Kimi Raikkonen
Kimi Central arrow F1 news arrow 2006 BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX - PREVIEW
Sunday, 18 February 2018
Monday, 06 March 2006
f1news.jpg KIMI RAIKKONEN:
"It is great to be back racing in Bahrain this weekend. It has been a busy winter season for us, with hard work taking place in every part of the team. Since my first outing in the MP4-21 at Barcelona on Thursday 26th January I have covered more than 3200 km with the new car. The car has felt good on track and is quick, which can be seen from the improvements in lap times of more than 3 seconds. Of course I want to carry on from our performance last year and be challenging for race wins, however we will only see where we are in Bahrain after qualifying..."

"It is also going to be interesting this weekend to go back to tyre changes in the pit stops, we had to adapt driving styles slightly for last year as we didn't have tyre changes, so it may mean people are more aggressive as it is not so important to look after your tyres. Bahrain is a good track, it always seems to have exciting races and I hope there will be another one this year to start the 2006 season."

"The start of the 2006 season will be even more exciting than the previous years with all the changes of the technical and sporting regulations. It is a bit different for me this year as I now know the team and the car really well from the very start of the season. We have completed some intensive work on the test track. Since starting my test programme with the MP4-21 on 24 January I have been at the wheel for 12 days and covered more than 3500 km. In addition to this I have spent 8 days at the McLaren Technology Centre with the engineers, working on debriefs, seat-fitting and in the simulation department and I feel well prepared for the long season ahead. But as always there is a lot of work still to be done. The Bahrain track hasn't been my most successful venue to date, and starting there will be slightly tougher for me, as I didn’t race there last season. However I qualified well in 2004 and I always enjoy driving on tracks designed by Hermann Tilke. It has a good mix of corners, turn 12 is pretty cool and quite like Eau Rouge, so you are pushing it hard through the corner as it sweeps you right up the hill. The track is quite tough on the brakes though, as there are a number of long straights and slow corners, and little chance for them to cool. However it is not as bad as Canada, but we do need to make sure we manage this through the race."


The 2006 FIA Formula One World Championship gets underway this coming weekend at the Bahrain International Circuit. Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya will be racing the Team McLaren Mercedes MP4-21 in the desert Kingdom, which is opening the season as the Commonwealth Games is currently taking place in the usual host city, Melbourne.

The Bahrain Grand Prix, which is being held for the third time, heralds the start of what promises to be another competitive and exciting year in the sport of Formula One, with 18 races in five continents across the globe, ending in Brazil in eight months.

2006 has seen the introduction of a raft of new technical and sporting regulations. The change from V10 to V8 engines is the most significant, and has dominated the design process of the MP4-21. Fundamentally a new car to incorporate the new Mercedes-Benz FO 108S V8, the basic concept of the MP4-21 is an evolution from 2005. Other technical changes include the raising by 50mm of the forward deflector, and an increase of 50 per cent of the crash test loads to the rear structure. The MP4-21 hit the test track on Monday 23rd January, and has completed over 8700 test km over the course of an intensive programme of 28 days.

Sporting regulations will see the re-introduction of tyre changes during pit stops and a new qualifying format. The single lap system of 2005 has been replaced with a three part knockout. Multiple cars are allowed on track throughout the qualifying hour, which is split into two 15 minutes sessions and a final 20 minute session. After the first 15 minutes, the bottom six cars drop out of the running, assuming the last six places on the grid. This is repeated for the second session, leaving 10 cars to compete in a shootout for the top ten grid positions.


Comments: New season, new regulations, new teams...

This season looks more open than the last one. I still think the main title contenders will be the same (Kimi, Alonso, Schumacher and maybe Button). Let 's hope Kimi has a problem-free season and wins this one :)

Will Kimi beat Alonso in 2013 - 2014 season?
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