Ahead of what looks set to be an important weekend for Formula 1’s future as Liberty unveils its post-2020 plan to teams, Crash.net F1 Editor Luke Smith brings you his notebook from Thursday in Bahrain.

- F1 bosses will present their blueprint for the post-2020 future of the sport in a meeting with teams on Friday morning, set to be attended by all the major players in the sport.

- After adding a third DRS zone in Australia, the FIA has again moved to aid overtaking for Bahrain by extending the DRS zone on the main straight. Drivers will be able to use DRS 100 metres earlier on the main straight than last year.

- Bahrain International Circuit officials confirmed there was a small fire underneath the main grandstand on Wednesday following an electrical overload. “The incident does not impact any of our preps for this weekend’s grand prix,” the circuit confirmed, with the seats in the grandstand not being damaged.

- Following trials in pre-season testing, drivers will have another opportunity to practice the standing restart procedure in the event of a race being suspended. However, the race notes stressed that drivers should “leave the grid in an orderly fashion” and “they should not attempt to carry out a practice start.”

- Both Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley will move onto new engine elements this weekend following issues in Melbourne. Gasly confirmed the new MGU-H is a modified version of the one that failed in Australia, while the ICE and turbocharger are the same spec. The old parts are unlikely to be used again, whereas Hartley said his MGU-H and TC from Melbourne may still be in the pool after the changes were made as a precaution.

- Gasly also revealed during a press session about a rift that emerged with compatriot Esteban Ocon during their junior careers. “We are not so [much] friends,” Gasly said. “We used to be. I started to beat him and he didn’t like it, so we are not friends anymore. It got to a point where he got a bit too upset and wasn't so nice anymore, so we stopped being friends. If we don't talk about racing, it's fine. We can spend time together. We respect each other. But it doesn't go further than that.”

- Ocon confirmed that while Force India is bringing a new-spec front wing to Bahrain, there is only one available and that Sergio Perez is likely to get it due to team policy favouring the higher-placed driver in the standings. While neither driver scored points in Australia, Perez finished 11th to Ocon’s 12th, putting him ahead in the championship.

- Haas has changed some of the roles in its pit crew for this weekend’s race following the two race-ending issues in Australia. Team principal Günther Steiner also confirmed that two of the six crew members involved in the tyre changes in Melbourne were new to the team, with additional practice taking place from Wednesday onwards in Bahrain.

- Sebastian Vettel was asked to pick out his three favourite moments in F1 ahead of his 200th grand prix start in Bahrain this weekend: “The first win for sure stands out. Then winning the championship in Abu Dhabi. And probably the first win with Ferrari in Malaysia in 2015. I think generally I'm very lucky to be able to pick from a lot of good memories.”

- Lewis Hamilton said that while he isn’t sure if anyone fell for his April Fool’s post on Instagram where he said he would be moving to MotoGP in 2018, he did wish drivers could cross codes more easily as in the past. “I wish it was like the olden days, where you could do like John Surtees where you could do bikes and cars,” Hamilton said. “For a MotoGP rider, they can test F1 and do it all year long and still compete in MotoGP. I couldn’t practise MotoGP because I’m going to come off for sure, as everyone does, and hurt yourself. When you get older, you stop being bounce-proof. [Marc] Marquez is pretty much bounce proof but he’s still young.”

- Hamilton will become the first driver in F1 history to record 100 starts for two teams this weekend. Hamilton made 110 starts for McLaren, with his 100th for Mercedes coming in Bahrain on Sunday.

- Due to his commitments in Bahrain this weekend, Fernando Alonso will not feature in the FIA World Endurance Championship’s pre-season ‘Prologue’ test at Paul Ricard in France, taking place on Friday and Saturday. Alonso will make his official WEC debut at the 6 Hours of Spa at the start of May.

- Following its ‘Engineered Insanity’ marketing campaign debuting in Australia, F1 released a second ‘hype edit’ video recapping the race on Thursday.


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