Hamilton winning this race certainly isn’t out of question due to Mercedes historically hiding their car’s capabilities in testing.
The Stevenage-born driver will be determined to forget about last season’s finale at Abu Dhabi and go on to claim a record-breaking eighth World Driver’s Championship, having won here last season, a victory for the 37-year-old is a possibility.
George Russell has replaced Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes this season and has shown promise here in the past, although in a different track layout, as the 24-year-old from King’s Lynn lead the Sakhir GP in 2020 when he stood in for Hamilton, but, his race was ultimately ruined by a botched pit stop from Mercedes as they fitted on Bottas’ tyres.
Last season, Russell somehow managed 16 points with Williams who were on paper the second-slowest team on the grid, helping them to exceed expectations by finishing eighth in the Constructor’s Championship.
Norris was the ninth quickest driver in testing, although the Brit was using C2 tyres which are a hard compound which are predominantly used for durability, meaning that there could be a lot more potential to extract from the McLaren.
A driver we will welcome back to the grid this season is Alex Albon who is driving for Williams this season, having been demoted to Red Bull’s Test Driver for the 2021 season having struggled to fit in at Christian Horner’s team due to inconsistent results.
The Grove-based team could have another troubled season if their pre-season test results are anything to go by, although they will be hoping that former Red Bull driver Albon can add to the 197 career points total that he has accumulated when he make his debut at Bahrain.