The first race of the 2022 Formula One season, the Bahrain grand prix, is on our doorsteps and we can not be more excited! With new-look cars, heavier and with bigger wheels there is genuine hope that we get a massive shake-up on the grid.
While last year’s Formula One title contenders (Mercedes and Red Bull) will renew that rivalry, the battle looks set to stretch beyond a private duel. The threat towards Red Bull and Mercedes dominance has come in part due to the changes in Formula One rules this year, which aims to make the sport more competitive.
THE TEAMS AND DRIVERS
The biggest names in Formula One return to the Bahrain grand prix, for the opening race of the 2022 season. Max Verstapen (Red Bull), Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) are set to have competition this year from the sleeping giant Ferrari and its 2 drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.
Ferrari has tested really well this off-season and looks to be Red Bull’s closest rival. I’m not counting Mercedes out just yet. They have a tied record 6 wins around here, with 5 of those wins belonging to Lewis Hamilton. They also have a new driver in promising youngster George Russell, who could push not just Red Bull but Lewis Hamilton all the way. Red Bull’s only win on this track comes all the way back in 2013, but they have to be favored despite the poor history.
The middle of the pack has got far more interesting! The Mclaren has been poor in testing to say the least and testing has also been affected by the absence of Daniel Riccardo who has had COVID. The Aston Martin has had its own issues with testing and now COVID, with Sebastian Vettel being ruled out and replaced by Nico Hulkenberg for this week’s race. Alpha Tauri and Alpine both look the most stable and both look to push on here in Bahrain.
There’s real optimism in the Haas garage, that’s beaming with the return of driver Kevin Magnussen. The car has tested brilliantly as they eye a return to the middle of the pack. Do not write them out of the points here in Bahrain.
Alfa Romeo and Williams both look destined for the back of the grid this week. It will be interesting to see if Alfa Romeo can push on a little with a brand new driver lineup which includes former Mercedes driver Valteri Bottas.
Race weekend this week includes all 10 teams and all 20 drivers and will begin on 18-20 March.
2021: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2020: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2019: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2018: Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)
2017: Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)
2016: Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)
2015: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2014: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2013: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)
Bahrain international circuit
Circuit Length 5.412KM
Race length 308.238KM
The Bahrain international circuit is located in the middle of the desert. It is a twilight race starting at sunset and finishing under the lights at night. Despite being located in a desert, sand doesn’t present too much of an issue for the cars or drivers.
The track features stand out long straights and heavy braking points. The trickiest corner is turn 10! It features a long, combined corner entry that tightens and drops away at the apex. Drivers will be forced to apply the brakes, while completing the wide corner arc. All of these factors make the front left tyre go light, increasing the risk of a lock up.
We can often see higher tyre deterioration here, mainly because Bahrain is one of the roughest tracks on the season. It could be even higher this year with the technical changes, so strategy will be key for teams as we progress through the weekend.
FanTeam are delighted to announce the return of the season-long Formula One contest as well as the full weekend Formula One contests starting at this week’s Bahrain grand prix. The season-long contest has a late registration deadline, which is the Australian grand prix. Gain access to the season-long lobby and full weekend lobby’s below.