The 2019 F1 season is now in full swing, and the roadshow moves on to Sakhir this weekend for the Bahrain Grand Prix.
After Mercedes dominated events completely in Melbourne earlier this month courtesy of a 1-2 from Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton, all eyes will be on Ferrari and Red Bull to see if they can somehow find a way to redress the balance.
Sebastian Vettel above all will have the eyes of the paddock on him as he attempts to both prove he can be a title contender this season, and stave off the challenge of young pretender Charles Leclerc in his own garage.
What time does the Bahrain Grand Prix start?
The start times for the Bahrain Grand Prix are as follows:
Practice 1: Friday March 29, 1400 local time (1100 GMT)
Practice 2: Friday March 29, 1800 local time (1500 GMT)
Practice 3: Saturday March 30, 1500 local time (1200 GMT)
Qualifying: Saturday March 30, 1800 local time (1500 GMT)
Race: Sunday March 31, 1810 local time (1610 BST)
NB: UK clocks go forward one hour to British Summer Time on race day – Sunday, March 31.
Where does the Bahrain Grand Prix take place?
The Bahrain Grand Prix was staged for the first time in 2004.
The Bahrain International Circuit at Sakhir has accommodation for 50,000 spectators housed in two fixed grandstands and other temporary ones.
The circuit was built specially for the arrival of F1 racing and has undergone various changes over the years, even switching to the 6.299km endurance circuit for 2010 race.
But, since then, the now traditional 5.412km track has been in use, with the tight and tricky left-hander proving to be the biggest handful for the drivers to tackle.
The circuit is designed by renowned specialist Hermann Tilke, who was also responsible for the Sepang circuit in Malaysia and carried out the modifications to the Nurburgring and Hockenheim circuits.
Sunday’s race will be run over 57 laps and a total distance of 5.412km.
Where can I watch the Bahrain Grand Prix on TV?
Bahrain Grand Prix weekend – including the race proper – will be screened live in the UK by pay-TV broadcaster Sky Sports on its dedicated Sky Sports F1 channel. Highlights will be aired by free-to-air broadcaster Channel 4.
Subscribers to F1’s own app can hear radio commentary on the race proper from the BBC and access live data around each session.
PlanetF1 will carry live timing and expert commentary on every session of the race weekend along with all the latest news from the track.
The Bahrain Grand Prix will be shown live on TV by the following outlets in other key markets:
United States: ESPN (English), Univision (Spanish)
Canada: RDS (French), TSN (English)
Australia: Fox Sports
France: Canal +
Italy: Sky Sport F1
Spain: Movistar F1
What is the weather forecast for the Bahrain Grand Prix?
Friday March 29: 27C, mostly sunny.
Saturday March 30: 28C, partly cloudy.
Sunday March 31: 31C, partly cloudy.
Which drivers have won the Bahrain Grand Prix?
Sebastian Vettel has found Bahrain a happy hunting ground in the past, leading the way with four wins at Sakhir (2012 and 2013 with Red Bull and the last two runnings in 2017 and 2018 with Ferrari). The now-retired Fernando Alonso won three times here while current world champion Lewis Hamilton has won the race twice – in 2014 and 2015. Ferrari are the most successful constructor in the history of the Bahrain race with six victories.
Track Lap Record: 1:31.447 by Pedro de la Rosa (McLaren, 2005)
What are the grid positions for the Bahrain Grand Prix?
Charles Leclerc grabbed his first pole position and became the second youngest pole sitter in F1 history by going quickest in Sakhir on Saturday. Full grid positions for the 2019 F1 Bahrain Grand Prix following qualifying are:
1 Charles Leclerc (Monaco, Ferrari)
2 Sebastian Vettel (Germany, Ferrari)
3 Lewis Hamilton (Great Britain, Mercedes)
4 Valtteri Bottas (Finland, Mercedes)
5 Max Verstappen (Belgium/Netherlands, Red Bull)
6 Kevin Magnussen (Denmark, Haas)
7 Carlos Sainz Jr (Spain, McLaren)
8 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland, Alfa Romeo)
9 Lando Norris (Great Britain, McLaren)
10 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia, Renault)
11 Romain Grosjean (France, Haas)
12 Alex Albon (Thailand, Toro Rosso)
13 Pierre Gasly (France, Red Bull)
14 Sergio Perez (Mexico, Racing Point)
15 Daniil Kvyat (Russia, Toro Rosso)
16 Antonio Giovinazzi (Italy, Alfa Romeo)
17 Nico Hulkenberg (Germany, Renault)
18 Lance Stroll (Canada, Racing Point)
19 George Russell (Great Britain, Williams)
20 Robert Kubica (Poland, Williams)
NB: Romain Grosjean qualified in 8th position but was penalised three places by the stewards for impeding Lando Norris during qualifying.
What are the odds for the Bahrain Grand Prix?
Charles Leclerc is now the favourite to win the Bahrain Grand Prix following Saturday’s qualifying session, according to major British bookmaker Bet365.
The leading odds are as follows:
10/11 Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
15/8 Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)
4/1 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
11/1 Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)
25/1 Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
(Prices correct at 1630 GMT on Saturday March 30)
What are the latest F1 Championship standings?
The leaders in the race for the driver and constructor titles heading into the Bahrain Grand Prix are as follows:
Valtteri Bottas – 26 points
Lewis Hamilton – 18 points
Max Verstappen – 15 points
Sebastian Vettel – 12 points
Charles Leclerc – 10 points
Kevin Magnussen – 8 points
Mercedes – 44 points
Ferrari – 22 points
Red Bull – 15 points
Tyre compounds for the Bahrain Grand Prix
F1 tyre manufacturer Pirelli have introduced a new tyre naming system for the 2019 season – they now have 5 dry tyres named C1 to C5 as they get softer through the range. For each race a compound will be designated to be the hard, medium and soft tyre.
In Bahrain C1 will be the white hard tyre, C2 will be the yellow medium tyre, and C3 will be the red soft tyre.
What is F1’s new rule on bonus points?
F1 have made the decision to award a bonus point in every race of the 2019 season if certain criteria are met.
The bonus point will be awarded to the driver who completes the fastest lap in the race, as long as that driver also finishes in the top 10. The driver’s team will also score a bonus point in the constructor standings in that case.
This means there are up to 21 extra points available for the 2019 championship.