LIVE COMMENTARY: 2010 BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX - BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX WEATHER
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As it happened: Bahrain Grand Prix Weather
By Geoff Creighton and Emlyn Hughes
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The waiting is almost over and the eagerly-anticipated 2010 FIA Formula 1 World Championship is poised to burst into life in the Sakhir Desert with the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix.
Formula 1 action resumes where it left off last November in the relatively stable climate of the Persian Gulf, with Sakhir located just 250 miles to the north-west of Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina.
While the odd band of rain has passed through the region over the winter - and this year's visit to Bahrain is earlier than the traditional April date - dry air, low humidity and fierce heat are expected to dominate the weather picture this weekend.
Unbroken sunshine is forecast across the three days of action, with no credible chance of rain. Temperatures will exceed 30 Celsius each day and are predicted to hit 33 degrees by Sunday.
Wind is the only real concern for the teams and a stiff breeze is expected each day - particularly on Saturday and Sunday, bringing with it the inevitable problems of sand and dust settling on the track surface.
We will take a further look at the weather for the weekend on Thursday, but the expectation is for a dry, warm weekend with little chance of that changing.
The Kingdom of Bahrain is ready to kick off the 60th anniversary season of the FIA Formula One World Championship with a dazzling display of entertainment and wall-to-wall sunshine to match this weekend.
More than 300 tonnes of freight have arrived at the Bahrain International Circuit over the last seven days, giving the teams an enormous task to set everything up in readiness for Sunday's 49-lap race on the newly extended circuit.
The drivers have been a little more leisurely in their arrival times, but are now ready for action to commence at the circuit. Michael Schumacher and World Champion Jenson Button are two of the last to touch base at the BIC this week - with the world champion present last night, and
, at the Laureus Sports Awards in Abu Dhabi.
There is little in the way of change to Monday's original forecast for the Sakhir circuit this weekend. The first day of action on Friday will see temperatures climb to 30 degrees Celsius with unbroken sunshine.
On Saturday the strong sunshine could turn slightly hazy at times, but it will remain very warm with the mercury reaching 30 degrees once again. For race day the temperature will rise even higher, possibly touching 32 Celsius with unbroken sunshine.
Track temperature will of course be a factor for the weekend - especially with a new section of circuit now added to the track layout. The teams and more importantly, Bridgestone, are braced for surface temperatures exceeding 40 degrees on all three days.
Today, the drivers have talked the talk for the final time before the real action gets underway. AUTOSPORT has all the news from a busy press and PR day at the BIC, but what we are all impatient to know is whether McLaren or Ferrari will claim an early advantage, or will it be the comeback king Michael Schumacher who steals the show?
Join us as the 2010 Formula One season kicks off with the first practice session. Our Friday coverage begins at 06:45 GMT.
Nico Rosberg topped the times as the Formula 1 season got underway in sweltering conditions at the Bahrain International Circuit.
Unbroken sunshine is dominating the weather picture, leading to high ambient and track temperatures in the Sakhir desert. The asphalt reached 48 Celsius this afternoon, giving teams plenty to worry about with tyre degradation and radiator cooling on their brand-new machines.
Forecast models remain unchanged heading into Saturday, predicting high temperatures of 33 or 34 degrees for the weekend. A breeze will continue to blow, but is expected to reduce a little in speed for race day.
Join us from 07.45 GMT tomorrow for final practice from Bahrain.
Sebastian Vettel grabbed pole position on a hot Saturday afternoon as the Red Bull came out on top of ever-increasing track temperatures during the qualifying hour.
Tomorrow's race will be all about managing tyre wear in the extreme heat as the strategy plays out in the first race without refuelling since Adelaide 1993.
The weather picture on Sunday will be very similar with conditions remaining hot and sunny in the Bahrain desert. Temperatures could peak at 34 Celsius, but may be tailing off a little when the race begins at 3pm local time.
Join us for build up and the race itself form 10.30 GMT tomorrow.
LIVE COVERAGE NAVIGATOR
Monday 08 Mar
Bahrain Grand Prix Weather
Friday 12 Mar
Friday Practice 1
Friday Practice 2
Saturday 13 Mar
Sunday 14 Mar
Race day at the Bahrain International Circuit
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