Hard to think that this already 4th race on this season, feels like it just started. As a track, Bahrain is very similar to Sepang. Only thing missing are those lovely medium speed sweepers, Bahrain is a lot more straightforward stop&go type of track from, let's say, not the strongest period in Tilkes career. Track layout is fine but lacks character, comparing this to the newest Tilke creations, India and Austin, is like comparing Oschersleben to Spa. There's a definite element of artificially created racing suitable for just one car class and rest of us just need to endure it. I don't even want to think about the next and worst track in the calendar, these three in a row are just too similar.
All have tight double turn at first, then run down to first overtake where we go to now mandatory esses followed by another overtake place. Then a straight, some more esses, straight and finish. T9 braking in to T10 is probably the high point on track, it's tough, technical and getting it wrong means horrible laptime. All tracks are relatively flat with huge runoffs so drivers have to be comfortable on the limits. Mistakes are very small discouragement but methodical approach is most likely better than ragged, rallyesque drive to make pit tactics work.. Makes it tougher on us, with F3000 engine not being the strongest,,,,, in the world (clarksonism) getting those hairpins right everytime means a hell of a lot in lap time and on those esses you can't really lift off either.
In F1, throttle is on the floor 66% of the distance with almost all high speed traps starting from slow hairpins; fuel consumption is going to be probably the most of all the season. Tire wear should be very minimal but since the track might suit lower wings, we may get more slippage to counter decreased degradation. Rear tires need to be in good condition, there are so many deceleration/acceleration points, 6 in total.
For me, i think my straight line style should be at the strongest here. Also, since you can see, i don't really like or dislike the track, it means less motivation to make longer runs happen.. Damn, why did i even think about Shanghai now.. Well, let's get thru Bahrain first. It's not a bad track at all from drivers perspective, setup is really simple, Sepang with minor tweaks: less mechanical grip, more control and less aero.
EDIT: Higher wings might work too, the straights are not that long. But the basic setup from Sepang should work, even untweaked.. I shorten gearing on lower gears, increased control: stiffen everything up a bit, seems to help with track learning when the car doesn't wander at all, stays flat and i can do minor corrections easier. Once the driving line is cemented, all direction changes are planned well ahead then i'll probably soften closer we get to the race, it felt really good in Sepang that way, practice with control and race with grip. Softer suspension just wont allow mistakes, one just can't yank the steering wheel in the same manner and expect the car to change directions; it's one line, commit to it until the end. Stiffer gives a bit more freedom how to angle your car around the corner.
Rake is now a new interest, i can use 3.0/4.0 pretty well. It might be false confidence but rear does stick a bit better on those esses over the crest. Just have to keep foot down, less speed equals less downforce.