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2010 Bahrain GP pre-race analysis

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Starting Grid

Row 1 Sebastian Vettel
Felipe Massa
Row 2 Fernando Alonso
Lewis Hamilton
Row 3 Nico Rosberg
Mark Webber
Row 4 Michael Schumacher
Jenson Button
Row 5 Robert Kubica
Adrian Sutil
Row 6 Rubens Barrichello
Vitantonio Liuzzi
Row 7 Nico Hülkenberg
Pedro de la Rosa
Row 8 Sebastien Buemi
Kamui Kobyashi
Row 9 Vitaly Petrov
Jaime Alguersuari
Row 10 Timo Glock
Jarno Trulli
Row 11 Heikki Kovalainen
Lucas di Grassi
Row 12 Bruno Senna
Karun Chandhok

First lap

Each on the left-hand side must be advantage from starting on the cleaner side of the track but last year Timo Glock go into the lead from next on the grid. Placing the car approximately the opening set of tight bends is critical. But once they get to the thin new section be expecting it to become a case of follow my leader. Together the Ferrari drivers will imagine their chances of thrashing Vettel on race pace as the RB6 has been hard on its tyres in practice. They will also have to remain an eye on Hamilton, who is fourth on the grid. He is known for his aggressive starts and the MP4/25 was the fastest car through the pace traps in practice. If the lead trio get into a knot and slow themselves down in the first three bends he could give them some problem on the run to turn four.

Tyre Management

Almost all team used super soft tyres

Sebastian Vettel – Super soft, Felipe Massa – Super soft, Fernando Alonso – Super soft, Lewis Hamilton – Super soft, Nico Rosberg – Super soft, Mark Webber – Super soft, Michael Schumacher – Super soft, Jenson Button – Super soft, Robert Kubica – Super soft

Adrian Sutil – Medium

Roughly the entire top ten chooses to use the super soft tyres, which are faster over an only one lap. But how long will they be able to make them last at the start of the race with a full fuel weight onboard in the Bahrain high temperature? They will have to take extra care not to lock up and harm their tyres on the first lap.

Race Strategy

Red Bull isn’t the only team with tyre wear concerns

The Ferrari drivers are predictable to have better race speed than Vettel’s at Bahrain and this present an attractive challenge for Alonso and Massa’s race crews if the pair find themselves stuck behind the RB6.

McLaren were under pressure with tyre wear yesterday too.

The second case whichever of the two Ferraris pits first stands the best possibility of ending up in front of both Vettel and the other Ferrari. No uncertainty both Ferrari drivers would fancy that benefit, so how will the team make the call?

Everybody from Rubens Barrichello in Eleventh and back can start the race on what tyres they choose, which means they can use a new set, if they have any left. Be expecting them to start on mediums which should cope with the heavy fuel load better in the early laps. On the further side of the coin, what about the Saubers? Much has been made of how the C29s are kind to their tyres over long runs, so how late can they leave their tyre changes?

This is two things will say when drivers will make their first pit stops. The top nine it will be question of how long the super softs hold up. Preferably they’ll live on long adequate so they can whole their remaining distance on medium tyres and do the race with a single tyre stop. At the very least they’ll want to get out of the pits ahead of the drivers who started on mediums.

Fresh teams

The Lotus and Virgin will most likely be in a race of their own at the back. Much has been thought about the dissimilarity in speed among them and the leaders but even at five seconds per lap off the pace they’re only likely to get lapped two, maybe three times over the race distance. The leaders are likely to come across the Hispania Racing Team F1 cars a bit more often – presumptuous they last the race distance.

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