On April 26th, the 6th Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix will take place at the Bahrain International Circuit at Sakhir.
The race track, designed by Herman Tilke, the in-vogue track designer also responsible for the Sepang Circuit in Malaysia, is 5.4 kilometers long and the race consists of 55 laps, giving a total distance of 297.6 kilometers.
The race will be hotly contested by the 20 or so cars. At the moment the exact number is unknown following the withdrawal of Honda from the sport.
The former Honda team under the brilliant Ross Brawn, architect of much of Ferrari's success in the Michael Schumacher days, including the winning by Schumacher of the first Bahrain Grand Prix, are currently looking for a new owner but are hoping to be racing in 2009.
The other winners at Sakir have been Fernando Alonso, in 2005 and 2006 for Renault and Fillipe Massa for Ferrari in 2007 and last year.
Last years race was an early turning point in the championship, with a Ferrari one-two after a poor start to the season and BMW in 3rd and 4th, iving them a champonship lead.
Hamilton had a disastrous race last year, stalling at the start and then, in an over eager attempt to make up lost places,running over the back of Alonso's car.
Sakhir circuit features a variety of bends, slow hairpins, fast curves and complex corners with double apexes.
There are large run-off areas, criticised by some as being too forgiving of drivers' mistakes. However, I would rather see a driver able to carry on and attempting to make up lost places than a wrecked car in the wall and hard won advantages by other drivers eroded by the deployment of the safety car.
Another "feature" of the course is dust, which can make the opening laps of both qualifying and the race more hazardous.
One thing we can be sure of, the 6th Bahrain F1 GP will provide an exciting weekend of racing with plenty of drama.
Sakir Circuit, Bahrain.
Length: 5.4 Km.
No. of laps: 55
Race distance: 297.605 Km.
Lap record: M. Schumacher/ Ferrari 2004 1Min 30.252 sec.
Also check out our guide to the new Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix.
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