April 17, 2013
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After only 3 races out of the cockpit, former Caterham driver Heikki Kovalainen will drive for the team in the next two race weekends in the practice sessions.
He will take the place of Alexander Rossi, who was originally set to drive in these sessions. Kovalainen will drive in Giedo van der Garde’s car for FP1 and possibly FP2 for both race weekends.
Caterham say the reason for the switch is because of Rossi’s move to the Caterham GP2 team, replacing Ma Qing Hua. However, seeing as Heikki was originally dropped because of financial reasons, rumours are growing that the Finn is preparing a comeback with his former team.
April 16, 2013
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Pirelli has made the call to drop the soft compound tyre for the Bahrain Grand Prix, after heavy degradation in last weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix.
No driver spent more than 7 laps on the soft tyre in China, and several drivers were quick to criticise the option tyre. With this in mind, the teams will now be using the medium and hard compounds for next Sunday’s race. Last year saw the use of the soft and medium tyres at the Sakhir International Circuit.
Despite the change, Pirelli are estimating that most drivers will run 3-stop strategies next weekend.
April 20, 2012
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Ecclestone has insisted there is no danger of F1 returning to Bahrain
Both Bahrain’s Crown prince and Formula 1 ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone have reiterated that the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend will go ahead as planned, despite several incidents involving protestors and the teams.
Force India pulled out of second practice to avoid a repeat of Wednesday evening, when their team bus was caught up in a petrol bomb attack. Sauber team personnel reported seeing protests and fires on their way back to the hotel.
Despite this, crown prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa has said that cancelling the race would simply “empower extremists”:
"I think cancelling the race just empowers extremists. For those of us trying to
navigate a way out of this political problem, having the race allows us to build
bridges across communities, to get people working together. It allows us to
celebrate our nation. It is an idea that is positive, not one that is divisive."
Meanwhile, Ecclestone claimed that responsibility of the race had nothing to do with him:
"I can’t call this race off. Nothing to do with us. We’ve an agreement to be here,
and we’re here. The national sporting authority in this country can call the race
off. You can ask the FIA if they can."
Hacking group Anonymous threatened to take down the official F1 website in retaliation for the race going ahead. The site was down for several hours in the afternoon, but as of now it is back up and running. Other F1 websites have also been defaced in protest.