2012 Bahrain Grand Prix Preview
Sahara Force India looks ahead to the fourth round of the 2012 season in Bahrain.
The Chinese Grand Prix was certainly an entertaining race and it showed once again that we have one of the most competitive grids in the history of the sport. In qualifying every hundredth of a second counts and will gain you positions on the grid, while in the race we’ve seen plenty of wheel-to-wheel racing. It’s great for the fans and hopefully the rest of the season will prove just as exciting.
Although we missed out on points in China, we take encouragement from our race pace, which showed that the developments we are bringing to the car are paying off and that we are closing the gap to our midfield rivals. It’s easy to point to statistics, but Paul finished the race just 22 seconds away from second place and seven and half seconds away from seventh place. It shows that we can stay in the hunt for points and that we have the potential to make some good progress when the championship returns to Europe and we can make further improvements to the car.
Bahrain this week will be another tough test, but it’s a circuit with different characteristics and climate. We picked up points the last time we raced in Bahrain in 2010 so we will approach the weekend determined to deliver a repeat performance.
Dr. Vijay Mallya
Paul on Bahrain
Paul Di Resta reflects on the Chinese Grand Prix and looks ahead to racing in Bahrain.
Paul, sum up your feelings after the Chinese Grand Prix…
I don’t think we were too far away in terms of pace, but it simply wasn’t enough to come away with any points. I made a good start, had a good opening lap and battled through to keep in contention with the main pack for the whole race. Points were always in sight and at times I was just ten seconds away from second place, but without any real incidents ahead of us it was difficult to break into the top ten.
Can we expect a similar level of performance in Bahrain?
We will have the same car in Bahrain because it’s just a few days away, but it’s a very different track and we expect different weather conditions so we will try to make the most out of that. The team have some good ideas because we have not raced there for a couple of years and nobody has had a chance to run on Pirellis there yet.
Nico on Bahrain
Nico Hulkenberg looks ahead to this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
Nico, a tough Chinese Grand Prix for you, but there were some positives to take from the weekend…
I think we showed that we had pretty good race pace, especially in the final third of the race when I was catching up with the main pack, but it was a long way back after a difficult opening stint. My start wasn’t very good and I had to pit for a new nose which cost me a lot of time. After that it was a race all by myself along with the Toro Rosso of Vergne.
You made your Grand Prix debut in Bahrain in 2010. Tell us about the track…
I enjoy the track, which has quite a nice rhythm and some technical corners, such as turns nine and ten. It’s in the desert and sand can be an issue on the track, but it really depends on the strength and direction of the wind. I think the secret to a good lap is not to be too aggressive into the braking zones because you need to carry good speed through the middle of the corners and get early on the throttle to carry the speed onto the straights. Overtaking is possible, especially into turn one because you can pick up a good slipstream down the straight.