F1 2016
Ferrari will be keen to continue to challenge Mercedes after coming close to beating them as the season opening Australian GP Getty

The first night race of the 2016 season is upon us as the F1 juggernaut arrives at the Bahrain international circuit in Sakhir following an entertaining season opening Australian GP, which saw the Mercedes duo of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton finish first and second respectively.

It was not a straight forward race following a blistering start from the Ferrari's saw Sebastian Vettel lead the way for most of the race. However, a poor strategy call midway through the race saw him drop back and settle for third place.

The positive to come out of the race, however, was Ferrari's step forward in terms of race pace and Mercedes expect the Maranello-based team to be closer in the desert circuit.

The new tyre rules, which allow the drivers to choose 10 sets among the three compounds on offer, also make the race interesting with varied strategies. The new qualifying format will also return in Bahrain despite its failed debut at the season opening race at Albert Park.

Where to watch live

The first practice session of the Bahrain Grand Prix starts at 12pm BST, with Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports F1 HD providing live coverage in the UK.

Real-time internet updates are available on the Live Timing section of the sport's official website.

Live coverage of the second practice session starts at 4pm BST.

Track Facts

  • Circuit name: Bahrain International Circuit
  • First F1 Race: 2004
  • Circuit length: 5.412kms
  • Number of laps: 57
  • Race distance: 308.238 km
  • Lap record: 1:31.447 Pedro De La Rosa (2005)
  • Most wins: Fernando Alonso (3)
  • 2015 winner: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
  • 2015 pole: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

Drivers' Championship review

Nico Rosberg (25 points) leads the championship following his victory in the opening round in Australia with Lewis Hamilton (18 points) second and Sebastian Vettel (15 points) third.

Haas Racing's Romain Grosjean put in the drive of the opening weekend to take eight points for the American team on their debut to start the season in the sixth place, while Felipe Massa and Daniel Ricciardo are ahead of him in fifth and fourth respectively.

Constructors' Championship review

Mercedes took maximum points possible for a team on a race weekend with a one-two finish and now lead Ferrari by 28 points. The Maranello-based team saw just one car cross the finish line after Kimi Raikkonen retired with engine trouble, which means they are just one point ahead of Williams in third and three points ahead of Red Bull Racing in fourth.