Sakhir GP – Preview

For the first time Formula 1 will race around the outer loop of the Bahrain International Circuit in the penultimate round of the season. The headline going into the weekend is the sudden positive Covid-19 test result for world champion Lewis Hamilton. Despite providing three negative results over the weekend, he came down with mild symptoms on Monday, before testing positive. Mercedes junior driver George Russell will step up from his Williams seat to replace Hamilton; with Mercedes testing to see Russell’s pace with a mind to the 2022 driver line-up. He said: “I’m going to use this opportunity to learn from the best, become a better driver and to come back to Williams even stronger and be fighting as hard as we can for those points.”

Replacing Russell in the Williams will be their test driver, Jack Aitken. Aitken signed to the Williams Drivers Academy earlier in the year but has been ploughing his trade in F2 with the Campos team. Aitken ran a practice session in the Styrian GP earlier in the year but makes his full debut this weekend. Aitken said: “I’m extremely excited to be making my F1 debut with Williams this weekend. I can’t say thank you enough for the trust the team are showing in me.”

Following Romain Grosjean’s crash last weekend, Pietro Fittipaldi will make his F1 debut in the Haas car. Pietro is the son of two-time champion Emerson Fittipaldi, making it the first time a Fittipaldi has raced in F1 for 40 years. Haas have been busy announcing both of their drivers for the 2021 season; Nikita Mazepin and, likely F2 champion, Mick Schumacher graduate from F2.   

Timings (All GMT)

Friday 4 December

Practice 1 – 13:30 – 15:00

Practice 2 – 17:30 – 19:00

Saturday 5 December

Practice 3 – 14:00 – 15:00

Qualifying – 17:00 – 18:00

Sunday 6 December

Race – 17:10 – 19:10

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