The Bahrain International Circuit, site of the 3rd race on this years Formula 1 schedule, is hosting the next round of preseason testing today. The circuit was opened in 2004 and hosts a phenomenal yearly event. This year, Bahrain will have it’s first ever night race on April 6th, providing a better opportunity for US fans, the fastest growing television audience in the sport, to watch live at 11am est on NBC Sports.
These are critical practice sessions this year. With massive rule changes, new team dynamics, and new V6 turbo engines, teams and drivers need every minute of testing they can get. The first test sessions in Jerez were exceptionally disappointing for several teams, and revealed who had made the most of the offseason. The consensus seemed to be the Mercedes team of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. Keep your eye on them today as they are already leading in the number of laps completed. This is a four day session with each driver getting two full days to run tests.
We’ll see today who else has made progress and appears most ready for the season to begin in 3 weeks. I want to see the explosive Ferrari team of megastars Alonso and Raikkonen (#kimando) give us an exciting preview of their new Ferrari. I have predicted they will take 6 races between them this year and win the constructors cup. You can catch Live of the preseason testing this week at:
- BBC is posting live text commentary, live pictures, twitter feeds using #bbcf1, insight from Chief F1 writer Andrew Benson, and a text # for fans to ask live questions and make comments
- Autosport is posting minute by minute updates and pictures by Matt Beer, Glenn Freemen, Ben Anderson, and Scott Mitchell
- Sky Sports has live pictures, twitter feeds from several teams, updated times, and live commentary
- Crash.net is posting times and commentary with live refresh
Plenty of coverage for those interested in this critical day.
Today’s schedule includes:
- Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull
- Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
- Fernando Alonso, Ferrari
- Romain Grosjean, Lotus
- Kevin Magnussen (rookie), McLaren
- Nico Hulkenberg, Force India
- Adrian Sutil, Sauber
- Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso
- Felipe Massa, Williams
- Jules Bianchi, Marussia
- Robin Frinns, Catherham
A full schedule can be found at Grand Prix 247, and iSportweb will be providing a summary of the preseason session as the teams continue to prepare for the opening race in Australia.
Great coverage by all of those listed above. In summary, Magnussen, the rookie from McLaren has logged the most laps; Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg logged the fastest lap at 1:36.8; and Red Bull had another disappointing day.
Here are the rest of the lap time results:
9. Romain Grosjean / Lotus: 1:44.8
8. Daniil Kvyat / Toro Rosso: 1:44.3
7. Robin Frijns / Caterham: 1:42.5
6. Adrian Sutil / Sauber: 1:40.4
5. Sebastian Vettel / Red Bull: 1:40.2
4. Kevin Magnussen / McLaren: 1:38.2
3. Lewis Hamilton / Mercedes: 1:37.9
2. Fernando Alonso / Ferrari: 1:37.8
1. Nico Hulkenberg / Force India: 1:36.8