Bahrain International Circuit – 57 laps – 5.412 km
Manama, Monday 16th of April 2012
It’s back-to-back races for the second consecutive time this season with the Championship stopping off in Bahrain. This will be the last event held far away from home before the teams head into the European swing of the season. HRT Formula 1 Team has progressed leaps and bounds since the season started down under and, with its own particular “preseason” completed, the Spanish outfit is now working more efficiently as a unit and faces the race in Bahrain much more settled and than in previous races. Without hardly any time for greater upgrades, the weather conditions and the track itself present another great challenge that Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan take on with great motivation.
The Bahrain International Circuit is a tough track for tyres and brakes alike. There are various tight corners following long straights, with the cars coming down from 320 km/h to 70 km/h, meaning that good grip and efficient braking are key factors. The three long straights mean that, with the aid of DRS and slipstreaming, there are plenty of overtaking opportunities.
Pirelli have elected their soft and medium tyres for this Grand Prix.
Pedro de la Rosa, #22: “The Bahrain International Circuit is a difficult track because it has strong braking corners and it’s very easy to overrun coming into them. The three things we need to work on there are: for the car to brake well, have good grip and achieve a good top speed. It’s a circuit I like because I made my debut for McLaren there, so I’ve got good memories of it, I also achieved my first fastest lap in a race there too. In Bahrain the objective is to continue the improvement which we clearly saw in China, where we took a big step. Now we must maintain our reliability but in a hotter climate, we have to try and take the same step that we took in China”.
Narain Karthikeyan, #23: “I don’t know the circuit in Bahrain so I’m going to have to be extra focused and make the most of my time in the car. We have an idea of what we think the set-up should be, so we’ll see if this works. We’re going to try a few things in Bahrain and, hopefully, this will help us to improve and progress further. What I do know about this track is that the weather is going to be very hot and we’ve struggled a bit in hot conditions this season so far because of the cooling system in the car, so we’re going to have to work very hard on this. After a good performance in Malaysia, we’ll be looking to further reduce the gap to the group ahead of us”.
Luis Pérez-Sala, Team Principal: “Without any time to enjoy or analyze the Chinese Grand Prix, we already find ourselves in another country and another Grand Prix, so we have to work against the clock to study all the data gathered in Shanghai and make the corresponding adjustments for Bahrain. This Grand Prix will take place in very different conditions and, although we could say that we’ve made up for the lack of preseason and are now at the starting point, our biggest weakness is still cooling. Here that is a key factor but I’m confident we can continue along the same line as in the last races and will be able to progress a little bit more this weekend. Narain and Pedro, just like the rest of the team, have arrived very motivated and I hope that that work and motivation translates into another good result for our young team”.