After dominating all three practice sessions so far this weekend in Bahrain, Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes are the firm favorites to score a third straight pole position in 2014 under the lights on Saturday evening.
You can watch qualifying on CNBC and Live Extra from 11am ET. CLICK HERE for live stream.
Hamilton is looking to go back-to-back this weekend after winning the Malaysian Grand Prix last time out, but he will have to fend off teammate Nico Rosberg who is the current world championship leader.
Even if the battle for pole is an inter-team affair, there is an interesting battle developing further back. Ferrari appears to be in better shape this weekend, whilst Red Bull’s upturn in fortunes could put the defending champions in a position to vie for a podium. In the dry, the other Mercedes-powered teams of McLaren, Williams and Force India could also show their true colors.
This year’s Bahrain Grand Prix is particularly special as it is a night race for the first time, and this has certainly given the event some added character and atmosphere. The Bahrain International Circuit looks spectacular under the lights, and the racing should be equally as enthralling this weekend.
Remember, you can watch qualifying on CNBC and Live Extra from 11am ET.
CLICK HERE for live stream.
Several members of the NBC Sports motorsports staff have made their predictions on who will win Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500.
Of the six voters, two are going with 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series champ Josef Newgarden, while two others are going with Helio Castroneves to win a fourth 500, which would tie him with A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears.
Here’s our picks. Who are YOU picking?
Leigh Diffey: Helio Castroneves — He drives the place better than anyone else. For me (for what its worth) he deserves a fourth 500 ring for the frustration he went through never getting the IndyCar title!
Townsend Bell: Josef Newgarden
Nate Ryan: Simon Pagenaud — All of his 2018 misfortune on the track has disappeared in May, and it culminates in the biggest victory of his career.
Jerry Bonkowski: Helio Castroneves – There’s no pressure as he pursues his fourth Indy 500 win. All Helio has to do, as late NFL owner Al Davis would say, is “Just win, baby!” (But if Helio falls short, watch for Marco Andretti)
Kyle Lavigne: Josef Newgarden — I think he has everything he needs to get it done this year.
Dan Beaver: Robert Wickens – Has driven like anything except a rookie and his second-place finish at Phoenix proves he’s just as good on an oval as the road courses.
Follow: Jerry Bonkowski