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Live Reporting

Gary Rose

All times stated are UK

  1. What strategy to expect?

    Andrew Benson

    BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer

    Strategy appears unusually open for this Grand Prix, with a much greater likelihood than normal that it will be a two-stop. And Mercedes, in particular, are going into the race with much less tyre data than normal, as they spent much all of Friday concentrating on learning what turned out to be the rather unpopular 2021 tyres, the debate over which you can read about here.

    McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl said on Saturday evening: “It will be an interesting race, with many challenges, with two stops or more.”

    The likely strategy is to use two sets of mediums and one set of hard compound tyres over the race in whatever order. Some might be tempted to do a one-stop, but those who tried that last year fell away, and the tyre selection is one grade softer this year.

    The soft is likely to be eschewed by most, as it has very high degradation and would last only something like 10 laps at the start of the race. It might be tempting, though, for anyone who needs to try to make up track position with a burst of speed, or after a late safety car period.

    A pit stop costs about 23 seconds in racing conditions. The official weather forecast has a 40% chance of rain, but the teams think it is highly likely to be dry.

  2. The grid 11-20

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  3. The grid 1-10

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  4. Post update

    It isn't just about rocking up to the track and cracking on with the racing for the drivers, some have been up and busy preparing for hours.

    Here's Kimi looking delighted to be involved in what I'm guessing is lockdown zoom chat number 782.

    View more on twitter
  5. 'Pure pace will decide a lot of things'

    Valtteri Bottas, who lines up second on the grid, speaking to Sky Sports: "There were some things I could have done better and some things hopefully set up wise will help me do better today.

    "The start of course. This race is particularly dependent on the actual race pace. Pure pace will decide a lot of things today."

  6. Lighting up the paddock

    Almost as intriguing as what happens on the track is what you might see off it.

    Lawrence Barretto, a former scribe of these very pages and now a reporter for Formula 1, has quite the collection of trainers that seem to get more out there with every race.

    You won't miss the below when it drops dark...

    View more on twitter
  7. Who was the best of the rest?

    Andrew Benson

    BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer

    Sergio Perez

    The close fights for ‘best of the rest’ in drivers’ and constructors’ championships took a twist in qualifying. In the drivers’, Sergio Perez, who leads Daniel Ricciardo and Charles Leclerc by three and four points respectively, took fifth on the grid, ahead of the Australian’s Renault, with Leclerc a lowly 12th on a weekend on which Ferrari have looked to be struggling (although he might have made it into the top 10 had he repeated on the lap that counted in Q2 the first-sector time on the first lap that was interrupted by the red flag for Carlos Sainz’s stranded McLaren).

    In the constructors’ fight - rather more important, arguably, because many millions of pounds’ worth of prize money rest on it - it was a bad day for McLaren. They start the race five points behind Racing Point, but after Carlos Sainz had looked particularly strong all weekend, a rear-brake failure in second qualifying left him 15th. And a mistake by Lando Norris at Turn One on his Q3 lap left him ninth when he felt sixth was possible.

    Renault’s drivers gave their team a leg-up by taking sixth and seventh behind Perez, Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon separated by only 0.002secs. Renault are fifth and 15 points behind Racing Point, but the only team in this fight with two cars in the top 10 on the grid this weekend, and Ricciardo said: “The main thing is Perez is there. The ideal scenario is we both get him into Turn One and hold on and get back some of the points we lost a couple of weeks ago.”

  8. Post update

    Blue skies at the moment over the Sakhir circuit although with local time at 15:47 those skies will be darkening by the time the race gets under way at 14:10 GMT.

    View more on twitter
  9. 'We can't take our foot off the gas'

    Lewis Hamilton has no expectations of a comfortable cruise to victory today.

    The Briton starts ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen. Two of the last three races in Bahrain have been won from third, so Hamilton will be wary of the Dutchman.

    View more on twitter
  10. 'Hamilton has looked strong'

    Andrew Benson

    BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer

    Lewis Hamilton

    If anyone thought Lewis Hamilton might ease off a bit once the title was under his belt, they were disabused of it on Saturday. The world champion has looked strong all weekend. He topped both Friday practice sessions, headed all three qualifying sessions and took pole by a quarter of a second. Team-mate Valtteri Bottas, by contrast, has looked not quite there, locking brakes with regularity and never really on Hamilton’s pace. No wonder he looked a little bemused and even shell-shocked on Saturday evening.

    As the pressure is off. I think we are all enjoying it a lot more,” Hamilton said, in remarks that most certainly did not seem to apply to his team-mate. “It’s definitely more enjoyable when you don’t have the pressure as much and you can just do what you do to the best of your ability without any additional added pressure.”

    If he sets pole and wins all the remaining races, he could end the season with 100 poles and equalling the all-time record of 13 victories in a season. Hamilton says the numbers have never really mattered to him, but he’s certainly racking them up regardless.

  11. Post update

    Hello! Welcome along to our coverage of the Bahrain Grand Prix.

    We're heading into the final straight of what has been an unusual yet thrilling Formula 1 season with this the first of three remaining races.

    Lewis Hamilton has been imperious all season long but really seems to have got into his stride in the last few races, having won the last four in a row.

    The title may be in the bag but there are still records to be broken and Hamilton no doubt has those in his sights.

  12. Hamilton in no mood to relax

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    Normally when I've accomplished a sizable task - assembling a flat pack coffee table or redecorating a room for example - I like to put my feet up for a fair while after and I'm sure most people are the same.

    Not Lewis Hamilton.

    Fresh from winning his seventh world title, Hamilton went out and smashed qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix to claim his 10th pole position of the season.

    It was a devastating display and no doubt he will be in the mood to translate that into an 11th win of the year.