Bahrain Grand Prix 2017

Laps: 57 laps
Start time: 18:00hrs local / 16:00 BST / 17:00 CET

Grid advantage

Pole position is located on the racing line, on the left side of the track. Traction is better there, but it’s not a given that you’ll make positions on the approach to Turn One – as pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton discovered last year when he was beaten away from the line by his team-mate Nico Rosberg.


There are two DRS zones, on the approaches to Turns One and 11. The first zone is the most likely overtaking place because the cars slow from 335km/h (208mph) for a 50km/h (31mph) right-hander.

Bahrain Grand Prix


Bahrain International Circuit

16 Apr 2017
Grand Prix track sectorsGrand Prix track DRSGrand Prix track map in blackGrand Prix track map in whiteGrand Prix track turns

Don't put the kettle on...

At the start, which usually has high drama. The cars are flat-out for 10s before braking for Turn One. Any driver who misses his braking point by just a few metres can end up running into another car. The result is carnage.

Pitlane length/Pitstops

420m/0.261 miles (longest of the season: Silverstone, 457m/0.283 miles). Estimated time loss for a pitstop is 21s, which is relatively short.

Safety car

20 per cent, which is very low. There is lots of run-off around the track, meaning the barriers are a long way back and there’s plenty of space for a driver to park a car in the event of a technical problem. There have been only two Safety Car deployments in the history of the race, most recently in 2014.

Watch out for...

Turns Nine and 10. This is a key combination because it’s very tricky to get right and it’s followed by the second DRS zone. It’s easy to lock an inside wheel on the downhill approach to Turn 10, which, if done, pushes you wide at corner exit and makes you slow down the next straight.

What makes this race interesting...

The on-track battles are usually spectacular. There’s a lot of run-off, which encourages drivers to be inventive with their lines and their passing manoeuvres. Who can forget the battle for the lead between the Mercedes drivers in 2014, or Pedro de la Rosa’s spectacular charge for McLaren in 2005, when he subbed for Juan Pablo Montoya?