The advanced parties of all the teams are now in Bahrain setting up their equipment in preparation for the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix. As the engineers and technicians busy themselves in readiness for the race there is an overwhelming air of ...
The advanced parties of all the teams are now in Bahrain setting up their equipment in preparation for the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix. As the engineers and technicians busy themselves in readiness for the race there is an overwhelming air of enthusiasm both for the new Bahrain International Circuit and the Kingdom of Bahrain.
"We are all very impressed with our first sight of the new circuit. The facilities are fantastic and the people of Bahrain very friendly. The circuit is the new dimension of Formula One," enthused Sauber Petronas Team Manager Walter Totschnig. Sauber Petronas, one of the first teams to arrive in Manama, are no strangers to the Kingdom having been the first team to run a car in the Gulf during the F1 Fever event on the King Faisal Highway.
The first garage in the Pit Lane is reserved for World Champions Ferrari and setting up today was Miodrag Kotur, Logistics Manager for the Italian team. "First of all the weather is different, it is not hot as we expected. What has really hit us is how fast everything has developed. The track was nowhere near ready when I was here last, now it is fantastic. It has been said that Bahrain wanted to have the best and most beautiful track. Now when I see it, it is the best."
Along the Pit Lane at Jordan, Chief Mechanic Andy Stevenson was preparing the cars that will carry the Bahrain-sponsored Message of Humanitarianism during the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix. "The track is absolutely fantastic - everything that they have achieved here compared to other circuits in the world is brilliant. People are so friendly and professional. We have been given all the help we need. The working conditions are really great. And the Main Grandstand is a sight to see!"
Jordan driver Giorgio Pantano said, "This will be an interesting race for everyone. The first turn is a very difficult one and it will interesting to see how all the cars get round on the first lap. The circuit is beautiful and the people in Bahrain are so friendly. "
As race day and the practice and qualifying days on Friday and Saturday approach, the circuit begins to take on more and more the shape and format of a FIA Formula One World Championship track. The amount of technology, equipment, people and race cars is staggering and the contrast between the circuit today with that just four weeks ago is remarkable.
At the circuit during the afternoon was HE Shaikh Fawaz Bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, Chairman of the Bahrain International Circuit. "Preparations are in hand and all the teams are in place. Team mechanics, technicians and some of the drivers have arrived and have started preparing their garages. The atmosphere is electric and the circuit is very rapidly being transformed into a venue fit for a round of the World Championship. The tremendous effort everyone put in can now be seen."