughly totalling 30,000 channels.

Fast Facts

140,000: The amount of run-off in square metres around the circuit. That might sound lenient - but the run-off is dusty and slippery, and needs to be avoided.

1,120: The number of palm trees surrounding the circuit.

496: The number of days it took Hermann Tilke and his team to build the Bahrain International Circuit, one of the first of over 20 circuits the German designer and his company has worked on.

5: No other track has more FIA-certified layouts. These include the Outer Track, which hosted last year's Sakhir Grand Prix, the 24-turn Endurance Circuit, and the Test Oval. It has also a popular drag strip.

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Published: 23/03/2021
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