With the first free practice session in the books, darkness has now descended on the Bahrain International Circuit and the floodlights are on as the teams and drivers prepare for FP2 on Friday evening.
The Bahrain Grand Prix became a night race in 2014, and running under the lights significantly improved the spectacle and made the event all the more intriguing.
FP1 was something of a mixed-up session, with most choosing to post a fast time late on or – in Mercedes’ case – not record one at all. Kimi Raikkonen set the pace for Ferrari at the top of the timesheets, finishing ahead of teammate Sebastian Vettel and Williams’ Valtteri Bottas.
Attention now turns to the second free practice in Bahrain, which should give us some more clues about the pecking order ahead of this weekend’s race.
Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg will be keen to get back to the front of the field in this session after opting not to post a fast lap at the end of FP1. It was the first time this year that neither Mercedes driver had topped a weekend session.
Naturally, Raikkonen and Vettel will be hoping that they can fend off the threat of the Silver Arrows in FP2. Ferrari does appear to be ready to pounce should Mercedes drop the ball in Bahrain, and a solid display of its long run pace in this session would go a long way to proving its potential.
The rest of the field will undoubtedly be showing its hand in this session as well, so make sure you join us for all of the action live from the Bahrain International Circuit.
Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.
Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.