2004 BAHRAIN GP
by Maximiliano Catania/FUNO!
Buenos Aires (AR), 04 Apr 2004
(Thursday) Not exactly a built-on-sand circuit. A U$S 150,000,000 budget and the permission of FIA led F1 to the first-ever Grand Prix in Middle East. As a matter of fact, exotic Bahrain will host F1 circus for first in a modern circuit which was built in 16 months. The hosts have announced to teams and people that the risk of a terrorist attack, if does exist, is to be very low. Apart from that, the circuit main straight is said to be the longest of Formula One Circuits, as Sheikhs and Jean Alesi have told to the world-wide press on past days.
(Friday) Schumacher fears for sand-effect. Six times World Champion Michael Schumacher said the big mystery of Sakhir Circuit (built 30 kilometres from Capital City Manama) is how the sand of the desert will influence on the performance of cars during the race. 'I believe everyone we're expectant on the sand-effect, whether the gearbox will be affected by the sand or not. I really hope this fact not to influence on the reliability of car.' Schumacher estimates the forecast for Sunday race will be alike Malaysian GP's. 'We're certain that it's going to be a "hot-race", in the whole meaning of word,' Ferrari driver said.
(Saturday) Sheikhs Schumacher and Barrichello claimed for first row. Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello (Ferrari) will lead the field for tomorrow's race. JP Montoya claimed for 3rd place (though his lap could be better but for that last lap-intermediate) and his team-mate Ralf Schumacher placed fourth, in front of BAR-Honda's duo, Takuma Sato and Jenson Button. Fernando Alonso (Renault) and Kimi Räikkönen (McLaren) will start from the last tiers of the grid due to penalties imposed on them.
(Sunday) Schumacher thrice in this year! Another clear victory of Michael Schumacher (Ferrari F2004-EF) drove German to his 73rd F1 win (100% effectiveness in 2004). The dominance of Red Cars make their rivals and fans fear of a repeat of the 2002 season, the most one-sided Championship in recent history. Schumi was escorted by team-mate Rubens Barrichello and Briton Jenson Button (BAR), who repeated performance of two weeks ago at Malaysia. Both McLaren drivers Kimi Räikkönen and David Coulthard retired due to engine problems and a crisis was finally unveiled into the team. Williams' drivers Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya (troubled with car in the last part of GP) placed 7th and 13th respectively.