With the two biggest prizes for the 2020 season wrapped up (Mercedes have claimed the Constructors’ Championship and Lewis Hamilton has sealed a seventh Drivers’ title, drawing him level with the legendary Michael Schumacher) attention now turns to matters lower down the order.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen will be hoping to claim second place from Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas (he trails the Finn by 27 points), though both drivers will be determined for a strong showing in Bahrain after putting in mistake-riddled drives at the previous round in Turkey.
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“It was a very annoying, frustrating race,” said Verstappen. “Definitely one to forget. Really, really difficult. Basically just following, no grip, trying to survive, so definitely not a great day. Hopefully, we will never be in this situation again that it’s just so slippery.”
Sergio Perez who is without a drive for 2021 but is being tipped to possibly replace Alex Albon at Red Bull is in the fourth spot and looking to continue his outstanding consistency by picking up a 10th straight points finish.
“I think as always you have to be delivering weekend after weekend you are as good as your last race so it is important to finish on a high, and the race was all in my hands,” said Perez after an impressive second-place finish at the last race.
In Constructors terms, the race for third place has tightened: Racing Point’s strong Turkish GP sees them in the bronze medal position on 154 points, but McLaren (149), Renault (136) and even Ferrari (130) will all feel they have a chance of overhauling the ‘Pink Panthers’.
The form of Carlos Sainz, who drove brilliantly in Turkey to claim fifth place, may give McLaren an edge in this hard-fought battle, according to team boss Andrea Seidl.
“A race like [Turkey] just confirms the quality Carlos has,” he explained. “We know from previous races in the last years that he likes all of these tricky conditions, he also likes this wet or mixed conditions. “He has this talent to take the right approach in terms of risk and he manages to keep the car on track whilst still making progress on track and making the moves stick.”
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Bahrain Grand Prix broadcast details, 28-29 November 2020
Saturday 28 November
1:55 pm: Qualifying – LIVE on SuperSport Motorsport
Sunday 29 November
2:05 pm: Race – LIVE on SuperSport Grandstand and SuperSport Motorsport