Night races have always been particularly enticing to drivers and Esteban Gutierrez is no exception to that rule.
“I really like the fact that the Bahrain race is held at night,” Scuderia Ferrari’s third driver told ferrari.com. “Because, not only does it help the drivers, it also helps with the handling of the car. The fact it’s a few degrees cooler certainly helps cool all the mechanical components and, at a track where there are many heavy braking points, that is a not inconsiderable advantage. The braking system has to be specifically set up for this race and that’s no easy task: of the eight corners, the hardest is definitely the first one, where you go from around 320 km/h to 60, within the space of just 160 metres.
“The wind is always a very important factor at Sakhir and its direction can have a significant impact on lap time. In terms of set-up, the circuit requires a medium level of aerodynamic downforce. While it’s true there are some long straights, where that isn’t strictly necessary, the downforce level comes into its own in the quick corners like turns 7 and 8 and 12 and 13.
Fuel consumption is high and so striving for maximum efficiency will be vital when it comes to defining the strategy. “Even though temperatures will be lower at night, the sand will still be blown onto the track,” concludes Esteban. “And this means the tyres will suffer considerable wear and so we can expect to see a high number of pit stops on Sunday.”