2020 Formula 1 Sakhir Grand Prix Preview

This weekend is set to see Formula 2 and Formula 1 in action in Bahrain once again. Unlike other double headers at the same venue in 2020, this coming Grand Prix weekend will see both series compete on Bahrain International Circuit’s ‘Outer Circuit’ rather than the Grand Prix Circuit more commonly used.

Formula 2

The Formula 2 series will conclude its 2020 season at the second Bahrain event. Mick Schumacher is at the top of the standings and has a 14 point advantage over Callum Ilott. Schumacher continued his points scoring run in Bahrain where he finished fourth and seventh, meanwhile Ilott claimed pole position and finish second in the feature race before his sprint race unravelled and he ultimately was classified in sixteenth.

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Schumacher and Ilott are perhaps the two main contenders for this season’s Formula 2 Drivers’ Championship but there are three other drivers with a mathematical chance of winning this season’s title. Two of those, Nikita Mazepin and Robert Shwartzman, scored points in both races last weekend and finished on the podium in the sprint race, with Mazepin finishing second and Shwartzman claiming his fourth victory of the season. The final driver still with a mathematical chance of winning the title is Yuki Tsunoda, although the Japanese driver will need to have a perfect weekend while the other fail to score points across the weekend.

Other drivers outside of the title fight will be looking to finish their 2020 Formula 2 campaign on a high, such as Felipe Drugovich, who claimed his third victory of 2020 in the first Bahrain event.

Formula 1

Lewis Hamilton enters the weekend having won six of the last seven Grand Prix. This run will come to an end however as Hamilton has been forced to sit out of the coming weekend’s Grand Prix due to testing positive for COVID-19.

The main action in the championship is behind the Briton with 12 points separating Valtteri Bottas in second and Max Verstappen in third. Bottas had another difficult race weekend in Bahrain and ultimately finished down in eighth while Verstappen was able to finish second, and claim the point for fastest lap.

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The battle for fourth in the championship is even more competitive with Daniel Ricciardo reclaiming the position from Sergio Perez after Ricciardo finished seventh while Perez was forced into retirement whilst running in the podium places. Two points separate the two at the start of this weekend’s Grand Prix.

Charles Leclerc is behind Perez and Ricciardo, the Monegasque driver two points behind Perez and four behind Ricciardo. Leclerc also has a 12 point advantage over Lando Norris in seventh. The Ferrari driver was perhaps fortunate to be classified in tenth thanks in part due to Perez’s late retirement.

Norris is the beginning of three drivers separated by one point with Carlos Sainz and Alexander Albon tied together on 85 points. All three achieved a good result in the first Bahrain race with Albon claiming his second podium finish of the season while Norris and Sainz finished fourth and fifth respectively. It also means that Sainz and Albon have a 14 point gap to Pierre Gasly who completes the top ten in the championship, the Frenchman having finished sixth last time out.

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In the Constructors’ Championship the battle for third continues with McLaren starting the weekend in the coveted position thanks to their 4-5 finish in the first Bahrain race. Racing Point failed to score any points last time out and therefore find themselves 17 points behind McLaren. It is worth stating that what befell Racing Point can of course happen to McLaren in the remaining two races, while alternatively Racing Point could achieve a 4-5, or better, finish of their own in the final races of the season.

Racing Point have a 10 point advantage over Renault who now need some big results of their own, and some good fortune, in the final two races if they wish to close the 27 point gap to McLaren. Both Renault’s finished in the points in the first Bahrain race, the team having failed to get both cars inside the top ten in the two races prior to last weekend’s Grand Prix.

Scuderia Ferrari are directly behind Renault in the championship with 13 points separating the two. The Maranello based team picked up just one point in the previous Grand Prix and enter the weekend 40 points off McLaren in third.

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