Taking place just one week after the Chinese Grand Prix, Round Four of the 2009 FIA Formula One World Championship sees the sport arrive in the Middle East for the first of two visits this season for the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday 26 ...
Taking place just one week after the Chinese Grand Prix, Round Four of the 2009 FIA Formula One World Championship sees the sport arrive in the Middle East for the first of two visits this season for the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday 26 April.
Located 30km south of the Kingdom's capital Manama, the Bahrain International Circuit was designed by Herman Tilke and staged its first Grand Prix in 2004. The 57 lap race takes place on a 5.412km (3.363 mile) circuit where the cars average 210kph (130mph) and reach top speeds of 314kph (195mph) along the pit straight.
The circuit features four long straights which place the emphasis on achieving maximum straightline speed combined with slower twisty sections. The desert location with high ambient temperatures presents an interesting challenge for the teams as sand blown onto the track surface in the frequently breezy conditions can vary grip levels dramatically.
ROSS BRAWN, TEAM PRINCIPAL
Q. With three races completed this season, how would you assess the Brawn GP team's performance?
"As the first four Grands Prix take place over just a five-week period, it has been an intense and demanding start to the season for the Brawn GP team. Australia, Malaysia and China produced some fantastic racing and I am very pleased with how the team responded to the challenges that we have faced. This was particularly the case in China last weekend where the team and the drivers did an excellent job. Although we were not able to challenge for the victory in the dramatic and unexpectedly wet conditions, we consolidated our championship position with two strong points-scoring results.
"Looking ahead to the fourth race on the season in Bahrain this weekend, we are expecting a dry weekend which will allow us to really put the BGP 001 through its paces and assess our performance. The track characteristics of the Bahrain International Circuit should suit our car and we do not expect any concerns from the high ambient and track temperatures."
Q. What are your thoughts on the Bahrain International Circuit?
"Bahrain is always one of my favourite races on the calendar as I love the country and the circuit has some great fast flowing sections which really suit my driving style and allow you to push the car to its limits. It's a good circuit for overtaking, particularly at turn one after the long straight where you brake very hard from over 300kph in seventh gear down to first gear. People tend to brake surprisingly early here so you can make up crucial ground if you are brave. Confidence under braking is the key to a quick lap. You have to believe in the car's performance and have full confidence that you can stop effectively."
Q. What are the particular challenges that the Bahrain Grand Prix presents?
"Bahrain is not a particularly quick track but it is an interesting one from a driver's perspective. From a technical point of view, braking and traction are crucial and you need good straightline speed to maximise the long straights so the strength of our Mercedes-Benz engine will prove a real advantage here. It can turn very windy, particularly in the afternoon, which causes sand to be blown onto the track affecting the grip levels. This can be a particular challenge in qualifying when everyone is trying to be out on track at the last minute when the circuit is cleanest. The last two race weekends have turned out to be really eventful with the weather affecting the outcome in Malaysia and China but hopefully we can expect a dry race here in Bahrain this weekend."
-credit: brawn gp