Sahara Force India F1 Team‘s Esteban Ocon says the heat in desert will be a factor to consider ahead of this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
The first night race of the season at the Bahrain International Circuit arrives this weekend, hosting the second round of the 2018 Formula 1 World Championship. Bahrain is often considered a fan favourite due to the spectacular night setting and close racing the track can provide.
Talking ahead of the race weekend, Ocon said that he loves racing at night and that the Bahrain track is good fun to race around.
“When I think about Bahrain I always remember the beautiful paddock, which has so much space and looks amazing at night with all the trees lit up. Every year there’s a barbeque for the paddock and it’s nice that all the teams and media can come together before the racing begins.” said Ocon,
“I love racing at night. It almost feels quicker under the lights and it looks better on television.”
“Hopefully the fans like it as much as the drivers. The track is good fun and there are a few good overtaking spots, such as turn one and turn four.”
The Bahrain Circuit, formed in 2004 and became the first ever race in the Middle East, is notorious for providing challenging corners. An example noted by the French driver is turns five to seven where it leads into a hard braking zone of turn eight.
“It’s a track that feels very satisfying when your car is working well. I particularly enjoy turns five, six and seven because they are so quick and then you’re immediately into a big braking zone for turn eight.
“It’s tricky because you approach at really high speed and it’s easy to make a mistake and run wide.”
Heat is still a factor to consider for the drivers around Bahrain, despite the qualifying and race being moved to the night. Ocon says it’ll be a physically tough weekend because of the heat and is important to stay hydrated in order not to lose concentration.
“It’s a tough weekend physically because of the heat. The daytime practice sessions are the most difficult, but fortunately it gets a bit cooler in the evenings for qualifying and the race.
“You need to drink lots to be hydrated and make sure you don’t lose concentration.”