Formula 1 Preview Bahrain

Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix Betting Preview

The main event is finally here. After the controversial end to the 2021 season in Abu Dhabi, Formula 1 returns this weekend to the Middle East for the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

All the cars look markedly different in 2022 thanks to new regulations that aim to make racing closer. This has been done by forcing the teams to fundamentally change their aerodynamic setups to ensure drivers can follow each other more closely. There are more changes in the form of new wheels, with 18-inch tyres replacing the smaller 13-inch ones.

Valtteri Bottas has moved from Mercedes to Alfa Romeo and teams up with the only rookie in the grid: Chinese driver Zhou Guanyu. Nikita Mazepin (and his dad’s money) has been booted out of Haas with Kevin Magnussen replacing the Russian driver.

In terms of the rule changes for this season, the controversial call by former race director Michael Masi to only allow certain cars to un lap themselves in the 2021 season finale has been replaced by a rule that all lapped cars will be allowed to overtake whenever it is deemed safe enough for them to un lap themselves.

Ahead of practice on Friday and Saturday we at least have some context to work from after testing took place at the same Sakhir circuit where the race will take place. Red Bull was fastest with reigning champion Max Verstappen setting the quickest time while Ferrari showed strong pace and strong reliability. Mercedes were off the pace completely as seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton and new teammate George Russell looked to struggle in the W13. Hamilton spoke to the media and matter of factly announced he “doesn’t think we’ll be competing for wins” at the beginning of the season and that the team needs to find a lot more pace.

The front-runners in Bahrain are definitely Red Bull and Ferrari, with Max Verstappen the favourite to take the race win. However, it’s extremely difficult to know how top three teams will do until they are carrying race fuel loads. Ferrari will be looking to use their promising performances from testing and convert it into a podium this weekend. George Russell will have a lot to prove in his first outing for Mercedes as a factory driver so it will be interesting to see how he performs alongside fellow Brit Hamilton.

None of the midfield teams, such as Aston Martin, AlphaTauri, Alpine, and Alfa Romeo did anything spectacular to stand out during testing. However, one team that did surprise many was Haas, the only American-owned team on the grid, which looks like a good package, and new driver Kevin Magnussen went fastest in Bahrain.

It’s going to be a very interesting race and for the first time, we’ll see how the aerodynamic changes translate to closer racing in the field. It’s all to play for at the start of 2022.

Predictions

Verstappen, Hamilton, Perez

Fastest lap: Verstappen

Pole position: Verstappen

First to retire: Nicholas Latifi

Most Team Points: Red Bull

Both Cars Qualify for Q3 Shootout: Ferrari

Free Practice 1/2/3 Winning Car: Verstappen / Perez

Safety Car: Yes

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Author: editor

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