Will Pittenger / Wikimedia Commons
The Bahrain International Circuit is one of Hermann Tilke's better tracks. It features a number of genuine passing opportunities and several interesting corners.
The main problem is the location. Situated in a desert, the circuit is vulnerable to having sand blown onto the surface.
This can affect grip levels and prevent predictable track evolution from taking place.
Turns 1, 2 and 3
A lap begins with a fairly long run down to Turn 1. It should be noted the timing line for qualifying laps is much closer to the final corner than the race start line.
Turn 1 is a very tight right-hand hairpin, and the braking zone is often affected by wind. It's the most obvious overtaking spot on the track, and often the scene of an incident or two on the opening lap.
As soon as they exit the first corner, the drivers have to get back across to the right-hand side of the circuit for the left-hand Turn 2. This was relatively straightforward in 2013 but should prove more challenging this year due to the less-benign power delivery of the new engines.
Turn 3 is a flat-out right-hand kink immediately after Turn 2.
A medium-length straight follows.
Turn 4 is a tight right-hander at the end of the straight, and perhaps just as good an overtaking spot as the first corner.
The Turns 1, 2 and 3 section is excellent for bunching up cars. Any driver defending into Turn 1 will probably be severely compromised through the next two corners, allowing his rival a second attempt on the straight towards Turn 4.
In addition, Turn 2 will put a lot of cars out of shape, reducing their speed as they enter the straight.
Overtaking on the exit of Turn 4 is also possible.
Turns 5, 6, 7 and 8
After a short straight comes this fast, downhill section which is probably the most exciting part of the circuit from the driver's point of view.
The left of Turn 5 is flat, then the drivers scrub off pace as the track heads downhill. Turn 6 is slower but still quick, and Turn 7 was flat in 2013 but may need some delicate throttle work this time around.
The downhill slope continues to the very slow right-hand hairpin Turn 8. Someone could try a move up the inside here, but it isn't really an overtaking spot.
Turns 9 and 10
There's a small uphill straight next, before the track dives back downhill through the very tricky Turn 9. On its own it would be easy, but the braking zone for Turn 10 (a slow left-hand hairpin) starts midway through the corner.
The drivers have to brake while still turning, and try to balance the car into the apex of Turn 10. Getting it right here is crucial, because the corner leads onto the back straight.
This straight runs parallel to the pit straight. It's shorter, but the nature of Turn 10 can make it a decent overtaking opportunity.
Turns 11, 12 and 13
At the end of the straight is the medium-speed left-hander of Turn 11. The track slopes downhill at the entry and it's not uncommon to see drivers get it wrong.
The exit is very long, and the circuit heads uphill and into Turn 12, a long, fast, uphill right-hander. This was easy flat-out in 2013, but a small lift might be needed this year.
The drivers have a few seconds to straighten the car out before braking for Turn 14. This is a slightly downhill medium-speed right, which sends the cars out onto a fairly long straight.
Turns 14 and 15
The straight has a brief rise and a slightly longer fall, and then comes Turn 14, another medium-speed right. It's slightly downhill but mostly straightforward.
Getting it right is very important, because this is the last proper corner on the circuit and it leads onto the 1090-metre long pit straight and the end of the lap.
Turn 15? Blink and you'll miss it. It's more an extension of the exit of Turn 14 than a corner in its own right—if it didn't have a number, you probably wouldn't know it was there.
Maybe Tilke gets paid by the corner?
The pit lane entry is on the right-hand side of the track shortly after the final corner, and the exit is just before Turn 1.