Today the teams completed the first two training sessions for the weekend. Here you will find some initial responses from the teams.
Overall, it’s been a productive day’s work in Bahrain. It’s always a tricky place to arrive to for the second Grand Prix of the year with the heat and challenging climatic conditions with wind and dust. There was a distinct lack of grip in FP1 making it quite hard to drive and become comfortable in the car; we had to deal with a lot of oversteer. FP2 was under more representative conditions and I feel we’ve made a good start for both short and long run preparation. Fifth place on the leaderboard always looks nice, but we’re realistic and have our focus totally on qualifying tomorrow.
I struggled this afternoon and we were off the pace from where we would like. We started on the Hard tire, which was tricky for grip, but once we put the Soft on it felt slightly more comfortable. I know there are things we can improve on, especially with the balance of the car. We conducted a lot of work to understand more about the car in the garage this afternoon and then we did the long run, which was a little better. We aren’t as competitive as we should be and obviously, I want to be quicker tomorrow, so we will do some homework tonight.
It wasn’t an easy day, but we know what we need to work on. After the first race, I had some doubts and questions, but those have now gone. In Australia, I ran a different set-up to George and we could clearly see the different characteristics of the car, here we started with the same set-up and the characteristics are still different. I just hope we are able to solve it, but we have some tests to do so we understand the reasons.
I enjoy driving in Bahrain it’s a really nice track with a good flow to it. I think we are very slightly closer, as the circuit generally suits the team more than others, but we are where we expected. FP1 was quite a challenge, however, I think everybody was struggling out there in the hot conditions. FP2 was much nicer to drive but the lap times are still a long way off and we have a lot of work to do. Whilst we are in this position we need to use it to optimize everything else so when the car does become competitive we are ready to pounce.
Generally, we had quite a productive Friday. We managed to cover all of the useful test items we planned for the day, and also covered both short and long runs – which is very important for Friday practice! It seems like everything is quite tight in terms of performance among the midfield teams, so we will work hard overnight to optimize the car for tomorrow in order to put us where we want to be.
It was a pretty good day in the office. I think, as we’ve seen already, the midfield is really close which leaves no room for error. We struggled a bit with balance in the morning session but we were able to fix that for FP2, although we need to make some changes overnight to further improve the performance of the car. There’s definitely a few things we need to tune in order to be ready for tomorrow, so it’s just going to be about maximizing the package we have and being at the sharp end of the midfield. We know what needs changing, so hopefully, we can be more competitive tomorrow for Qualifying.
It’s been a challenging day to start our Bahrain weekend. We need to work hard to find a few tenths overnight and improve the balance of the car, otherwise, it’ll be very difficult to reach Q3. The sessions earlier in the day, FP1 and FP3, are not that relevant because the temperatures are so much higher than what we expect for qualifying and the race, so the opportunities to work on the set-up are limited. We tried lots of things on the car today, which will help our learning in the long term, and we collected all the usual tire information ahead of the race.
It wasn’t easy today. We need to review the data and work hard to understand where we can find some more performance. The first session was very busy with big changes to the car – running different aero parts – and trying to understand the best direction for the rest of the weekend. We know it’s very competitive in the midfield so we have to find some speed tonight if we are to be in the top ten tomorrow.
Today was ok but it could have been better. On the medium tire we look pretty competitive and I should have been fastest on my first short run but I had a little issue at the last corner which cost me two or three tenths. On the softest tire, I just didn’t have enough grip, so we need to look into that and extract more out of it. On the longer runs, we also looked competitive on the medium tire which should be the most dominant tyre for the race. We still have a bit of set-up work to do, especially as we will probably only get one timed lap on the tires in qualifying. It also looks like the issues Ferrari had in Melbourne have been resolved, they look fastest at the moment so we need to work to close that gap.
I think the performance was really good in FP1 and at the start of FP2. The balance was not ideal, but that’s normal, especially as it was very hot this morning when we had the first session. This afternoon in FP2 we were fast with the medium tires but then with the softs, we were lacking some pace. I couldn’t really push on the first laps, so I had to do it on the third, which is not ideal. I think overall the car is good, we’re just missing a bit of pace with this set-up and need to improve our understanding of the soft tires. I feel confident with the car, for sure it’s a different track than Melbourne so we need to optimize everything but I’m confident we can get it right tomorrow.