Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 on the pit wall in Bahrain and statistics

Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 on the pit wall in Bahrain and statistics

02.04.2014: On the Pit Wall Endurance Bahrain will be the third race for both the Power Unit and gearbox for

On the Pit Wall



 
Endurance

 

Bahrain will be the third race for both the Power Unit and gearbox for any team that has chosen to continue such a pattern. This is where an accurate picture of endurance will really begin to emerge. Arriving straight from Malaysia, this also forms the first back-to-back event of the season.


This introduces an element of strain on drivers, teams and processes. There is limited time available after the first of the two races to evaluate data in preparation for the second. Despite the inevitable fatigue, teams must be extremely efficient in making sure that every base is covered within a significantly reduced time scale.
 


Familiarity

 
Although ambient and track temperatures may differ slightly, teams have plenty of experience to draw on following two weeks of winter testing in Bahrain. The tyres that will be used in the race have already been run here and the drivers have driven the circuit in the new cars.


Of all the potential unknown factors, most have been removed for this event. For that reason, teams may not complete quite so much homework during the Friday practice sessions as seen in Australia and Malaysia. Not only do the drivers not require as much time to get into the groove of the circuit but teams won't want to put unnecessary mileage on the cars.


There may even be a few updates seen during practice, as teams use a track where familiarity is high to their advantage in terms of building on a package from an existing reference point.
 


Session Start Time

 
A caveat to the familiarity of Bahrain comes in an amended start time for both qualifying and the race. A new feature for this season, both will now begin at 18:00 local time: running into the night and under ever-reducing temperatures.


Despite the many kilometres of testing completed here during the winter, this is a situation teams have never faced before in Bahrain and is sure to bring its own unique challenges.
 


Climate

 
Bahrain is a venue with a very consistent climate. Not so consistent, however, are wind strength and direction. This can noticeably affect the balance of the cars. Depending on its direction, a normal wind of, say, 10-15 km/h will change the feeling behind the wheel for the driver.


A headwind on corner entry will give the driver a more positive front end and subsequently more confidence to turn into a corner. Conversely, a tailwind will create rear end instability. Depending on which is prevalent and its rotation relative to the track, a transformation in the car and its performance can occur.


This is quite significant in Bahrain, as the wind does change direction frequently: not within the same session but from day to day it can be entirely different.
 


Dust
 

The desert location of the Bahrain circuit naturally means that there is plenty of loose sand around. Even between qualifying sessions, this can be gently blown onto the track and reduce grip levels. This is something the teams and drivers need to plan for and work around.


 Equally, sand storms can never be ruled out in Bahrain and make life difficult for drivers: as seen once or twice during winter testing. It can also make for exciting racing, however. This is where the experienced drivers really come to the fore. Only those who have raced here on a number of occasions previously will have a firm handle on its subtleties and how to deal with the scenarios which may arise.
 


Overtaking

 
There are some good overtaking opportunities at the Bahrain International Circuit, with long straights and a few corners which encourage passing manoeuvres, such as Turns 1, 4 and 11. With the exception of Silverstone, which itself was an exceptional circumstance, Bahrain saw the highest number of passing moves of any race last season: 94 in total.


This was, however, accentuated by abnormally high levels of tyre degradation. A marked difference in degradation rates between cars and the resultant variation in strategies inevitably leads to more overtaking, as cars encounter one another during different phases of a stint and therefore at very different performance levels.
 
 



Anniversaries
 
Mercedes-Benz Heritage
 

April 1894 - 120 Years Ago:


With the Motor Velocipede ("Velo"), Benz & Cie. adds a very reasonably priced compact model to its sales range. The Benz Velo becomes the world's first volume-produced automobile: a total of 1200 units in all variants are built up to 1901.
 


On-Track

 

6 April 1909 - 105 Years Ago


Hermann Lang is born. Lang competed in a single Formula One race weekend for the Silver Arrows at the 1954 German Grand Prix
 


2006 - Eight Years Ago


Nico Rosberg sets his first fastest race lap in Formula One at the Bahrain Grand Prix
 


2007 - Seven Years Ago


Lewis Hamilton takes his first front row start in Formula One at the Bahrain Grand Prix
 

4 April 2010 - Four Years Ago


Nico Rosberg takes his first front row start in Formula One at the Malaysian Grand Prix
 


2014 - Present Day


This year's Bahrain Grand Prix marks the 150th Formula One career start for Nico Rosberg
 


Spotlight

 
2010 - Four Years Ago


The Mercedes-Benz marque returned to Formula One as a constructor after a 55 year absence, with Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg bringing their MERCEDES GP PETRONAS cars home in fifth and sixth positions respectively at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.


Starting on option tyres from fifth on the grid, Nico had a great start to overtake future Silver Arrows team-mate Lewis Hamilton into turn six and move up to fourth position. Michael, starting from seventh on the grid, was running in sixth and also using the softer rubber. The pair made only one stop during the race, Michael on lap 15 and Nico on lap 16, to switch to the prime tyres.


Nico lost a position to Lewis during the round of pit stops, with the MERCEDES GP PETRONAS pairing remained in fifth and sixth positions for the remainder of the 49-lap race. Nico chased down Sebastian Vettel in the closing stages but was unable to pass in the turbulent air.


The result kicked off MERCEDES GP PETRONAS' season in third position in the Constructors' Championship with 18 points.
 
 

 
Nicola Armstrong , Bradley Lord, Wolfgang Schattling, photos Mercedes

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02.04.2014 / MaP

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