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Old 7 Mar 2010, 18:20 (Ref:2646802)   #1
jab
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jab should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridjab should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridjab should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
Round One :Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix, Sakhir

2010 Bahrain Grand Prix, Sakhir nr. Manama



It’s finally here - the 2010 Formula One World Championship is about to begin. And it begins here, in the Kingdom of Bahrain, one of the smallest (and richest) countries in the Middle East. The circuit at Sakhir was built (well, most of it was) in time for the 2004 Bahrain Grand Prix, the first in the region. Although it has been shunned by many as dull and soulless, partly due to its barren location and partly due to its typical Hermann Tilke design, it has produced some good races during its time on the calendar, and is one of the best for overtaking, with 3 long straights that allow for overtaking. The 2006 race, which saw Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso, who went on to win the race, battle it out in probably the best race held there so far, was a good example, with several drivers making the most of the wide main straight to overtake rivals into turn 1.

This year the circuit is lengthened to make it one of the longest on the calendar. The new extension was built several years ago and is a narrow technical section that may not add much for the racing but will certainly prove challenging for the drivers. Whether it will win over the drivers and the fans is another matter. Other than that, we can look forward to the usual Bahrain traditions, such as the annual Gulf Air jet flypast, the interview with the Crown Prince on the grid, the dust offline and the attendance of a few of the rich and famous and a few camels. But it is a unique circuit on the calendar with one of the most spectacular settings for a race circuit in the world.

It provides a stunning backdrop for what will be the beginning of the clash of the titans. 4 teams and their 8 drivers enter the first race as clear favourites in the battle for the title. If the testing pace and what the experts say is anything to go by, we could be in for a classic season. We are also lucky to have what seems to be a very strong midfield, with Williams, Sauber and Force India on the pace of the leading runners at one point or another. But not all eyes are on the front of the field, with the intriguing battle between the 3 brand new teams: Lotus Racing, Virgin and HRT. The race also sees the debuts of 5 drivers: Williams' Nico Hulkenberg, reigning GP2 champion; Renault's Vitaly Petrov, the first Russian in F1; HRT's Bruno Senna and Karun Chandhok, one returning a famous name to the grid and the other returning India to the grid; and Virgin's Lucas di Grassi, getting his chance at last after 4 years in GP2. This is set to be the first race with 24 cars starting since the 1995 Pacific Grand Prix at Aida. Oh and that old German bloke is back too.

This will also be the first race since the 1993 Australian Grand Prix where refuelling midrace is outlawed. There are also other subtle changes to the rules, such as alterations to qualifying (the drivers in Q3 now have to start the race on the tyres they use for that session), the new expanded points system (for the first time since 1990, there will no longer be 10 points for a win) and changes to the penalty rules (drivers now only have 2 laps to serve a drive-through penalty instead of 3 and the time penalties have been changed).

It will no doubt be an enthralling encounter. With so much change, the first race of the season is almost completely unpredictable. Who will be up on the podium spraying the rose water by the end of the race? We will find out a week from today. It will no doubt set the tone for the rest of the season, as the driver to win the first race has gone on to win the title in 16 of the last 20 years, so make the most of the unpredictability.

Roll of Honour
2009 - Jenson Button (Brawn-Mercedes)
2008 - Felipe Massa (Ferrari)
2007 - Felipe Massa (Ferrari)
2006 - Fernando Alonso (Renault)
2005 - Fernando Alonso (Renault)
2004 - Michael Schumacher (Ferrari)

Schedule

Fri 12 March 2010
Practice 1: 10:00 - 11:30 local time/07:00 - 08:30 British time (coverage on BBC Red Button/online)
Practice 2: 14:00 - 15:30 local time/11:00 - 12:30 British time (coverage on BBC Red Button/online)

Sat 13 March 2010
Practice 3: 11:00 - 12:00 local time/08:00 - 09:00 British time (coverage on BBC Red Button/online)
Qualifying: 14:00 - 15:00 local time/11:00 - 12:00 British time (coverage on BBC One)

Sun 14 March 2010
Race: 15:00 - 17:00 local time/12:00 - 14:00 British time (coverage on BBC One)

Links
F1 Predictions
Fantasy F1
Weather Forecast
Local Time
Highlights of the 2009 race
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Old 8 Mar 2010, 06:55 (Ref:2647223)   #2
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:You Never Know Brawn suprised all but then again.....

They managed to avoid unlike USF1. Who knows i think if they finish they will be happy, however the big question is how would Stefan GP have went. Completly Finsihed Car, Nakajima and JV it would have been interesting to say the least. Why is was not allowed.... well i guess we will never know.

Webber For The Win.

Button For Second and Massa or Vettell to Round our the podium.
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Old 8 Mar 2010, 09:50 (Ref:2647291)   #3
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ECW Dan Selby has a real shot at the podium!ECW Dan Selby has a real shot at the podium!ECW Dan Selby has a real shot at the podium!ECW Dan Selby has a real shot at the podium!ECW Dan Selby has a real shot at the podium!
Great write-up, jab. Really enjoyed it.

I'm going to be interested to see some on-board round this new section. Roll on, Friday!

Selby
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Old 8 Mar 2010, 10:23 (Ref:2647308)   #4
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Lotusonpole should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridLotusonpole should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
I agree with Dan.
Excellent job Jab.

Very enjoyable read.


As for making predictions, I think it's so up, it's not possible.
My; there are some brave people on site.

Cheers
P
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Old 8 Mar 2010, 10:52 (Ref:2647318)   #5
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steve_r should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridsteve_r should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridsteve_r should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
With a Senna, a Schumacher and Lotus on the grid, things have hardly changed since the early 90's have they?

Speaking of famous F1 names, we nearly had a Villeneuve too...
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Old 8 Mar 2010, 12:11 (Ref:2647355)   #6
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Speaking of famous F1 names, we nearly had a Villeneuve too...
We lost Piquet though!
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Old 8 Mar 2010, 12:51 (Ref:2647383)   #7
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Graz should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridGraz should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridGraz should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
The Aussie V8 Supercars made really great racing on this track last week. Any overtaking moves took 3 and four corners to complete because of the way the track is designed, not sure if this was deliberate. Drivers who were passed were able to cross back to maybe get the onside line for the next corner where in turn the other driver would be able to return the favour on the next corner! It was great stuff. Alas, this will not happen in the overtakingless world of F1 this weekend I fear.

However, it's an intriguing weekend in store to see who will be where. Ferrari - McLaren - Red Bull - Mercedes in that order I guess.
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Old 8 Mar 2010, 16:19 (Ref:2647522)   #8
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We lost Piquet though!
What a shame.
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Old 8 Mar 2010, 16:21 (Ref:2647524)   #9
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jab should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridjab should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridjab should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
Had Piquet and Nakajima been on the grid, it would've been the first time, I think in F1 history, that a driver had raced against a father and a son. He still gets to race against 2 generations but not direct (Senna)
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Old 9 Mar 2010, 12:40 (Ref:2648113)   #10
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just checked the weather forecast for this GP and no surpise here, very sunny for the 1st 2 days of the GP weekend
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Old 9 Mar 2010, 19:37 (Ref:2648454)   #11
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Bononi will be entering the Motorsport Hall of FameBononi will be entering the Motorsport Hall of FameBononi will be entering the Motorsport Hall of FameBononi will be entering the Motorsport Hall of FameBononi will be entering the Motorsport Hall of FameBononi will be entering the Motorsport Hall of FameBononi will be entering the Motorsport Hall of FameBononi will be entering the Motorsport Hall of FameBononi will be entering the Motorsport Hall of FameBononi will be entering the Motorsport Hall of Fame
Nice intro Jab, keep it that way, we've got a long way to go.
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Old 9 Mar 2010, 23:27 (Ref:2648599)   #12
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Hey has anyone checked out Eddie Jordan already up to talking drivel. Check out the BBC F1 preview videos. On one about the new rules he offers up this gem of wisdom and knowledge: "If you could have one driver [for the new rules] it would be Prost... he was perfect: *SLOW*, neat...!" Followed by smirks from Brundle and Coulthard. Hahah. Am Already bracing myself for more of his nonsense!
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Old 9 Mar 2010, 23:50 (Ref:2648609)   #13
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And disagreements with Coultard. They were great last year.
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Old 9 Mar 2010, 23:59 (Ref:2648614)   #14
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jab should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridjab should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridjab should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
I think half of it is intentional. It would be quite boring if they all just agreed all the time

I love EJ. I know a lot of people whinge about him having some wacky opinions but that's what makes the guy great entertainment. At least they've got someone on the team like him who is a bit unorthodox and controversial - better than Mark "Yes that's right Steve" Blundell
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Old 10 Mar 2010, 07:59 (Ref:2648715)   #15
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(coverage on BBC Red Button/online)
Am I right in thinking that the red button option is only now available to Sky and Virgin Media viewers (i.e. no longer for Freeview customers)? I remember losing the F1 Forum for the last race of 2009, something to do with them preparing for Freeview HD.
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