With the 2020 Bahrain GP just days away, excitement is building for what could be a spectacular end to the 2020 Formula One season. Last years Bahrain GP provided heartbreak for Charles Leclerc as the Ferrari driver lost what looked set to be his maiden victory in the closing laps of the race.
After introducing our new ‘Race Insights’ a few weeks ago for the Turkish GP, we are excited to reveal our predictions for this Sunday’s race around the Bahrain International Circuit.
If you wish to find out more about the AI technology and data collection behind our race predictions, read our latest article.
The importance of a good qualifying performance can never be understated. However, this weekend, qualifying could prove especially important with rain forecast on both Saturday and Sunday over the circuit.
Rain has always been considered the great equaliser in Formula One, allowing drivers (regardless of their car), to show their true ability on track. However, this weeks qualifying predictions produce few surprises.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding Saturday’s weather conditions, it appears certain that Mercedes will continue their dominant performance in qualifying with Lewis Hamilton set to out perform his teammate Valtteri Bottas. This would be the seven time world champions 10th pole this season and his 98th career pole.
The insights predict that once again Max Verstappen will start on the second row of the grid, just behind the Mercedes pair with Charles Leclerc for company. Further down the grid, both Pierre Gasly and Lando Norris appear set to outqualify their more experienced teammates with both McLarens starting within the top ten.
In the battle for third in the constructors championship, both McLaren and Racing Point are predicted to start the weekend strongly whilst both Renault’s will be left with work to do on race day, starting in the middle of the pack.
Historic race data and circuit analysis predicts that there will be an average of two pit stops during the race with the potential for teams to attempt alternative strategies in the midfield battle.
The average time lost during a pitstop at the Bahrain International Circuit is 22.4 seconds, making it one of the shortest pitstop delta times in the 2020 calendar. With potentially two pitstops for teams to tackle over the course of the race, a quick and efficient stop could make all the difference.
The appearance of the safety car could also dramatically change the course of the race with a 33% chance of at least one safety car period. Despite this, last years race saw no safety car periods and only one retirement.
Where will each driver finish?
Our Race Insights predict the following finishing positions as the checkered flag falls on Sunday afternoon…
By using historic race data and AI technology we can predict that Lewis Hamilton will be victorious at the 2020 Bahrain GP with Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen also finishing on the podium.
Valtteri Bottas is expected to achieve the extra point for the fastest lap of the race with the Mercedes team proving dominant at the circuit and winning for the second consecutive season.
These insights also predict that the weekend will prove positive for both Ferrari and Racing Point, both of whom look set to gain on their qualifying positions. However, for the other midfield teams (McLaren and Renault), the race appears to be one of mixed fortunes.
With several teams vying for points and the season drawing to a close, reliability could be the key factor in deciding the midfield battle and with uncertainty surrounding the weather on race day, there is every chance that teams at the back of the grid may be able to fight for championship points!
Qualifying Result – Hamilton to qualify on pole with his teammate Bottas also on the front row of the grid.
Race Result – Hamilton to win his 95th grand prix with Bottas and Verstappen also on the podium.
Fastest Lap – Bottas with a race dominating Mercedes.
DNFs – Six; Norris, Ocon, Grosjean, Russell, Latifi and Albon.
Thank you to Erick Mahle for providing our Race Insights!
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