"Racing under the floodlights is always an interesting experience" - Carlos Sainz, McLaren Driver
Heading into Round 2 of the 2019 season (F1’s 999th race) it's the first dusk/night experience for the fans, teams and drivers, in warm conditions under the desert sky. The race itself starts late in the afternoon at 6:10 pm and ends in the evening under floodlights.
For this one, Pirelli takes their three hardest compounds this year, the C1, C2, C3, which make for the white colored hard, yellow colored medium, and red colored soft, respectively. This is due to the track's harsh characteristics, with a very abrasive surface, falling track temperatures, and with a focus on acceleration, braking and traction. Teams will be particularly focused on managing their rear tyres, as it's a rear-limited track.
The time of day is a major player for this race, as FP1 and FP3 take place in the heat of the day, while FP2, Qualifying and the Race are all during the dusk/evening. Drivers will certainly experience a completely different track than they previously raced in Australia, as this race resembles more of what they all tested in Barcelona during winter.
Regarding strategies, both Mercedes and Ferrari have opted for the same tyre selections, as has Red Bull's Max Verstappen.
Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff is said to be wary of a Ferrari response this weekend, stating: "We've seen the potential of Ferrari's package in Barcelona, so we expect them to come back strong in Bahrain, with Red Bull in the mix as well."
Who will come out on top? Stick around to find out, as everything starts this Friday with FP1.
Start time: 18:10 local
Race distance: 308.238km
Tyre choices: Hard C1, Medium C2, Soft C3