After a long winter break, the Formula 1 World Championship resumes this weekend with the Bahrain Grand Prix at the Bahrain International Circuit.
The 2023 season won’t have much impact on new car designs after last season’s complete redesign, but there is a new race in Las Vegas to look forward to (one of the three US races this season) . This year’s calendar has 23 roundsThe season also features three new drivers and a returning veteran.
New drivers include McLaren’s Oscar Piastri, AlphaTauri’s Nick de Vries and Williams’ American driver Logan Sargent. Nico Hulkenberg also returns to F1 as a Haas driver. Fernando Alonso, who drives an Aston Martin for the first time, should also be noted. Alonso missed a recent test session due to a wrist injury but is driving alongside Lance Stroll, who is confirmed to race in Bahrain. Ferrari and Williams also have new team bosses —Fred Vasseur and James VollesEach.
All eyes will be on reigning world champion Max Verstappen, who once again drives for Red Bull Racing and is currently chasing his third title. Mercedes-Benz AMG’s Lewis Hamilton will also return for his record eighth title.
The Bahrain Grand Prix has taken over from the Australian Grand Prix as the traditional season opener. Located on a former camel ranch in the desert region of Sakir, the Bahrain International Circuit is where pre-season testing took place this year, so the driver is familiar with his conditions on the newest track.
Bahrain International Circuit, home of the Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix
The 3.36-mile track is one of the toughest on the calendar. It is a course with a mixture of high-speed straights and hairpins with sudden braking. Turn 10 is one of the trickiest corners. Because in this case there is a long interlocking corner entry that gets tighter towards the apex, beyond the blind he crest. Drivers start braking through the wide corner arc of Turn 9 as the track pulls away at the top. All of these factors make the front left wheel lighter, increasing the risk of lockup.
The technical challenges here are engine performance, traction out of corners and stability under braking. In addition, tire deterioration also plays an important role due to track wear.
Pirelli has named the hardest tire compound for racing. C1 is white hard, C2 is yellow he is medium, C3 is red soft. C1 is the new compound for this season. Pirelli says it’s based on last year’s C2 compound and helps reduce the performance gap between the stiffer compounds in the range.
Weather conditions are expected to be mild for both Saturday’s qualifying session and Sunday’s race, with temperatures expected to hover around 83 degrees Fahrenheit on Sunday. Changes in wind can also blow in sand from the surrounding desert, which can affect grip levels. To minimize this eventuality, the surrounding sand is sprayed with glue.
Teams also have to keep an eye on rapidly changing track temperatures. The race starts at 6pm local time, so the course temperature is warmest at the start and cools down as the race progresses. Last year’s winner in Bahrain was Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.
https://www.motorauthority.com/news/1138940_2023-formula-1-bahrain-grand-prix-preview 2023 Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix Preview