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Thursday weather update - another hot one 01 Apr 2004

Jenson Button (GBR) BAR takes part in a photoshoot in the pitlane.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Bahrain Grand Prix, Preparations, Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain, 1 April 2004 The International Media Centre.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Bahrain Grand Prix, Preparations, Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain, 1 April 2004 The Paddock.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Bahrain Grand Prix, Preparations, Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain, 1 April 2004 Teams set up in the pitlane.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Bahrain Grand Prix, Preparations, Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain, 1 April 2004 Sauber mechanic with the refuelling rig.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Bahrain Grand Prix, Preparations, Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain, 1 April 2004

Welcome to the opening day of the Grand Prix Bahrain at Sakhir, the first Formula One race to be run in the heart of the Middle East.

The weather seems likely to be very similar to Malaysia's a fortnight ago: partly cloudy with a small chance of rain showers, but otherwise hot and humid.

The general forecast throughout the race weekend is once again for partly cloudy skies. Today the temperature is expected to reach a high of 30 degrees Celsius. There is a 20 percent chance of rain.

On Friday and Saturday the temperature should hit 29, and there is a 40 percent chance of scattered showers on Friday. Sunday will also be hot, and the chance of rain will be much lower.

This is the first time that the Arab Emirate has hosted a Grand Prix and the Manama circuit is completely new, the latest on the Formula One schedule. It has been designed by renowned architect Hermann Tilke and measures 5.417 km.

Cars are expected to lap it in around 1m 33s, an average of 210 kph. Tilke has aimed for a flowing track with elevation changes, and plenty of overtaking opportunities. To assist the local Bahraini marshals, marshals from Australia, Austria and France will also be on hand. The race will run over 57 laps, for a total of 308.769 km.

Despite the cloudiness, the event, like Malaysia, will be one of the hottest of the season. The sand may also be a problem if the wind blows it on to the track.