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The world’s eyes areon Bahrain as it heads into the second F1 race weekend of its first ever double header with some wondering if last weekend’s drama-filled race can be topped.
At the F1 Rolex SakhirGrand Prix, fans can expect to see Red Bull’s Alex Albonrace for his career as the Thai driver’s seat at Red Bull has been rumouredto be in jeopardy due to a lacklustreseason.
Last Sunday Albonpulled all the stops and put up some of his best laps at the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC), finishing third after Sergio Perez’s Racing Point car caught fire.
Coincidentally, if Albonis unable to maintain the pace in the coming two races, the fieryPerez is rumouredto be his replacement at a team which has struggled to find a worthy racing partner for Max Verstappen, who finished second last Sunday.
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, who finished first on Sunday, has bowed out of the coming race after testing positive for Covid-19. He will have to wait till March 2021 for another shot at stealing Sebastian Vettel’s record for most wins at the BIC, the “home of motorsport in the Middle East.”
He is currently tied with Vettel for the record after a near-perfect drive last Sunday, where he was the first to race past the chequeredflag being waved by National Taskforce for Combatting the Coronavirus (COVID-19) member and BDF Hospital infectious disease consultant and microbiologist Lt Col DrManafAl Qahtani.
This will be the first F1 race that Hamilton has missed sincehis F1 debut at the 2007 season-opening race in Australia.While Hamilton’s replacement is yet to be confirmed at the time of publishing, reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne, due to return to Bahrain after Formula E testing in Valencia, seems to be the mostlikely choice.
However this didn’t stop Haas reserve driver Louis Delétrazfrom throwing his hat into the ring for consideration, saying on Twitter: “Hi Mercedes. I’m in Bahrain, I have my super license, Haas is not using me. Also I was on the podium on that exact same track two days ago. Please?”
In the extremely unlikely event that the F2 driver competes for Mercedes, he will be the first driver to be allowed to drive in F2 and F1 during the same weekend.
After Sunday’s F1 inferno, Haas confirmed thenext day that their reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldiwill take Romain Grosjean’splace during the upcoming weekend and make hisFormula One race debut.
There will also be plenty of action in the Formula 2 series, which is a feeder championship for the F1. While Mick Schumacher, son of renowned race driver Michael Schumacher currently leads the championship, his margin is razor thin and he could lose it to CallumIlotif he can’t keep the pace up in this weekend’s season-closer.
This weekend’s schedule
Friday (December 4)
Porsche Sprint Challenge ME First Practice 1.55pm
FIA Formula 2 Practice 3.05pm
Formula 1 First Practice 4.30pm
FIA Formula 2 Qualifying 6.45pm
Formula 1 Second Practice 8.30pm
Porsche Sprint Challenge ME Second Practice 10.25pm
Saturday (December 5)
Porsche Sprint Challenge ME Qualifying 2pm
FIA Formula 2 First Race (48 Laps) 3.10pm
Formula 1 Third Practice 5pm
Porsche Sprint Challenge ME First Race (17 Laps) 6.30pm
Formula 1 Qualifying Session 8pm
Sunday (December 6)
FIA Formula 2 Second Race (34 Laps) 3.20pm
Porsche Sprint Challenge ME Second Race (17 Laps) 4.30pm
FIA Formula 3 F3 Prize Ceremony 5.45pm
FIA Formula 2 F2Prize Ceremony 6pm
Formula 1 Drivers' Presentation 6.20pm
Formula 1 End Racism Recognition 7.53pm
Formula 1 National Anthem 7.54pm
Formula 1 Grand Prix (87 Laps) 8.10pm