Bahrain International Circuit, 2004

2014 Bahrain Grand Prix to be night race

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Bahrain International Circuit, 2004In the round-up: The Bahrain race organisers confirm next year’s race will be held at night.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Bahrain F1 circuit ready to turn on the night lights next season (The Guardian)

“Bahrain circuit officials will test a new floodlight system this weekend as part of their plans to turn their 10th anniversary Formula One grand prix into a night race next year.”

Mercedes evaluating Malaysia?s Jaafar (F1)

“Mercedes are conducting a driver evaluation test with Malaysian driver Jazeman Jaafar at the UK?s Silverstone circuit on Friday. As permitted under testing regulations, Jaafar is running in a 2011-model W02 car using demonstration tyres.”

Teams to blame for 2014 costs – Horner (ESPN)

“We can all stick our heads in the sand and dance around the periphery, but until you address the fundamentals the rest of it is just window dressing.”


Comment of the day

Should F1 drivers be forced to make two pit stops next year? Rob T says the new rules should be given time to bed in before making even more changes.

Aren?t there enough things changing for 2014 already? Surely we should wait and see how good the racing is with turbo engines, increased KERS etc. before introducing another rule to try to fix a problem that may no longer exist!
Rob T

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Anirudh, Daniel and Mark Stevenson!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

There are many drivers who could insist they should have won a grand prix but Mika Salo, who is 46 today, has a stronger claim than most. He handed a near-certain victory in the 1999 German Grand Prix to Ferrari team mate Eddie Irvine, who was in the hunt for the drivers’ championship. Irvine ultimately lost the title to Salo’s fellow Finn Mika Hakkinen.

Salo’s six-race stint as Michael Schumacher’s substitute marked the high point of his career and included two podium finishes. He scored a point for Toyota in their first race in 2002 but after they dropped him at the end of the season he never returned to F1.

Following a successful post-F1 career in GT racing he became part of Finland’s television F1 coverage team.

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  • 62 comments on “2014 Bahrain Grand Prix to be night race”

    1. There has been so much good news today I’m lost for words.

      1. @hohum We should drink some moloko to celebrate. I do like the Sakhir layout, and the sand disappearing in the dark… and the people…. I’ve started…

        1. Moloko or hemlock,? I take my morning Orange juice like clockwork.

          1. @hohum I can’t follow that up. you won the contest.

    2. Jack (@jackisthestig)
      30th November 2013, 0:15

      Im looking foreward to the Lotus twitter bloke’s take on the incidents Pastor gets himself involved in next season.

    3. I like how Maldonado mentions he has “reached” Lotus in his tweet, as if he made it on merit…….complete joke.

      1. @sward28 It was in Pastor’s back pocket, below the pride and close to the honesty blackhole.

      2. @sward28 The problem, I am sure he really thinks he did. He seems to be very proud of himself and quite arrogant, that’s probably what annoy me most about him.

    4. Should be.

      I’m very proud to BUY A SEAT @Lotus_F1Team and motivated for the next 2014 F1 season, lets push EVERY CAR OFF THE TRACK very hard!!!!

      1. #NoApologies

      2. This just in. First glimpse of the 2014 Lotus car nicknamed “The Maldonator.”

    5. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      30th November 2013, 0:44

      lets push very hard!!!!

      That’s scary!!!!!!!!!!!

      1. @omarr-pepper Yep . That is the worst threat ever . All Maldonado needs is chill out first .

    6. What time will the Bahrain quali/race start?

      1. When the protesters are shot.

      2. I would imagine 7pm but sadly for us it would mean that it will be in the early hours of the morning

      3. Michael Brown (@)
        30th November 2013, 1:49

        It should start an hour or two later than the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix start time.

    7. Michael Brown (@)
      30th November 2013, 2:09

      F1 teams are apparently pushing for permanent numbers:–f1.html

      Do they think we’re blind? I know there is a vocal minority that hates car number changes and helmet changes, but this is a stupid thing to pursue.

      1. maarten.f1 (@)
        30th November 2013, 5:43

        @lite992 And why, exactly, is it a stupid thing to pursue?

        1. @lite992 @maarten-f1 Permanent numbers would be great to have. They’re an important aspect of MotoGP, it’s not JUST recognition during a race. The number 46 is synonymous with Valentino Rossi for instance, it’s a status symbol as well as just a number. It adds some personality in a sport where faces are covered with helmets and visors.

      2. Nothing stupid about the idea. I’ve yet to hear about any negative impact of this (see discussion on F1F) and there are some positives. Sure, some people prefer other numbering schemes, but that does not mean that the idea is stupid, just that some people do not like it.
        If they do introduce permanent numbers, it would be a pointless exercise unless they do step 2: display numbers prominently on their cars. They need not look far for inspiration, just check out any older picture of F1 car.

    8. I’m absolutely not a fan of Maldonado, and I’d much rather have Hulkenberg thrashing Grosjean, but I must admit that Pastor strikes me as the kind of driver that, given a quick enough car, can win a few races during a long season. If Lotus can deliver, I’m sure he’ll give us the good old “win or wall” performances that can be quite entertaining. Something like an extreme version of Montoya, which is not bad “for the show” (not to talk about the money he brings in). Grosjean has also improved a lot, and I totally disagree with the “Lotus is over” feeling that has been going around. Also, if Force India gives us the Hulkenberg-Perez treat, we’ll have a lot of fun in those odd races in which their car has devastating speed (which happens almost every year). Even if there is one or two teams too far ahead of the rest, the intra-team battles are set to be a lot of fun in 2014.

      1. I would say if Montoya was a precision navigated missile then Pastor is a long range bazooka .

      2. +1 Finally a balanced opinion not just bagging Maldonado

      3. And how long until his temper gets the better of him and he sideswipes his car into another driver? I bet we some sort of incident like that within the first three race meetings.

    9. +1 COTD. DRS appearing at the same time as Pirelli clearly didn’t favour any.

      Let us see what’s what and then act in consequence.

    10. That Lotus tweet should be COTD. At least they have the sense of humor to make lols of it.

      Doubly though, hard to believe Bahrain has be involved in F1 for 10 years now… I’m getting old.

    11. No mention of Button driving an MP4-26 through the streets of Frome last night…

      I was there..!!

      1. Jack (@jackisthestig)
        30th November 2013, 7:31

        There was lots of ooohhhing and aaarrring from the locals… and then they went to watch the demonstration.

    12. lets push very hard! famous last words

    13. I think the night race in Bahrain should be really good.

    14. I hope that everyone who is bashing Maldonado will be proven wrong by this time next year. I can’t really understand the bad the bad image he’s receiving. Yes he had his share of crashes but it’s not him who got a race ban for being ‘the first lap nutcase’, so if Grosjean got to keep his seat at Lotus I don’t understand why Maldonado deserves it less. After all when he got his chance to start a race from a decent grid position (Spain 2012) he delivered very well – managed a win by keeping Alonso at bay. Compare that to Mark Webber who couldn’t transform any of his poles into race victories this season. I think behind Pastor’s erratic drives stand his frustrations and hunger for a more competitive car. He has something of Vettel in his early days (when he didn’t start from front row all the time), how many stupid crashes did he have (Australia 2009, Spa 2010 comes to mind) because of his eager to win. But now that he has a rocket car and doesn’t have to look behind his mirrors after lap 1 he’s considered a genius. I really think that if Maldonado was in that RedBull instead of Webber he would have given much more headaches to Vettel than Mark did.

      1. @klaas Vettel has constantly improved by miles since 2010 . After that silly mistake in spa 2010 , even canada 2011 slip up , pressure cooker situation in Brazil 2012 and now he is reigning supreme . If maldonado starts to accept his mistakes and move further , then possibly he can improve.

        1. @hamilfan @rigi Vettel improved because since 2010 he had a car under him that for the majority of times got him on front row and after lap 1 a second in front of competition so there was really not so many opportunities to crash or do mistakes, for the majority of times there wasn’t even any reason for him to push. But there were also many times after 2010 when he did entangle with other drivers (in the rare cases) when coming through the field. Maldonado on the other hand didn’t really have the ‘soil’ where he could improve. He was forced to start in lower midfield and push like hell every race if he wanted to score points and not just bring the car home. There was simply nothing to lose for him from his position, unlike Grosjean who’s team besides from providing a him with a good car had very much to lose from his first lap antics, that’s why Romain was tempered a little bit. I’m pretty sure that if Lotus comes with a 2014 car capable of entering Q3 regularly, we’ll see a different Maldonado – more calm and calculated.

          1. @klaas
            When Vettel drove for Torro Rosso he was still very consistent and incredibly fast.
            Vettel didn’t magically improve because he got a fast car. It was a natural progression. Heck, I think Vettel had better consistency in the last half of 2008 then he did in 2009.

      2. @klaas the diffrence between grosjean and maldonado is quite clear. grosjean has massively improved from his “first-corner-weakness”, while maldonado still has his overly-agressive driving style (see japan 2013).

      3. @klaas The difference between Maldonado and Grosjean is that Maldonado deliberately crashes into others (Hamilton and Perez). Also he did get a ban form all racing cars after he run over a marshal but he bought it out. Not fair I think.

        1. It’s not exactly as if there haven’t been drivers who have been just as bad, if not worse, than Maldonado that later gained the ability to temper that aggression.

          Regazzoni, for example, was notoriously aggressive on track (to the point where he spent about five years fighting off a private suit for manslaughter after being accused of running another driver off track and into a bridge pier), with Fittipaldi accusing Regazzoni of trying to run him off the track during the championship deciding race in 1974.

          Jody Scheckter, meanwhile, had to be “rested” by McLaren in 1973 after the GPDA tried to have him stripped of his licence after the infamous nine car pile up in the British GP that year, whilst de Cesaris was notorious for his accident rate in his early years (with McLaren even withdrawing him from a race because they expected him to write off their latest car) and was later sacked from Ligier because the repair bills were bankrupting the team. However, both of those drivers changed substantially in later years – Scheckter going on to become a championship winning driver whilst de Cesaris, although always a little wild, had a relatively long lived and successful career in the sport.
          We could even look across to the other side of the garage and see how Grosjean has matured this season, going from being a quick but erratic driver in 2012 to a late season run of form for Lotus that saw him outscore everybody but Vettel in the closing stages of this season.

          There is nothing to say that Lotus cannot find a way of hammering out Maldonado’s worst excesses – indeed, they seem convinced that they can do exactly that – so the question is going to be whether Maldonado is prepared to adapt. That is perhaps less certain but not entirely impossible, so we will have to see whether Lotus can achieve that task and reign him in.

      4. @klaas
        He had one good. No. Great win. And I thought: Now we are going to see a new Maldonardo. But we just didn’t. Since then it has been the same old, bad, sloppy and slow driving as we was used to.
        Grosjean showed great speed quite often, even when he was incredibly error prone and erratic.
        Vettel showed massive speed and consistency, with a few quite embarrassing crashes in between.
        If Maldonardo just worked on his mistakes and tried to improve, it would be okay. But he doesn’t. He just goes and blames his team for sabotage.. what a guy..

        1. comparing vettel to maldonado is ridiculous on so many levels. Maldonado can’t even beat his teammates and when Williams did build a decent car instead of collecting consistent points, like a real class driver would, he made constant mistakes.

          1. Lewis Hamilton lost 17 points and the championship in the last 2 races of 2007 season due to driver mistakes but the the entire F1 community still considered him a real class driver.
            When Maldonado had his chance to start a GP from a good position with a decent car – he nailed it. I think what he needs is another chance – in a team that can offer him a good car. If Grosjean was given the chance to return to F1 after a lacklustre half-season in 2009, then another chance to stay with Lotus after a 2012 full of crashes (try and calculate how many points those costed the team), I don’t understand why Maldonado who managed to actually win a race (unlike Grosjean) shouldn’t be given a chance to improve in a near-top-team. Remember that a year ago many people considered that Lotus should oust Crashjean but today he’s ‘soo improved’.

            1. @klaas
              Please forget the comparison between Hamilton, Vettel and so on and Maldonardo.
              If Maldonardo was in his Spain 2012 form nearly every race, and just ended face first in the wall a little more often then the others, then it would be a completely different talk.
              But he isn’t. Bottas is beating him in qualifying and keeping him honest in the races. So tell me again, how does he deserve the drive over Hulkenberg? Perez? Heck, I think Bottas would be a better choice as he, being a rookie, should have a larger scope for improvement over the next two years.
              Maldonardo isn’t brilliant but inconsistent like Vettel and Hamilton were. He is slow, inconsistent, sloppy and incredibly crash prone. But with one brilliant race and a good qualifying (Singapore, same year IIRC) under his belt. That is it.
              But that one race is incredibly inconclusive.
              As they say: “Once is an accident, twice is a coincidence, three times is a pattern.”
              It also applies here. Until he turns that Spain 2012 performance into a pattern, we won’t know if it was just a fluke. And so far, he hasn’t come close to repeating it.

    15. It’s a Saturday, Christmas is coming and there is no threat of a Vettel domination ruining an otherwise pleasant weekend. Happy days, right? Well, it should be, but me, I’m an F1 fan, and yesterday was one hell of a bad day to be an F1 fan…

      First came the stunning verdict that an overwhelming majority of F1 Fanatic readers are opposed to compulsory stops. I found this rather baffling in the wake of a year where the tyres are set to be so durable that the only appearence of a strategic element to a race would be the single stop we currently have as mandatory. OK, I don’t like the idea of F1, the pinnacle of motorsport, pointing at DTM and saying “let’s copy that”, and it would be overtly artificial; but that rather begs the question, why has F1 fallen out of love with tyre degradation? Am I the only one that can still remember the brilliant races in the first halves of 2011/2? OK, it went too far in the first half of this year, but only because it was a success in previous years. What is the point of sending the cars out on a Saturday, lining the fastest one up at the front of the grid and being surprised when it dominates the race? Without degradation the entire weekend will be geared towards going as fast as possible, thus making the team with fastest car completely unbeatable. Bring back sensible levels of degradation, or if you are completely adament over going conservative on tyre next year, Pirelli, then we’re going to need another stop to stay awake.

      And then came the news we all were dreading, yes, its now official, talent is worth less than a whole heap of cash. I think I’m echocing the opinions of most of this site’s readership (for once!) when I say, that was bad news for F1. I just don’t get this global search for talent if when we find it, we don’t reward it. What is the point of hunting the world over, and spending millions and millions of pounds on junior categories, if when we find a Nico Hulkenberg or a Robin Frijns, we give him the cold shoulder? If you thought the sinful destruction of an Aston Martin DBS in Casino Royale was a waste, that is nothing compared to the multi-million pound wild goose chase that is GP2, FR3.5 and GP3. Forgive the rant, and I shall bring things back down to earth now by saying I don’t blame Lotus. They needed the money, they needed a driver, Maldonado fits the bill, although Sergio Perez arguably does that in a slightly less erratic and competant manner, but maybe Telmex wasn’t rich enough for Lotus’ needs (!)? But that aside, the real culprit here, the true villain that has sentanced Hulkenberg to another year of midfield mediocrisy is the current culture of using drivers as a source of income. Now, further down the ladder it is essential if drivers are even going to anywhere near a racing car, but in F1 the drivers are meant to be professionals who provide a service to the team through driving, not financing the Christmas parties. Driver sponsorship in F1 really needs to either be capped or banned altogether. Lotus lost a lot of fans yesterday, which is shame because they are a great team, one of my favourites, and they really aren’t to blame here, which all fans should remember, however they should perhaps remember the name Mansoor Ijaz and how central he was in ruining the career of not just an up-and-coming driver in Hulkenberg, but genuinely one of the best drivers on the grid. Ah, Mr Ijaz, you’ve just joined a rather personal list of mine that also includes names like Ed Balls, Jeremy Kyle, Nick Clegg, Keith Lemon, Peter Andre, Anne Robinson and Stacey Solomon (clue – it involes photographs and darts).

      Now I know what you’re all thinking. You’re thinking that in terms of wins its Maldonado 1-0 Hulkenberg. But whilst it was an excellent drive, the stars completely aligned for Pastor. Williams genuinely had an excellent car that weekend (Senna qualified 18th – nobody’s missing him from F1), and the only car capable of beating Maldonado found itself at the back of grid when a certain win for Hamilton was taken by yet another operational error for McLaren. Arguably an even better portrayal of his skill was his Singapore qualifying lap, or his excellent drive to 6th in Abu Dhabi despite having no KERS. But whilst I can only think of three impressive drives from Maldonado, there have been numerous showings from Hulkenberg of such class, style and brilliance that I may already have started talking about him as a future champion. I nearly cried when I saw the onboard of his fastest Q3 lap at Monza this year such was its sheer brilliance. For me, Hulkenberg is snapping at the heels of JB and Rosberg for the title of “best of the rest” behind the four superstars of Alonso, Hamilton, Vettel and Raikkonen. But what car will he be driving in 2014? A Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes or Lotus? No, a Force flaming India. Thank you Mr Ijaz…

      So there you have it; a nice light, uplifting summary of the status quo in our sport to really kick off the advent run-up with cheer…(sigh)…

      1. What is the point of hunting the world over, and spending millions and millions of pounds on junior categories, if when we find a Nico Hulkenberg or a Robin Frijns, we give him the cold shoulder?
        Driver sponsorship in F1 really needs to either be capped or banned altogether.

        Good points.

        1. @william-brierty forgot to tag you :)

          1. @andae23 – Thanks, I truly do vehemently believe that driver sponsorship is ruining the grids in F1 at the moment. The only question the team should ask when making a driver selection is who is the best available. Hulkenberg and Frijns have been the answers to that question, however do you seen them anywhere near a top seat in F1?

            Oh, and sorry for the essay, when I get a bit irate I tend to forget how much I’ve written!

        2. @william-brierty @andae23 I quite agree with you on this but I doubt it is possible because the link between the sponsor and the driver is not necessarily direct and you cannot forbid a company to sponsor a team because it is said linked to a particular driver.

      2. @william-brierty

        So there you have it; a nice light, uplifting summary of the status quo in our sport

        Exactly how I would have summed up your post! It was a nice read, kind of like listening to an e book, if that makes sense.

        As @andae23 says, you make good points, especially with capping driver sponsorship (although v hard to police). But to ban it altogether would simply reduce the number of teams on the grid. Would Lotus be around next year without any driver sponsorship at all? Never mind Caterham, Virgin et al

        1. @timi – By listening to an e-book, do you mean that you never knew when it was ever going to end? I listened to the Kite-Runner as an e-book by the pool once and I swear I was sat there for about two days…

          I know a complete ban of driver sponsorship would be unrealistic, but I don’t think a cap is unachievable, if, as you say, difficult to police. If we can just stack the odds in favour of drivers who don’t bring money but do bring talent, then it’d be a worthwhile exercise, even if it was a mere tokenist approach warding off teams from hiring Sirotkins, Chiltons, Nasrs and Van der Gardes. Any measure, whether it be a cap, or whether it be financial penalties for teams for benefiting from sponsorship, would at least go some way to help the countless drivers out there, like Kovalainen, Valsecchi, Bird, Korjus, Leimer and tragedy personified, Robin Frijns.

          I think the bottom line is F1 needs to find a new revenue stream, and it can’t simply be rich kids…

          1. Well taking into account F1’s nearly farcical current situation, LdM’s idea of 3 cars per team could be life-saving. Small teams could well line 2 pay drivers along with a talented one. That way you can kill 2 rabbits with one shot – solve their financial issues and promote true racing drivers. Sauber could do well with Guttierez+Sirotkin as cash source and Hulk as team leader. Chilton and Pic could have paid Raikkonen’s salary at Lotus, etc. I don’t think we’re too far from seeing this in the future.

            1. @klaas – Completely agree. The perks of three car teams are so extensive that I feel it is only a matter of time. The teams could then legitimately have one driver as a pay driver, but also not have any truly significant financial penalty. And imagine the racing! Three Red Bulls (Vettel, Ricciardo, Da Costa), three Ferraris (Alonso, Raikkonen, Hulkenberg), three Lotuses (Grosjean, Maldonado and Kovalainen) and three Mercedes (Hamilton, Rosberg, Bird) battling simply to get in the the top ten! The battling throughout the field would be amplified, although I think there would have to be points down to 15th so not to penalize midfield teams. Three cars would also give teams a better basis with which to establish a commercial brand, and would benefit massively from it. I think it would just be more spectacular, and financially sustainable, and interesting, and fair on drivers that don’t have big budgets…

          2. @william-brierty Haha I didn’t mean it like that, but I know what you’re talking about!
            I actually meant that ebooks are both pleasant, and easy to read. Which is what I liked about your first post; a helll of a lot of information and opinion, but packaged in a way in which you reach the end not knowing you’d gotten through three sizeable paragraphs.

            I think the bottom line is F1 needs to find a new revenue stream, and it can’t simply be rich kids…

            You hit the nail on the head there.

    16. “We can all stick our heads in the sand and dance around the periphery, but until you address the fundamentals the rest of it is just window dressing.”

      I find it extremely ironic that Horner should be making these comments, given that he was the only team principal who objected to mandatory reporting and cost-cutting measures and instead insisted that the Resource Restriction Agreement was doing enough on its own to keep costs down, and he managed to stall the debate long enough to keep the RRA in place. No doubt he’s buoyed by reports that other teams are spending more money than Red Bull are, but we all know that there is creative accounting going on in all of the teams. Red Bull are just better than it than the others.

      Christian, if you’re reading this, you’re not a part of the solution. You’re the problem – unwilling to give up on aero development, insisting that failed agreements between the teams are working, and pretending that what is in the best interests for Red Bull are really what is in the best interests for the sport. I’m willing to bet that if Red Bull withdrew from Formula 1 today, costs would come down starting tomorrow.

      1. maarten.f1 (@)
        30th November 2013, 9:42

        I’m willing to bet that if Red Bull withdrew from Formula 1 today, costs would come down starting tomorrow.

        @prisoner-monkeys I doubt that’s a bet you’d win. While Red Bull is possibly part of the problem, it’s just because they’re winning now. If Red Bull quit the sport today, someone else would take their place (veto Ferrari for example) and do the same thing as long as they’re winning. I can’t fault them for not wanting to give up their advantage, no team would want to. That’s why the FIA must be above the parties and make a rule of it, and if the teams don’t like it, they can leave.

    17. Jazeman Jaafar? You mean the guy in the turquoise car that always finishes last in Formula Renault 3.5? I’m sorry, Mercedes, but you have got enough money to be above this sort of thing.

    18. Jaafar?? rumour has it that Aladdin will be testing next, it seems Mercedes are exploring a whole new world :-D

    19. You’ve got to admire the brass neck on Horner. The biggest spenders in F1, who have been the primary force in resisting any effort to control spending, now waving their hands and saying how dreadful it is that for some reason there are no cost controls in F1. It’d be funny if it wasn’t so stupid.

      1. I actually do not read it that way. He does not bemoan the lack of cost control in that article. He talks about things that increase spending, like introducing new engines at the time when half of the teams operate on shoestring. I agree that preaching about money sounds funny from him, but like it or not, he is right about this particular thing.

    20. I couldn’t care less – in the sense that a dark race has no extra appeal to me. I like Bahrain as it is, uninspiring though it may be to many others.

    21. David not Coulthard (@)
      1st December 2013, 14:09

      Bahrain to be a night race?

    Comments are closed.