Lewis looking to take desert track by storm
PUBLISHED: 13:22 02 April 2008 | UPDATED: 21:27 26 October 2009
HOCH ZWEI / Michael Kunkel
LEWIS Hamilton bids to get his season back on track in the Middle East this Sunday. After the disappointment of Malaysia, the 23-year-old Herts driver will be looking for his second podium of the season when the Bahrain Grand Prix takes place at Sakhir. T
LEWIS Hamilton bids to get his season back on track in the Middle East this Sunday.
After the disappointment of Malaysia, the 23-year-old Herts driver will be looking for his second podium of the season when the Bahrain Grand Prix takes place at Sakhir.
The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team arrives at the Bahrain International Circuit this week leading the constructors' table with 24 points and Hamilton top of the drivers' standings with 14.
The track was purpose-built for Formula 1 and rises out of the desert.
Hamilton enjoys the layout, specifically the overtaking opportunities.
"Bahrain is a really cool circuit," said the Tewin driver.
"It is quite different to any other because you are literally driving round the desert.
"There are no trees or buildings as you are driving round, just desert.
"I really like the track, there are a lot of opportunities to overtake, for example turns one, four, seven and 10.
"With all the straights you can do a lot of slipstreaming and then make sure you get good exits. So in terms of racing, it is a very good track."
Taking a spin round the circuit, Hamilton said: "The layout is a great design, starting off with a very long straight, then down to a very tight first gear corner and then you accelerate through a slight kink before going up another long straight.
"It is a curvy circuit with lots of kinks and gradient changes that are quite large in some areas."
Behind stuck in the middle of the desert also brings problems with sand being blown onto the track.
Hamilton, second in Bahrain last year, said: "The wind plays a big part, bringing sand onto the track.
"That means any part that is off-line is very slippery."
After coping with the weather conditions of Melbourne and Kuala Lumpur in the first two rounds, Sunday's race in Bahrain completes a testing trio of opening races, as Lewis was quick to point out.
"It is very hot in Bahrain, as with Australia and Malaysia, so it is ideal that these three are together at the beginning as they are all very physically demanding and you can prepare for them all at one time."
Since finishing fifth in Malaysia last month Hamilton has spent some time in Thailand.
However, it wasn't all play. He said: "My trainer came along as I had a pretty intensive programme of physical training for the time we were there."
Practice takes place at Bahrain on Friday, with qualifying Saturday and the grand prix itself on Sunday.
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