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Bahrain: What’s at stake this weekend


By Renault F1
April 12 2007

Will the pecking order be any different a week after the Malaysian Grand Prix? The little world of F1 was in for a surprise in Bahrain. The weather forecast is sun on Friday and Sunday with storms on Saturday. This may upset the teams’ planning and cause a few surprises into the bargain.

What will conditions be like for the grand prix?
The little world of F1 was in for a surprise in Bahrain. It was not as hot as expected and a strong wind swept the circuit. It even rained during the night! This has left the paddock under a kind of haze, which seems likely to remain for the whole weekend. If the clouds stay put they should prevent the track from becoming excessively hot, while the wind will cause a few problems for the drivers. The weather forecast is sun on Friday and Sunday with storms on Saturday. This may upset the teams’ planning and cause a few surprises into the bargain.

Do the teams know the Bahrain layout well enough?
The final winter test was held on the Bahrain circuit. The cars spent six days on the track searching for the best possible balance, evaluating set-ups and the Bridgestone tyres put at their disposal by the Japanese company. Of course, they’ll have to adapt the cars to the conditions prevailing this weekend, and some of them have received up-dates since they last came to Bahrain, but they all know the base-line set-ups.

Will the Ferraris be dominated again?
It’s unlikely. In Australia, Kim Reckoned set pole and fastest lap and strolled home to an easy win. In Malaysia last week it seems that the Sumerian was worried about reliability and opted for caution. With a couple of new V8s in the red cars on a track where they shone in testing, Ferrari will start the weekend as favourite. But if the McLarens put them under pressure again it bodes well for racing enthusiasts as it portends a hotly-contested season.  

What are the hopes of the ING Renault F1 Team?
As Flavio Briatore rightly said, miracle remedies do not exist in Formula 1. The team is concentrating on trying to solve its grip problem, as well as on its development programme to close the gap to the fastest cars. Setting itself unachievable targets is the best way to have a disappointing weekend. Renault’s aim is to get ahead of Toyota and BMW and seize the slightest chance of a rostrum finish should the opportunity present itself.

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