Tyre selection to be a factor in Bahrain - Lowe

© XPB 

Mercedes will be looking to pick up in Bahrain where it left off in Melboure when the German team gets down to business on Friday.

While the Silver Arrows squad - and Nico Rosberg in particular - gained an upper hand over its rivals in Australia thanks to a profitable and well-timed tyre strategy versus arch rival Ferrari, technical director Paddy Lowe believes tyre selection may prove even more crucial in the Sakhir desert.

"Bahrain is quite a different track to Melbourne, so it will be interesting to see how we fare," said Paddy Lowe.

"One thing you can normally guarantee is that it will be dry. Unlike the rain-hit Melbourne weekend, this will provide plenty of opportunity for track time.

"Thanks to their evening timings, qualifying and the race in Bahrain see much cooler track temperatures than the mid-afternoon FP1 / FP3 sessions - making the latter somewhat unrepresentative. This potentially makes tyre selection even more of a factor.

This year's new tyre regulations allow drivers to choose their compounds ahead of each event, and also to race all three available Pirelli rubber should they choose to do so.

Interestingly, compared to Ferrari, which has taken a more conservative approach for next weekend with extra sets of Medium compound, Mercedes has opted to provide Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg with just a single set each of  Mediums in addition to its allocation of Soft and SuperSoft rubber.

"We know already that there is a marked difference between the allocations selected by competing teams for this race, so we could see a few surprises.

"A big positive from Melbourne was seeing how well the new tyre rules delivered in terms of strategy variation - and we expect to see more of the same here.

"We've seen close battles throughout the field in both years of twilight racing in Bahrain, so we look forward to hopefully providing another spectacular evening for the fans."

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