Five Things to Look Out for at the Bahrain GP

Published on
28 Feb 2024
Est. reading time
3 Min

Get up to speed with everything ahead for the 2024 Formula 1 season opener

Welcome to race week and the all-important first indicative running of the 2024 cars as the Formula 1 fraternity let loose at the Bahrain International Circuit for Round 1.
With months of meticulous planning and development behind us, the anticipation at Grove is palpable for us to see the FW46 racing against our nine rivals for the first time.
After learning lessons from last week's Pre-Season Test, Alex, Logan, and the team now face the first weekend of competitive action, and we've identified five things for everyone to look out for in the Bahrain GP.

Pecking Order Predictions

The first race of any season is not an ordinary Grand Prix event; it's a litmus test for the teams' hard work during the off-season and even earlier.
It provides a more authentic benchmark than testing, as all teams will push their 2024 entries to the limit rather than conducting internal test runs of their own choosing.
Unlike the remaining rounds, teams may treat the Free Practice sessions as additional test sessions to get the final bits of understanding about their new cars, but that will stop on Friday.
Qualifying will be the season's first moment where outright pace matters and, although every track has unique characteristics that will see some fare better than others, we'll have the first indicator for where Williams Racing sit within the grid.

Race Ready?

Unlike the controlled environment of Pre-Season Testing, race weekends introduce variables that we can't simulate but affect the ultimate pace of our car — namely, the other 18 drivers.
For all the time any team can spend practising race runs and even hot laps for a qualifying simulation in testing, there comes a point where all the rehearsal time can't prepare for traffic or other strategies.
Our ability to adapt and respond to these ever-changing dynamics will prove as vital as the speed of the FW46 and our two drivers piloting them.
We challenged for the top-10 positions semi-regularly in 2023; can we be up there more often in 2024?

Let's Talk Tyres

Pirelli is not bringing any new compounds for the upcoming season, and there are no new rules governing tyre usage either.
However, these four wheels are the only point of contact the car has with the circuit, and maximising their performance is arguably the single universal truth for every team.
Tyre usage varies by car and driving style, and so with the FW46 being a wholly different beast from the FW45, we will need to understand how the Pirellis behave with our new car and learn how to fulfil the potential of both.
Watch Logan's Bahrain Track Walk

One Year Later

James and Logan entered their first race for Williams Racing at the 2023 Bahrain GP, and their first in what were effectively new jobs for each.
Each has a year of additional experience now as a Team Principal and Formula 1 driver, respectively, and seeing their progress as they advance through their career will be something to keep an eye on.
The trouble for each of them is their rather impressive performances on their debut one year ago: James scored a point for his new team, and Logan had an outstanding P12 finish in his very first race!

New Cars for our F2 Duo

Alex and Logan aren't the only Williams Racing drivers competing in new machinery in Bahrain this weekend.
Zak O'Sullivan and Franco Colapinto, members of the Williams Racing Driver Academy, will begin their maiden Formula 2 championship campaign after graduating from Formula 3 last year.
Although that would mean a new car for their rookie season, there's an all-new Formula 2 car entirely for even the returning drivers to get a handle on.
That change could see Zak and Franco make the most of this chassis shake-up and kickstart their F2 campaign in style at the Sakhir Circuit during their races on Friday and Saturday.
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