Lewis Hamilton is the 9/4 favourite to record his first win of the season at the Bahrain Grand Prix – if the controversial race even goes ahead.
Further problems for the race – which has already attracted criticism due to Bahrain’s human rights record – occurred on Thursday when Force India mechanics were caught in the middle of clashes between police and protesters that led to tear gas entering their car as petrol bombs were thrown over their vehicle.
It’s just the latest in a long line of problems to face the Grand Prix which was cancelled last year due to anti-government protests in the country.
However, Bahrain circuit chairman Zayed R Alzayani seems rather non-plussed by the problems that has seen several members of the Force India team return home.
He said: “They weren’t targeted. They just happened to be there.
“I think it’s unfortunate. It’s an issue of timing. It could happen in any place in the world really, getting caught up in a riot or a fight or anything.”
If his attitude is anything to go by then the race will certainly go ahead – and one person who will surely hope it does is Hamilton.
Despite two pole positions already this season, the McLaren driver has failed to turn his dominant qualifying performances into victories, but is confident of changing that this weekend.
The 2008 World Champion said: “The target every year is to have consistency and some years it doesn’t go to plan.
“But this year I am fortunate to be on the podium at each of the three races, so it’s fantastic.”
The Englishman has yet to win the Grand Prix in any of his previous outings though and faces a tough test with the likes of Jenson Button (5/2) and Nico Rosberg (6/1) both threatening.