The 2022 Formula 1 season is finally here as the action gets underway at the Bahrain International Circuit.
Over the years, Bahrain has been great for wheel-to-wheel action so the Sakhir circuit will be a great way to introduce F1’s new era of cars.
The cars are completely different for this year with new technical regulations introduced to level the playing field and make overtaking easier.
The same teams appear to be at the front with Red Bull enjoying a strong second pre-season test as Max Verstappen looks to defend the drivers’ championship.
The Dutchman set a number of blistering laps on the final day of F1 testing in Bahrain when Red Bull introduced some new upgrades.
Ferrari had its best pre-season campaign in years with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz consistently at the front of the timesheets.
The Scuderia hasn’t won since 2019 nor has it tasted championship glory since 2008.
Eight-time constructors’ champions Mercedes appears to be on the back foot going into Bahrain with it most affected by porpoising – the bouncing movement at high speed.
McLaren is best placed to challenge outside the top three teams after coming away from Barcelona very confident.
However, the Woking outfit struggled in Bahrain due to a recurring brake issue which curtailed the team’s running.
The team was also impacted by Daniel Ricciardo’s absence after he tested positive for COVID-19.
The midfield is impossible to predict with Haas and Alfa Romeo showing impressive pace at times, while Alpine, Aston Martin and AlphaTauri have traditionally led the midfield in recent years.
Recent Bahrain GP winners:
2021 – Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2020 – Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2019 – Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2018 – Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)
2017 – Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)
2016 – Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)
2015 – Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2014 – Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2013 – Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)