Circuit: Bahrain International Circuit – Sakhir, 5.412 kms
Driver: Jean-Eric Vergne
Car: STR9 chassis number 04
Best time: 1:35.701
Jean-Eric Vergne gave the STR9 his and the team’s last pre-Melbourne outing, as this was the twelfth and final day of winter testing for all the teams in Bahrain. This morning, the Frenchman’s job sheet included an assessment of changes made to the suspension as well as work aimed at improving the driveability of the package. The results were positive. After that came short runs, using three Pirelli compounds – Medium, Soft and Supersoft – in quick succession. In the afternoon, longer runs were on the agenda. Jev set his best time in the middle of the day, when the track was at its hottest and slowest.
Jean-Eric Vergne: “These past twelve days have been very interesting in many ways. I would describe today as positive and we did some good work, especially in the morning when we got through everything we had planned to do, with everything going smoothly. This afternoon was slightly more complicated, but we still managed to get some mileage in race configuration and we learned a lot. I had a really good feeling from the car today. These winter tests have not been easy, but we are not alone in that. Even if there is no more testing, I know the team can work hard with our partners and fix many of these issues in time for Melbourne. The really positive thing is that I feel I have a good car, so once everything has been sorted out, I am sure we can be strong in the races.”
Franz Tost: “During these final four days of testing, we managed to complete a reasonable number of laps with the STR9. We made a significant step forward in terms of our understanding of the car, on both the chassis side and as far as the power unit is concerned. However, there is still a lot of work ahead of us to be as well prepared as possible for Melbourne.”