Autosport Podcast: F1 Bahrain Preview

The countdown is on until a new breed of Formula 1 cars hit the track for the Bahrain Grand Prix. Just days after the final test, the teams are ready to do battle for real at the Bahrain International Circuit.

George Russell, Mercedes W13

Autosport Grand Prix Editor Alex Kalinauckas and F1 Reporter Luke Smith stayed out in Bahrain and will be back in the paddock this weekend. They're joined by our latest recruit to the Autosport F1 team, Matt Kew.

With time over the last few days to crunch the numbers, we discuss why Mercedes might genuinely be struggling to dial in the setup of their new car, and not just talking themselves down, and why Red Bull and Ferrari were looking strong based on what we witnessed trackside in Barcelona and Bahrain.

PLUS: The surprising F1 first race win trend its new era may alter

The predictable midfield battle, as we have come to know it, looks ripe for a shakeup. The difference from the top to bottom of the timesheets is likely closer than we've seen in recent years, as demonstrated by moments of stronger pace from Haas and Williams during testing.

Finally, we discuss some of the news of the week, including today's FIA clarification of the Safety Car rule, and that "ALL CARS that have been lapped by the leader will be required to pass the cars on the lead lap" (our caps) rather than "any cars", the source of so much Abu Dhabi controversy.

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