The Renault Formula One Team looks ahead to the Bahrain Grand Prix, the opening round of the 2010 FIA Formula 1 World Championship. Robert Kubica talks us through the challenge of racing at the Bahrain International Circuit.
Kubica: "I enjoy racing in Bahrain, but it’s certainly not the most challenging track of the year for the drivers. The track is very tough on the brakes with lots of big stops so you need good braking stability and traction out of the low-speed corners. There are no real high-speed corners so our set-up work focuses more on the mechanical side.
"The first few corners of the lap are not very demanding but, if your tyres are not in great shape, you will struggle with traction on the exit of turn one. You also need to be careful the back end doesn’t step out in turn two, which hurts your speed on the approach to turn four. These corners are always a bit frantic on the opening lap of the race and it’s easy to lose your front wing.
"For 2010, a new section of track has been added after turn four. This new part of the lap is quite twisty and includes a lot of corners, but there are no significant braking zones so I don’t think it will make overtaking any easier. I expect the overtaking will happen in the usual places – into turns one and four.
"The most challenging part of the lap is the old turn eight [now turn 18], which is very difficult for braking because of the lateral forces acting on the car and it’s easy to lock the inside front wheel. It’s difficult to get the car positioned correctly because the braking zone is long and there are many different lines that you can use. The most important thing is to carry as much speed as you can, but not out-brake yourself because you need to get on the power early for the straight that follows. It’s a difficult corner, but it’s a challenge so it’s my favourite.
"The final corner of the lap is quite tricky. It’s a short corner, but it can catch you out as it changes depending on the strength and direction of the wind. You approach in seventh gear at nearly top speed, brake hard and downshift to third gear and then back on the power. You need to look out for snap oversteer on the exit, which can cost you a lot of lap time."Source Renault