Every new circuit comes with its own set of challenges but Bahrain's desert location is providing a somewhat unusual concern. Sand is the culprit in the spotlight, and the question of just how much of it is likely to interfere with the on track ...
Every new circuit comes with its own set of challenges but Bahrain's desert location is providing a somewhat unusual concern. Sand is the culprit in the spotlight, and the question of just how much of it is likely to interfere with the on track action at the inaugural Bahrain Grand Prix this coming weekend. It's not just the problem of grip on the track, but also of sand getting into the engines.
Michael Schumacher is ready for the expected high temperatures in Bahrain but the sand problem is one that he, like everyone else, is concerned about. "We know it will be a hot race in Bahrain," said the current champion. "We shouldn't forget that it was cloudy in Malaysia and if the sun had come out, things would have been even harder."
"The real worry in Bahrain is the sand. We are all concerned about it and how much the sand will condition the performance of the engine. I am quite confident, though."
Aside from the sand, racing on a new circuit is not necessarily a big problem. Although Bahrain is new to the calendar, modern technology means it's not a completely unknown.
"Taking on a new track is always exciting, though no more than difficult than driving one that you know well," Schumacher explained. "The computer simulations really do help in giving us an idea of the set up we will need."
"It is important to remember that every time we take to the track, we have a different set up depending on the temperature, the weather and the track surface. There are lots of factors to consider and, for this reason, a new circuit is a little harder to deal with. It will be very, very exciting though."