Bahrain Grand Prix 2020 – Preview

From one Hermann Tilke circuit to the next, the team heads to the Persian Gulf for the next two rounds of the 2020 FIA Formula One World Championship held in Bahrain. The first weekend will take place on the regular 5.412km Bahrain International Circuit layout, a track that usually provides great racing and overtaking, crowned by the tight, downhill, off-camber left at Turn 10 and the fast run through Turn 12.

Roy Nissany will get behind the wheel of the FW43 for FP1 on Friday, making his penultimate appearance of the season ahead of driving for the team in the post-season test in Abu Dhabi. He will drive in place of George Russell.

Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: After the recent run of races at unexpected tracks and in the cool conditions of the European autumn, we now return to more familiar territory in Bahrain. The weather and the track surface should be more predictable than at the previous event in Turkey, and it should be possible to work through more testing than was practical at Istanbul. That said, there could be some rain around over the weekend.

The first of the two races in Bahrain is on the familiar Grand Prix circuit with qualifying and the race both taking place in the early evening. The tyre compounds are from the middle of Pirelli’s range and should be well suited to the cool evening conditions. As always in Bahrain, FP1 and FP3 are a little more challenging as they take place in the afternoon, meaning that FP2 is the most important test session of the weekend.

Having struggled two weeks ago in Turkey, we are looking forward to a more straightforward weekend as we look to build on our recent performance improvements. As well as the usual qualifying and race preparation, we have some test items to work through on Friday, which should help us with future car development programmes over the coming months.

We welcome Roy Nissany back for his final FP1 running of the season. Roy has done an excellent job in his previous outings, especially given the complexities of the season that have arisen as a result of the COVID outbreak. We look forward to hearing Roy’s feedback on how the car has changed since his previous outing in Monza, and to his feedback on the test components. Not only will Roy contribute to the programme this weekend, but his time in the car will also serve as a useful precursor to his full day of running at the post-season track test in Abu Dhabi.

George Russell: I am really looking forward to these final three races, it has been a very intense season and it has absolutely flown by. Bahrain is a circuit that I always enjoy and is a race that takes place at dusk which is an exciting dynamic to experience again. There is plenty to look forward to and we want to end this season strong, to be satisfied and pleased with the job we have done before heading into the winter break and 2021.

Nicholas Latifi: I am really excited to head to Bahrain for the next round of races. The first Bahrain track is one that I have plenty of experience on, it is also the track where I had my first test with Williams last year, hopefully that will help me get up to speed better. It will be good to race in some warm weather, especially coming off the back of a tricky race in Turkey.

Roy Nissany: Bahrain is a very special track for me, driving a Formula One car around it for the first time means a lot. It is always a great opportunity to develop on such a technical and demanding track.

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