Sakhir Grand Prix: Pierre Gasly has termed the outer circuit at Bahrain the mini F1 version of the Indianapolis 500.
The double-header at Bahrain is the talking point of the F1 world currently, with the main track and the outer circuit hosting Bahrain and the Sakhir Grand Prix respectively. Pierre Gasly of AlphaTauri likes racing in Bahrain and spoke about the main circuit, where he secured a fourth-place finish two seasons back.
“The Bahrain track itself – at least the version we have raced on before – has got a few straights, which is good for overtaking, helped by the fact it is quite wide. There are some interesting corners and it is quite technical.”
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Sakhir Grand Prix – mini F1 version of Indy 500
As for the outer circuit, which will make its F1 debut, lap timing records are set to be broken. Gasly has done simulator runs on it, and though excited, is concerned about 20 cars racing within a distance of a minute. Safe to say, quite a few DNFs could be expected out of this, which will give fans a taste of a Monaco-like race, after it was left out of this season’s calendar.
“As for our second race there on the different layout, it’s going to be something completely different to usual as the track is almost an oval. There are just four corners, so it will be a game of slipstreaming, like a mini F1 version of the Indianapolis 500. I’ve done a few laps of it on the simulator and the lap time is under one minute, so dealing with traffic won’t be easy.”
Gasly highlighted the importance of the ‘team game’ at Sakhir, due to the slipstreaming potential on offer. The qualifying session is going to be an extremely tactical affair, with teams strategizing to clock times without facing traffic-related issues.
“In qualifying, we will play the team game, towing your team-mate round and then being towed yourself. There will be a lot of slipstreaming in the race, so it will be an interesting experience and the first time for everyone. I think it should be a spectacular race with a lot of overtaking and it will be interesting to see if it is almost too easy to overtake with the DRS.”