Sub 55-second F1 laps expected in Bahrain for Sakhir GP

Sebastian Vettel driving the (5) Scuderia Ferrari SF90 on track during the F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain. Image: Lars Baron / Getty.
Sebastian Vettel driving the (5) Scuderia Ferrari SF90 on track during the F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain. Image: Lars Baron / Getty.

• Formula 1 confirmed the outer track will be used for the Sakhir Grand Prix on December 6.

• The super fast circuit only has 11 corners and is just 3.543 kilometres long. 

• The short distance of the track is likely to translate into the first sub-55 second lap in the sport's history. 

Eighty-seven laps, 3.543 kilometres-long and a proper late night Grand Prix are the ingredients confirmed for the Sakhir GP set to take place in Bahrain in December.

The sport confirmed that the second leg of the double-header will use the outer track. It's the second shortest track on the calendar, after Monaco, and will also see the most laps of any race this year: 87. 

The sport has a minimum distance of 305km for every race, hence the high number of laps. 

The short distance of the track means qualifying laps could dip below 55 seconds. F1's simulations are predicting race lap times to be sub one minute. 

A record that has stood for 46 years is likely to be broken in Bahrain. Former world champion Niki Lauda holds the record for the only sub-60 second pole lap time. He executed the feat in Dijon at the 1974 French GP. 

The super quick outer track has just 11 corners as opposed to the standard layout's 15 corners. 

The F1 season will culminate in Bahrain and end with 17 races in a season delayed by the effect of the global coronavirus pandemic. 

According to, Ross Brawn, the sport's managing director of motorsport said: "We are excited to announce the outer circuit as the format for the Sakhir Grand Prix and want to thank our partners at the Bahrain International Circuit for their continued support."

"We assessed a number of options for the alternative circuit layout and concluded the outer circuit will provide the best alternative and will provide a new challenge for all the teams and entertain all our fans with high speeds and fast lap times."

Read the original article here.

The championship is seemingly a three-horse race with Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton seeking a seventh drivers' title leading the standings ahead of Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas. 

Hamilton holds a 47 point advantage over Verstappen and a 50 point lead over his Mercedes team mate. Hamilton has won five of the seven races this season, and the last two consecutive Grand Prix. 

The next fixture is at Monza for the Italian GP, it's Ferrari's home race and all eyes will be on the scarlet cars as they limp along in 2020 in fifth place in the constructors' championship with 61 points, and no wins. 

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