*WATCH* F1 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix Preview, Prediction, Cancelled: Track information, setup guide, FIA statement, coronavirus, & more
The night race in Bahrain is one of the the best of the year and in the game. Who will win?
This weekend was meant to hold the Bahrain Grand Prix, but then coronavirus struck the F1 paddock.
The annual and seemingly never-ending winter break took its toll on F1’s fans, but with the spread of coronavirus and a McLaren employee testing positive in Melbourne, the only real option was to delay the start of the season.
The Bahrain GP and the inaugural Vietnam GP were subsequently cancelled. The Chinese GP was already postponed due to the virus’ spread.
We have simmed the Bahrain Grand Prix to see who would come away with the win!
The F1 2020 season’s second round of the season was scheduled to take place at the Sakhir International Circuit in Bahrain.
This was where Charles Leclerc truly announced himself last year, only to be robbed of a maiden win by reliability issues with Ferrari’s power unit.
The Sakhir Internation Circuit is a purpose-built racing facility located in the heart of the Gulf nation’s desert. It’s characterised by several long straights and tight hairpin-like turns.
READ MORE: Everything there is to know about F1 2020
With three DRS zones and speeds regularly topping 200 mph (320 kph) overtaking isn’t usually an issue. This is also the first night race of the season after transitioning from a day race for 2014’s classic.
With long straights and generally slow corners, aerodynamic wing angles are generally quite low in Bahrain. Overtaking isn’t difficult, which can work against you if you’re struggling on your tyres. The rears are particularly prone to overheating thanks to many long traction zones around the lap.
Head to our dedicated setup guide for more info.
To make up for the lack of a race this weekend, you can set up your own challenge in F1 2019.
Simply load up a Grand Prix that’s 25% or longer, and qualify at the back of the grid in a Mercedes, Ferrari, or Red Bull and see how high up the order you can get.
With overtaking being relatively easy, you should be able to clear the midfield quickly. However, you’ll have to do so while not losing time to the rest of the top six, which will be difficult, especially if you want to keep your tyres in good condition.
Team pace & predictions
It will be a battle between the Mercedes’ of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas and the Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc. The Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Alex Albon will be in the mix but they will do well to qualify fourth or higher.
Albon has never had a podium in F1, while Leclerc will be looking for redemption after missing out on the win in the cruellest of circumstances in 2019.
The fight in the midfield will be even closer. McLaren are looking to bridge the gap to the top three teams, but Renault, Racing Point, and Alpha Tauri all look strong.
READ MORE: F1 2020 driver lineup – who races where?
Haas and Alfa Romeo need strong starts to the year, while Williams are seemingly far more competitive this year.
In Bahrain, those that are powered by Ferrari power units (Ferrari, Haas and Alfa Romeo) will likely have a big advantage on the straights and will be very difficult to pass.
The back row may be just as tough to predict as the front row this season!
Every team member was screened when they entered Australia, and it has transpired that a McLaren employee has tested positive for coronavirus.
Given that news, the team decided to withdraw from the race.
After that it was all academic. Eventually, the FIA called the race off and drivers disappeared back home.
With the first four races of the season now cancelled, this means that the Dutch GP in May could be the first F1 race of the year. However, with the World Health Orginisation now declaring that Europe is the “epicentre” of the virus’ epidemiology, this is doubtful.
Some are saying that the Azerbaijan GP in June would be the first realistic chance of racing but that’s very hard to say with any certainty.
Formula 1’s 70th anniversary is getting off to the worst possible start.
Get your racing and sporting fix
F1 2019 is an excellent game, with 21 tracks, every official car & driver from not only the 2019 F1 season but both the 2018 & 19 F2 seasons as well.
A host of classic cars are in the game for you to enjoy as well.
It is the perfect way to spend your now free Sunday, especially seeing as most professional sport around the world is now suspended.