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F1: The Bahrain challenge – tyres, team rivals and turns

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F1: The Bahrain challenge – tyres, team rivals and turns | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: Shanghai provided the exact result I forecasted: Lewis Hamilton followed by Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel, with Kimi Raikkonen well in contention.

In fact, the safety car may have stopped any further attrition by the Iceman. It was nice to see Kimi back in form.

I speculated before Shanghai about how close Williams could get to Ferrari. The answer was ‘not nearly close enough.’ In fact, Williams may be falling back towards Red Bull and others.

So it’s on to Bahrain, where the local politics always provide some entertainment and where Pirelli is providing soft and medium compounds for a circuit dominated by long 300kmh straights and slow corners, so brakes will play a significant role.

Bahrain demands superb aerodynamics with sturdy low-speed traction. The desert location means the track evolution is uncertain, depending on how much sand blows onto the circuit.

High temperatures provide a real challenge to cooling systems and tyre management, with heavy demands on rear tyres, as opposed to Shanghai where the front left tyre took the brunt of the track’s attack.

However, both tyres have looked good in practice sessions.

Bahrain has the roughest asphalt of the season, which accelerates tyre degradation, partly mitigated as track and air temperatures fall as the race goes on.

Bahrain is no longer run during the day, and that reduces it to something comparable to Sepang, where Ferrari managed so well.

Expect a two-stop strategy, but there could be a difference in which tyre order teams choose to run. Soft-soft-medium is the probable strategy, but soft-medium-soft is also an option.

The expected performance gap between the two compounds, according to Pirelli, is 1.5 to 1.7 seconds per lap.

Assuming it’s a two-stopper, laps 13-18 and 35-41 will be the ones to focus on.

The amount of low-speed acceleration makes this one of the most marginal races of the year for fuel and the drivers may have to use ‘lift-and-coast’ if there is no safety car – and there usually isn’t. That could play to Ferrari as well.

Note that fewer than half of all Bahrain F1 races have been won from pole.

Last year Nico was on pole and had the fastest lap, but Lewis won with a better tyre strategy. Vettel has a very good record there as well.

There are two DRS zones – on the approaches to Turns one (‘Michael Schumacher turn’) and eleven. The first is incredibly tight and has a prime overtaking opportunity.

Turns two and three are taken at full speed and a good exit can also set up an overtaking opportunity as well.

The straight leading to turn four is long, and the track at the corner is 30 meters wide.

Turns five through seven make up a full speed ‘S’ leading to turn eight, a right-hand hairpin, while turns nine and 10 are both blind left-handers, where drivers brake, downshift and turn simultaneously.

Turn 10 is also a complex off-camber, downhill, left-hander where it’s easy to lock the left-front tyre.

This can be expensive because drivers need a clean exit being the second DRS (drag-reduction system) zone is along the next straight.

Turn 11 is a fourth-gear left-hander that leads immediately into the flat-out right-hander of 12, then into the third-gear right-hander of turn 13, which requires a good exit to gain speed down the following straight.

Turns 14 and 15 lead to the main straight – the first DRS zone.

This race could be Nico Rosberg’s best chance to win, though Mercedes might prefer he didn’t because Lewis’ protracted personal negotiations for next year could get harder, but Nico won’t be unduly concerned about that.

It may also be Kimi Raikkonen’s chance to shine, and I do not believe Williams is going to unduly trouble the Ferraris, so the podium is likely to be the Silver Arrows and the Prancing Horse again, but the mix could well be different this Sunday.

I’d love to see Nico, Kimi and Lewis standing there at the end, but whatever happens we are in for a great race.

Join me to watch it on the Big Screen at The Green Man. Qualifying is at 10:50pm tonight, and Race Day is at 10:45pm on Sunday.

— The Digby

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Phuket

Phuket’s Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter

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Phuket’s Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | The Thaiger

The Soi Dog Foundation has officially opened its Humane Education Centre, the first of its kind in Thailand dedicated to the welfare of stray animals. The centre, located at the Soi Dog shelter in northern Phuket, forms part of the foundation’s Humane Education program. Rolled out in 2017, the program sees a team visit Thai schools to teach the next generation the basic principles of animal welfare and promote empathetic attitudes towards both owned pets and free-roaming strays.

The program has reached a total of 15,058 students and 861 teachers to date. With a dedicated classroom as well as educational tools and resources now on site at the shelter, Soi Dog will be able to expand the programme and reach an even greater number of young minds.

Co-founder and president of Soi Dog Foundation International John Dalley said, “The cornerstones of what we do – what I believe very firmly are the answers to the stray dog problem throughout Asia – are large-scale sterilisation of stray dogs and cats and education of, particularly, the next generation.

“We see all the time the problems that are being caused through us not respecting the environment and not respecting the other animals with whom we share this planet. That’s why education is so important.”

John also thanked the supporters and donors who made the construction of the centre possible. After cutting the ribbon, the students filed into the brand-new facility for the very first on-site class – a fun and interactive hour of roleplaying, brainstorming and problem solving.

Humane Education Manager Nuttawut “Film” Kumngern. said… “We want to encourage kindness toward animals, especially free-roaming dogs and cats, and teach youngsters to be responsible pet owners. This will sustainably reduce animal cruelty and pet abandonment.”

“We hope to one day see animal welfare incorporated into the curriculum in Thai schools, and our education centre is a great start.”

Soi Dog is ready to welcome school groups from Phuket and other provinces to the centre which can accommodate up to 40 students at any one time. Schools interested in participating are encouraged to email film@soidog.org

Phuket's Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | News by The ThaigerPhuket's Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | News by The Thaiger

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International Schools

Police have yet to investigate illegal hiring of foreign teachers at international school in Phuket

The Thaiger

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Police have yet to investigate illegal hiring of foreign teachers at international school in Phuket | The Thaiger

Chalong police in Phuket say they have yet to start investigating the illegal hiring of foreign teachers at an international school in Rawai, south of the island. Palm House International School allegedly hired foreign teachers illegally in which 2 were arrested by Phuket Immigration police on November 4.

Somkiet Sarasin, the leading investigator of the case, says the 2 Brits were informed that police were processing a charge of working illegally in the country against them, in which both denied the charges. Somkiet says the 2 were released on bail, but did not confirm the amount of bail that was set by the police.

“They are still staying in Thailand. I am not worried. I have their passports. I am not available to explain [any details] because the investigation is still ongoing.”

“This is normal for an investigation when the suspects deny the charge against them. I have to check more information against their claims. This case will probably be concluded next month.”

However, the investigation has yet to begin, with Somkiet saying he has not even questioned the owner of the school, despite his claims the case would be finished next month.

“The investigation into the school will take time. The investigation into the two British people must be finished first.”

Such allegations of foreign teachers working illegally have recently been in the news after Sarasas Witaed Sainoi Pitiyakarn School, in the central province of Nonthaburi, saw 7 foreign teachers probed for being hired illegally. That school, along with others in its private network, made nationwide news after CCTV caught a Thai teacher hitting, pushing and dragging a young student in the classroom. Such widespread violence against students has long been a sad component of many Thai schools, in which some of the teachers are unqualified and unlicensed to teach, but are hired anyway.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Tourism

Phuket sees 300 million baht boost over long holiday weekend

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Phuket sees 300 million baht boost over long holiday weekend | The Thaiger

The Tourism Authority of Thailand says that Phuket has received a much-needed 300 million baht boost over the 4 day long weekend with around 54,000 tourists flocking to the island from last Thursday through to yesterday.

Phuket Office Director Nanthasiri Ronnasiri, reports that the average expenditure per visitor was about 5,500 baht, which was higher than the average spend for a Thai tourist to Phuket 2 years ago. She also noted that random checks on hotels showed that occupancy rates climbed to about 35%, with most guests staying 2 nights. But most of Phuket’s hotels remain closed.

Nanthasiri also says that many of the tourists concentrated themselves in the Phuket Old Town area, especially around Thalang Road, Phang Nga Road, and Dibuk Road in order to enjoy at the Sino-Portuguese shophouse architecture and historical locations. In fact much of Phuket Town, including its many markets and alley eateries, were doing roaring business, The Thaiger can vouch for the heavy traffic, on the roads and footpaths, over the past 4 days.

“This special holiday made Phuket tourism livelier, even though it was not as same as the situation before the Covid-19 pandemic.”

In fact, despite the welcome surge of visitors, it was still a long, long way from its previous tourist levels with much of the west coast, which has largely catered for the international tourist traffic, was still very quiet in places like Patong, Kata and Karon.

Phuket wasnt the only destination that has profited off of the long weekend as Chiang Mai saw droves of Thai tourists visiting its Royal Park Rajapruek as well as the northern city’s other nearby national parks and tourist areas. Visitors came from all over to see the blossoming of flowers in a beautiful display at the park as well as enjoying the air-purifying flowers as they relaxed. Tourists were able to rent a bicycle for 60 baht if they wanted to exercise while taking in the scenery and could also pay a visit to the orchid greenhouse, which hosts a variety of orchids in bloom. TripAdvisor recommends to set aside 2 hours to visit the park.

Next holiday weekend, on November 27 and 28, Pattaya is expected to get a tourism boost as its annual fireworks festivalis set to bring in travellers who have taken advantage of package deals offered by some beachside hotels. Such packages were offered for advance bookings, where holidaymakers could view the firework shows on the rooftops of their hotels. The firework displays are said to be long with breaks of entertainment-packed shows, featuring live music and student bands amongst others.

Phuket sees 300 million baht boost over long holiday weekend | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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