A Formula 1 engine race that took place on 6 December 2020 for 87 laps on the Outer Circuit on the Bahrain International Track in Sakhir, Bahrain, was the 2020 Grand Prix in Sakhir. The Formula One Grand Prix is officially known as the 2020 Rolex Sakhir Grand Prix of Formula 1.
It was the first race on this track in Formula One. The race was the sixteenth and the penultimate round of the 2020 F1 World Championship and the second of the two back-to-back races in Bahrain, with the Bahrain GP taking place the week before at the same location on a different scale.
The Sakhir Grand Prix’s first round was also celebrated.
The first Formula One winner, Sergio Pérez of Racing Point, who has won the race since the Belgian GP, won the competition in 1970 with Pedro Rodríguez.
Racing Point was the first British builder to win a race since the end of Lotus F1 at the 2013 Australian Grand Prix and also became Mercedes’ first Formula One victory as a customer engine supplier since the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix.
How Covid influenced the race
The majority of races originally planned for the 2020 championship were postponed or canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The FIA has drawn up a new timetable in order to maximize race numbers on the calendar.
In August 2020, the Grand Prix Sahir was added to the timetable. On 6 December 2020, a week after the Grand Prix of Bahrain was held at the same venue, the Grand Prix was officially held behind closed doors, but local health workers and their families received guest permits in recognition of their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic in Bahrain.
LAYOUT OF CIRCUIT
The “Outer Circuit,” the first F1 race in the race, was laid out for this race. A week earlier, the Grand Prix, held in Bahrain for the Grand Prix, was 3,543 kilometers shorter than the 5,412 kilometers.
Over 87 races were contested to cover the distance required under the 305 km regulations (190 mi). In practice, lap times were less than one minute. The only other Grand Prix World Championship weekend with a 1-minute lap time in 1974 was the French Grand Prix of Dijon-Prenois.
The McLaren driver, Lando Norris, likened the high-speed layout to the Thruxton circuit, while the regular Williams driver, George Russell, claimed that the layout was a “bonkers” Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo expressed hope that the circuit would offer good opportunities for overtaking, and McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jr. suggested that it would be difficult to choose the right setup, particularly the right setup.
Some drivers have declared themselves unhappy with the layout after the free training sessions on Friday.
During the first and second knockout qualifier sessions, drivers such as Carlos Sainz Jr. and Max Verstappen feared potential safety problems with a high likelihood that the cars on the track will be close due to the shorter lap distance and potential enormous differences in closed speeds, especially at the start of the qualifier.
Verstappen described the design as “not the most exciting” while the Ferrari layout was called “too short” by Sebastian Vettel. The circuit reminds him of the Karting days of his Ferrari team-mate, Charles Leclerc.
Despite driver concerns about an exceptionally short lap-time leading to traffic issues in qualifying, the FIA confirmed that during the competition it would not relax the rules on sports and that any driver found guilty of preventing a competitor still had penalties to be handed out.
The teams and drivers were with three exceptions, identical to the entry list for the pre-season. After a crash in the Bahrain Grand Prix the week before, the first Pietro Fittipaldi had replaced Romain Grosjean for Haas.
World Champion Lewis Hamilton tested the coronavirus positively during the week leading up to the race and had to miss it in accordance with the protocol of Bahrain and the FIA.
Hamilton did not participate in a Formula One race for the first time since his debut at the 2007 Australian Grand Prix. George Russell replaced Hamilton with Williams, the driver, and Mercedes was protected. Jack Aitken, who was participating in Formula 2 at the same time made his Formula One debut.
On Friday, the first of two training sessions were held in night conditions, with Russell seeing both Red Bull drivers Verstappen and Alex Albon at the top of the Mercedes timesheet.
The second practice session on Friday night also saw Verstappen’s Russell and Racing Point’s Sergio Pérez the fastest.
On Saturday, the third training course was held and Verstappen was in front of Bottas and AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly.
In order to lead the Grand Prix around turn 1, Russell left the grid quickly and team-mate Valtteri Bottas took second place. A 3-way struggle began behind the two Mercedes, Leclerc, Verstappen, and Pérez.
Leclerc turned four as the three sailed, causing both to spin out in Pérez’s path. She slowed down and widened her turn, but she lost traction, hit the tyre wall outside the turn, and saw trouble ahead.
The incident was caused by a security vehicle. It caused terminal damage to Verstappen and Leclerc. Following a shift in the tyre, Pérez could rejoin and run back from the field. He was penalized for his role in the incident after the race for three grid spots at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The safety car was removed for Round 7. Russell and Bottas ran up front, expanding Russell’s leadership gradually. Behind them, McLaren, AlphaTauri, and the Renault drivers were strong, close to the top of the line.
Pérez took 10th place at the bottom of lap 20. On lap 50, all the teams made their first pit stops. Russell, Bottas, and Carlos Sainz Jr. of McLaren were among the top three. Pérez made a second stop for fresh tyres and ran in 9th place.
At turn 8, Nicholas Latifi withdrew from his Williams with an oil leak when the leaders completed lap 54, triggering a virtual safety car (VSC). For the pneumatic, various teams are in third place and in the bottom.
As Sainz and Daniel Ricciardo were caught, the VSC was short and was shipped down the order under the green flag conditions. With Esteban Ocon’s Renault in fourth and Lance Stroll’s Racing Point in fifth place during this safety car period, Pérez did not bounce up to third.
Russell, the only pilot among them on new tires, threatened the top 4 drivers as the safety car ended in lap 69.
By lap 73, Russell was able to push Bottas, Stroll, and Ocon, putting him second and ready to challenge Pérez to lead the race. Russell’s car suffered a left rear punch in the 78th lap, forcing him to pitch a new set of pipes again.
During the final stages of the race, from the 14th to the 9th, Russell was able to win his first World Championship driver points and a point for the fastest race lap.
The stewards subsequently concluded that because of Russell’s car’s pit stop errors, Mercedes only needed a monetary fine.
Racing Point’s double-podium finish moved them back to third place in the Constructors Championship after losing that position to McLaren in the previous race.