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A lap of the Bahrain International Circuit 01 Apr 2004

David Coulthard (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4/19.
Malaysian Grand Prix, Rd 2, Sepang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 20 March 2004

Though none of the race drivers has yet driven a Formula One car on the new Bahrain International Circuit, simulation data can at least give them an approximation of what the track holds in store. McLaren’s David Coulthard describes how he imagines a flying lap:

(Note that official corner numbers for the Bahrain International Circuit have not yet been confirmed. For a map of the circuit layout, please click here.)

“It begins on the long start-finish straight, which is just over one kilometre. We will probably reach the highest speeds on the circuit along the straight before braking hard for the slow tight right of turn one.

“A short burst of power takes you to a left hander, which we may take quite quickly, keeping on the power through the turn, before the slight right of turn three that flicks you onto the second and shortest of the four straights.

“We will power along here, probably in top gear before dropping down the gears for the tight right of turn four. The sweeping left-right-left of turns five, six and seven follow, and we think this will be a very quick sequence as we meander through the back of the circuit.

“We then will pick up speed on the exit for the short run down to the hairpin of turn eight. Another quick burst takes you to the two left handers of nine and ten, which will probably start off quite fast and then see us slow for ten.

“This then swings you round onto the third main straight that runs parallel to the start-finish straight. We should pick up significant speed before braking for the long left double-apex of eleven. It will probably be important to maintain our speed through here, as it leads onto another long and fast sweeping section of the track.

“This then takes us to the long right of turn 14 which swings the track round onto the final straight. Powering up through the gears before braking for the final two right handers, which take you back onto the long start-finish straight to start another lap.”