After a long wait, the Formula 1 season is about to start up again in earnest. The site for the opening round of the season is the challenging and often hectic Bahrain International Circuit at Sakhir. Here is our F1 Bahrain track guide for beginners.
Image credit: Codemasters / EA
On the calendar most years since 2004, the Bahrain Grand Prix has provided a great deal of intense racing, and it is certainly a mainstay in the new age of Formula 1.
As a circuit, its combination of tight-angle corners and long straights leads to several viable overtaking opportunities per lap. In particular, battles can rage on all the way from turn 1 to turn 6, before the esses bring them to their conclusions. So, what is the best way to navigate the 15 turns in Bahrain? Here is our F1 22 Bahrain Guide for beginners to help you out.
F1 22 Bahrain Sector 1
The opening sector at the Bahrain International Circuit may seem simple, but it’s a lot trickier than it looks. The first challenge you have to face is the heavy braking zone for turn 1. Here, it’s very important to avoid any front locking, or else you will find yourself flying deep into the corner. As such, this is not the corner to challenge yourself to go that little bit later on the brakes. The payoff is not worth the potential risk.
Immediately after the first corner is the turns 2-3 complex, which is the second hardest part of the entire circuit. If you aren’t running traction control, you will find your car’s rear end to be very slippery indeed on the traction zone at the exit of one.
Be careful with your throttle application. Moreover, try to limit your steering angle as you turn left for turn 2. You can cut the inside a little here, but doing so too much will likely leave you facing the wrong way.
After that, you will open your DRS wide and gain as much speed as you can before the braking zone for turn 4. Here, you can move your car all the way to the left-hand side of the track, and even a little bit beyond it.
Braking with two wheels on the left of the kerb allows you to open up the angle of the corner. By doing so, you can carry more apex speed. On the exit, patience is once again a virtue as it can be extremely difficult to lay the power down – especially once your tyres start to wear.
Once you have navigated the first sector, it’s time for the esses. Here, you should once again move your car as far to the left as you can before entering turn 6. Brake a little, but not too much.
For 7, you should be able to put the power down before reaching the apex of the corner, as the widening track on the exit gives you plenty of space. Throughout these corners, be wary of the kerbs. In particular, the serrated kerbs on the exit of turn 7 can easily put you in a spin.
Then, it’s back over to the left as soon as you can to open up turn 8. This one is quite tricky, and your primary focus should be on kissing the apex of the corner at just the right point.
If you’ve managed to get all the way to the left of the track before you started braking, this shouldn’t be too difficult. As with turns 1 and 4, be careful with your throttle application on the exit, and avoid the exit kerbs.
Sweeping through 9, you will now be approaching the infamous turn 10. This is one of the most difficult corners on the entire F1 calendar. Nobody is expecting you to nail it first try, just making your way through it without flying off the road is the important part.
Avoid the outside kerb in the braking zone at all costs and be very cautious to avoid front locking. Both of these issues are a potential death sentence. Aim for the apex as best you can, and once again stay off the kerbs on the exit. Lay down the power with the utmost care and breathe a sigh of a relief.
Turn 11 is next. As with turn 4, you can have two wheels off the circuit on the outside of the braking zone, thus opening up the corner angle. Tap the inside kerb, but don’t ride directly over it. Straighten up the car as best you can on the exit, avoiding the exit kerbs entirely. Only once your car is more or less in a straight line should you start to really put your foot down.
Turn 12 is flat out, but there is a slight challenge to it. As with so many parts of the Bahrain International Circuit, the kerbs on the inside of turn 12 are venomous. Do not touch them.
Now we move on to what is the easiest section of our F1 Bahrain setup guide, sector 3. That being said, it’s still not exactly a walk in the park, especially when it comes to turn 13.
Here, you will once again need to focus on getting your car as far to the left-hand side of the track as you can on entry. Then, aim for the blind apex.
On this occasion, it’s not the end of the world if you miss the apex, as long as you carry decent speed and don’t run too wide on the exit. Feel free to use the exit kerbs, there is little to no risk of a loss of traction here.
Then, it’s a simple straight line until you reach the final test, turns 14 and 15. Effectively, these are one single corner. Brake late, and aim to plant the gentlest possible kiss on the inside kerb at the apex.
Then, straighten up your car, using the natural width of the road on the exit to get your power down as soon as possible. After that, all that’s left to do is hold down the throttle and gun it for the finish line.
Now that you know how to drive the circuit, you’ll need a good setup. Thankfully, we have the perfect F1 Bahrain starter setup guide right here.
Did you find our F1 22 Bahrain track guide helpful? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!