The Bahrain Grand Prix is the first night race of the season, set in the Sakhir desert in the Middle East. Despite the ‘cooler’ night conditions, track temperatures remain consistently hot, ranging from 26°C to 31°C over the last three years. These temperatures encourage the tyres to operate within their working window, providing good mechanical grip. Although, the high traction demands of this circuit together with the high track temperatures could lead to overheating of the rear tyres.
The drivers complete 71 gear changes per lap, reaching a top speed of 326 kph before Turn 1. The Fuel effect of this track is 0.31s/10Kg compared to the 2018 average so far of 0.35sec/10Kg. Fuel consumption is 1.84Kg/lap with 61% of the lap on full throttle. Pit lane length is 426m which is 59m longer than average and the fastest pit stop time from 2017 is 24.240s.
The key thing to remember this weekend is that because the Bahrain Grand Prix is a night race, track temperatures continue to fall during the race, consequently changing the tyre behaviour and level of grip
Track temperatures are much hotter in the afternoon, which is why FP1 and FP3 are largely unrepresentative, making FP2 more important for high fuel long runs to try and understand the tyre behaviour in representative race conditions
Medium, Soft and Supersoft are the mandatory compounds for the race, the same as last year, although all compounds are a step softer than 2017
The drivers use the brakes for approximately 14s per lap, which equates to 450 times during the race, exerting a total force on the pedal of around 48 tonnes or 490Kg per minute
There are 8 braking points, 4 of which are classified as critical and 3 are average in terms of brake difficulty
The most challenging braking zone is Turn 1 where the drivers hit a top speed of 326km/h. They then brake for 2.26s along 61m, decelerating to 82km/h. This causes the drivers to experience 5.1g of deceleration, which is the same amount of g-force experienced by astronauts as they return to Earth
On a scale of 1 to 10, the Bahrain Grand Prix scores a severity of 9 in terms of braking demand. Only Montreal, Mexico City, Abu Dhabi and Singapore rank higher
To cope with the high temperatures and high energy braking zones of the Bahrain Grand Prix, Brembo have increased the number of holes on the carbon discs and have also developed new calipers