Maranello, 15 April – No sooner had the race in China ended that all the Formula One teams headed off for Bahrain, for the second part of the first back-to-back of the season. The weather awaiting the teams couldn’t be more different to that left behind in Shanghai. “Sakhir is a very tough track, partly because of the weather, mainly the heat, and also because the circuit is technically demanding,” explains Simone Resta, Scuderia Ferrari’s Chief Designer, talking to ferrari.com. One of the main features of the circuit is the heavy acceleration and braking, factors that put the car under a lot of stress both in terms of traction coming out of the corners and when braking. Therefore the cooling system has to be the right size to ensure the discs are cooled properly.
Furthermore, the fact the Bahrain Grand Prix is, since last year, a night race, means that data from the first free practice session is less relevant as it takes place at a different time of day to qualifying and the race. “Of the tracks that feature in the early part of the season, Sakhir is the one that most highlights the performance of the power unit, both from the V6 engine and from the hybrid part. However, we should not forget that speed down the straight is also influenced by the level of aerodynamic downforce used. In the early part of the season, each circuit feels new and we have to get an idea of what our performance level will be, not so much in outright terms, but when compared to that of our competitors.”