There’s controversy and concern about running the Bahrain Grand Prix, but nonetheless it’s happening right now!
It’s only 4 days since NR’s victory in China; LH heads the Drivers’ Championship, 2 points ahead of his McLaren teammate.
Free Practice 1 (FP1)
LH was fastest (1:33.572), followed by SV, PRe, NR, JB, NH, MS, MW, KR, RG
“Force India will finish second practice early at the Bahrain Grand Prix so they can return to their hotel before dark.” “F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone said he had offered a police escort from the track.” [source: BBC News]
BBC Radio 5 live Jennie Gow confirms that FORCE INDIA WILL TAKE NO PART IN SECOND PRACTICE FOR THE BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX. Gow said she spoke to the team’s deputy team principal Bob Fernley and he said the team have all the data they need and will simply bring their programme forward to cater for the loss of track time.
NK is first on track
30mins in to FP2 = 60mins left of this session
Radio from LH asking the team to put it back where it was in Practice 1
SV 1:33.525 – that’s a fraction quicker than LH’s best FP1 time
Many drivers still struggling with dust, sand and lack of grip as they run wide in a few corners
Speed Channel commentators say there’s a protest close to the circuit planned for 4pm local time, so hopefully the Force India team will leave early enough to avoid that
Half way through FP2; NR fastest (1:32.816); 9 seconds cover the 22 drivers who have set a lap time; no sign of PRe and NH as Force India are not running in FP2
JB pushing hard; locks up and runs a little wide
MS on a quick lap; gesticulates after being held up (by HK?)
BS storms up behind a slow-moving car who takes the apex of the final turn; aborts his lap and enters the pit lane
Deja vu for Red Bull – radio for MW says KERS has failed
30mins left; NR still fastest (1:32.816)
10mins left; virtually everyone on track – just CP and the Force India cars in the pits
Fastest was NR (1:32.816) followed by MW, SV, LH, MS, JB, KK, FA, RG, SP.
BBC News reports: “Opposition supporters in Bahrain have attended a mass protest demanding an end to the crackdown on dissent, ahead of the Formula 1 Grand Prix on Sunday. Tens of thousands people walked along a motorway from Budaiya, an area to the west of the capital, Manama.”
NR was fastest (1:33.254) followed by SV, MW, LH, MS, JB, LR, DR, RG, FA.