LCH Bahrain 2014

Formula 1

         Lewis Hamilton. The Racing Knight of Arabian night.

LCH Bahrain 2014


In one of the greatest grand prix finishes in recent memory, Lewis Hamilton held-off Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg to win the Bahrain Grand Prix under bright lights in the Arabian night.

The wind and win were blowing in the way of Mercedes team from practice to qualifying, where Rosberg surprised Hamilton by grabbing pole position. Hamilton took the lead on the opening lap going into turn one.

The 2008 World Champion was challenged hard by his teammate. Hamilton had established a lead of over eight seconds over Rosberg before their final pit stop and looked set for his second win of the season. Then Esteban Gutierrez was Pastorized, the Mexican’s Sauber was flipped by the Lotus of the Venezuelan driver who was coming out of the pits. Gutierrez got out of the car on his own and was unhurt. Maldonado was given a 10-second stop and go penalty.

The final sprint was going to be exciting as pole sitter Roberg had softer tires than Hamilton. Their boss Paddy Lowe got on the team radio and requested his drivers to bring both cars home.

The remaining laps and the dicing between the two drivers will long be remembered in F1 folklore, much like Nürburgring ’57, Dijon ’79 and Donington ’93. Racing was intense but fair.

Rosberg admitted he was ‘very disappointed, despite being faster and not winning.’

The Mercedes package is much like the Red Bull package last year. Hamilton and Rosberg were teammates in their karting days, and their rivalry promises a great 2014 season.

Sooner or later the competition will catch up, especially when Adrian Newey and Sebastian Vettel get their mojo moving at top speed. The four time world champion must be thinking, probably for the first time in his F1 career, about competition from within his own camp. Aussie mate, Daniel Ricciardo, has been very impressive and earned his first F1 points in Bahrain with his fourth place.

Sergio Perez was third in his third race for Force India. This is the first podium finish for the team since Giancarlo Fisichella’s second place finish from pole at Spa in 2009.

Nico Hülkenberg put in his usual good performance and was fifth, ahead of his compatriot Vettel.

The Martini men, Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas, were seventh and eighth respectively for the much improved Williams team, now powered by Mercedes-Benz. 



Ferrari, with Luca di Montezemolo in attendance,could only manage the last two point paying places. Fernando Alonso finished ahead of Kimi Raikkonen, the last man to win the world championship for Maranello in 2007.

Rosberg, winner of season opener in Australia, still leads the championship with 61 points. Second successive win for Hamilton puts him only 11 points behind. Hülkenberg is third with 28 points, two ahead of fourth place Alonso. Button completes the top five on 23 points.

The 2014 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix was 900th F1 race and saw the 250th start for Jenson Button and 150th for Toro Rosso. Victory at the Sakhir circuit was the 24th for Hamilton, same as the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio.

Round four is on April 20, the Chinese Grand Prix at Shanghai.


– Nasir Hameed

   Racing regards from ABQ.

Bahrain 2014 quali podium

Formula 1

Bahrain 2014 quali podium


Nico Rosberg took pole position in qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix this evening, with Lewis Hamilton completing the first Silver Arrows front row lock-out of the 2014 Formula One season.

- Nico took his fifth pole position for the Silver Arrows on the 150th Grand Prix weekend of his Formula One career to date
- Both Nico and Lewis progressed through Q1 inside the top 10 with a single run each on the medium compound tyres
- The pair then completed a single run on the soft tyre in Q2 and again in Q3 with each aborting their final run on the softs 
- Mercedes-Benz powered cars occupied seven of the top 10 positions at the end of this evening’s qualifying session

Nico Rosberg

It´s fantastic to be on pole again here in Bahrain. I really enjoy the track and I won my GP2 Series title here so it has some pretty special memories for me. We’ve had a good weekend so far and I’ve been able improve my pace throughout the practice sessions so I was hoping for a strong qualifying. It´s so difficult to get everything completely right with all the new technology and set-up requirements on the car but I felt really comfortable this evening and was able to put some great laps together. I’m looking forward to the race as I had a good run on high fuel but we’re going to need to be careful with tyre degradation. 

Lewis Hamilton

Second place is pretty good for us today. I made a mistake on my last lap which was a shame but it’s great for the team to have both cars on the front row. They’ve done a fantastic job this weekend with the set-up simulations and we did a lot of testing here before the season started which has helped. The car has felt good so far but I definitely felt more comfortable in practice than I did this evening in qualifying. I’m not really sure why but we’ll have a good look at the data tonight and see if there is anything we can identify before the race tomorrow. Congratulations to Nico today, he’s done a great job so far this weekend and nailed a really quick lap in qualifying. I’m happy that it’s my team-mate there on pole and not someone else! 

Toto Wolff

To have both cars occupy the front row for the first time this season is a great achievement for the team. As we’ve seen all weekend, we are fortunate to have two drivers at the top of their game. They are pushing each other every step of the way and driving our team forwards with them. Our performance this weekend has been strong throughout the practice sessions and we must now maintain it through the biggest challenge of all in tomorrow evening’s race. No matter how satisfied you might be on Saturday, Sunday can be an entirely different scenario. We have seen some strong performances from our competitors tonight and there is no room for complacency.

Paddy Lowe

It’s extremely satisfying to see that our car has the performance to take both slots on the front row for the first time under these new regulations. Our pace was evident from the beginning of Q1 and it was good to watch our drivers competing so closely throughout the sessions. Nico drove a superb lap on his first run in Q3 and Lewis clearly sensed he had to push to the limit to match his team-mate. Unfortunately this lead to a mistake at the first corner but his initial lap was still good enough to maintain second. It’s been a good day and we look forward to seeing if we can match that performance in the race tomorrow.

Stoffel Vandoorne shines in Sakhir


Stoffel Vandoorne shines in Sakhir

ART Grand Prix rookie takes maiden GP2 win on Series debut
McLaren protégé Stoffel Vandoorne made a stellar GP2 debut today at Bahrain International Circuit: he led the majority of his first race from lights to flag in a display of mature and calm driving. He crossed the finish line 1.5s ahead of Julian Leal who disposed of poleman Jolyon Palmer in the closing stages of the race.
When the first feature race of the 2014 season kicked off, Vandoorne made a perfect getaway from P2 to get into the lead going into Turn 1. Behind the Belgian driver, Stéphane Richelmi and Stefano Coletti found a way past Palmer and Daniel Abt who both had a poor start from pole and P3 respectively. Vandoorne was on a mission and tried to build as much of a gap as possible before having to change from Soft to Hard tyres.
Drama hit the back of the field on the second lap after Kimiya Sato collided with Axcil Jefferies, sending the Zimbabwean driver into the barrier. The safety car came in ruining Vandoorne’s efforts. When the action resumed, the pitstop window opened and Richelmi, Coletti and Rio Haryanto (then running in fourth) all dived into the pitlane to switch to the Pirelli Hard compound.
Race leader Vandoorne pitted three laps later and came out in front of Palmer who had pitted on lap 7 and had managed to recover from a slow start that saw him drop to sixth place. The ART driver then controlled the remainder of the race keeping a gap to Palmer of about 2s and at the same time managing the degradation of his tyres. Behind him, Palmer was busy keeping a charging Leal at bay, the Colombian a bit quicker than the Briton.
Further down, rookie Arthur Pic had a brilliant second stint having pitted on lap 10 and slicing his way up the field and overtaking drivers who were struggling on their tyres in the final stages of the race: Richelmi was his first prey followed by Mitch Evans, Haryanto and finally Felipe Nasr to take fifth behind Coletti who controlled his pace from fourth place until the chequered flag.
Another rookie followed Pic’s way although on a different strategy: Kimiya Izawa started on the Hard compound from P23. A late pitstop on lap 21 meant that the Japanese had fresh Soft compounds to fight his way through the field to take sixth place ahead of Simon Trummer. The Swiss driver started from the pitlane on the Hard compound after stalling on the pre-grid. He got into the lead on Lap 18 and remained there until he pitted two laps before the end of the race. He re-joined in ninth and gained two placed before the final lap ahead of Nasr, Rene Binder and Adrian Quaife-Hobbs.
At the chequered flag, Vandoorne savoured a well-deserved first victory ahead of Julian Leal who had found a way past a slower Palmer. The Briton was then under the threat of Coletti but Palmer managed to save his podium finish also pocketing the bonus points for fastest lap on top of the two points for pole position.
Sakhir – Feature Race
Stoffel Vandoorne
ART Grand Prix
Julian Leal
Jolyon Palmer
Stefano Coletti
Racing Engineering
Arthur Pic
Campos Racing
Takuya Izawa
ART Grand Prix
Simon Trummer
Felipe Nasr
Rene Binder
Arden International
Adrian Quaife-Hobbs
Daniiel De Jong
MP Motorsport
Conor Daly
Venezuela GP Lazarus
Daniel Abt
Hilmer Motorsport
Mitch Evans
Artem Markelov
Rio Haryanto
EQ8 Caterham Racing
Jon Lancaster
MP Motorsport
Raffaele Marciello
Racing Engineering
Stéphane Richelmi
André Negrao
Arden International
Johnny Cecotto
Alexander Rossi
EQ8 Caterham Racing
Nathanaël Berthon
Venezuela GP LAzarus
Not Classified
Kimiya Sato
Campos Racing
Axcil Jefferies
Facu Regalia
Hilmer Motorsport


Lewis Hamilton Bahrain FP1

F1Weekly podcast # 652

 Lewis Hamilton Bahrain FP1

Clark and Nasir cover the Malaysian Grand Prix , we have Motorsports Mondial with the King! And here are the results of Friday practice in Bahrain-

The first practice sessions for the third race of the 2014 season took place today at the Bahrain International Circuit.

- With P1 in the mid-afternoon, P2 at 6pm was the first ever Formula One session to be held under floodlights in Bahrain
- Most of today’s running took place in P2 where conditions were more representative of those for qualifying and the race
- Lewis and Nico topped the timesheets today, setting their fastest laps on the medium tyre in P1 and the soft tyre in P2
- Nico received a reprimand in the aftermath of the second session for impeding Sergio Pérez

Lewis Hamilton

It’s been a pretty decent day for us. The car felt good from the outset which allowed us to spend time getting to grips with the tyres. The softs in particular seem to be working well and we saw a fair difference in lap time between them and the mediums. The focus today was on the second session as the timing and conditions reflects that of the rest of the weekend and the difference in temperature between the sessions was quite large. The key was to not react too much to that change in terms of our approach to set-up and we seemed to manage that well. It was great driving under the spotlights here: the circuit looks even better at night and you don’t really notice a difference in terms of visibility. It’s actually quite nice to be driving in cooler conditions too. As always there are still some tweaks we can make to improve the car, but overall I’m feeling good. I heard the update about Michael after P2 and we are all thinking of him and his family.

Nico Rosberg

Today was a good day of testing for us. It seems that we are quick in terms of outright pace and I also had a good long run in the second session, so I’m quite confident about the weekend ahead. Driving in the evening is very different, as the track temperatures are much lower than during all the test sessions we’ve had so far during the day. We learned a lot in the new conditions and it worked out quite well. It was also great to hear some encouraging news about Michael today. The whole paddock was happy to hear this and I hope his progress continues.

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WSK Champions Cup



Champions Cup – La Conca, Muro Leccese 1-2/3/14  8-9/3/1

Following his recent Winter Cup victory all eyes were on Enaam Ahmed at the first major WSK KFJ Championships of 2014, held at La Conca. Italy.  Being favourite meant all the pressure was on him. An international field of  Seventy drivers had gathered at La Conca to stake their claim on the Champions Cup.  With Enaam firmly in their sights, the older drivers had a point to prove by putting this new kid in his place.  The Tournament was to take place over two legs during the two consecutive weekends.  The best placed driver over the two weekends would be crowned the winner of the Champions Cup. 


During the 1st Round heats Enaam faced some very harsh penalties from officials which forced him to start in the unfavoured outside grid positions.  Despite this disadvantage Enaam still managed to win one heat and gather top 5 positions in other heats.  In the pre-final Enaam started second alongside his former team mate Logan Sargeant (USA).  The race started and Enaam immediately took the lead lengthening the gap with his rapid pace and driving away from the field and crossing the line first.  All set for the Final of the 1st Round!


The sun came out at last after some very changeable weather to greet the drivers for the Final. Starting on pole Enaam looked his usual cool, composed self.  The formation lap set off, and Enaam made sure his tyres were at the perfect temperature to help him gain the gap he needed at the start. Looking poised and uninhibited Enaam cruised away from the pack and into the lead leaving his competitors trailing. A euphoric celebration just before the finishing line demonstrated what this victory meant to him.  Enaam had gained maximum points for the 1st Round which meant he was in the lead with a considerable margin.

Round 2, the following weekend, events unfolded in very dramatic fashion for Enaam. Being the leader meant there was a huge target on his back, and the competition was now about to take on a completely different level. The ruthlessness and controlled aggression of the drivers was about to be displayed in its rawest form yet.


Being in the first qualifying group and on a damp track meant Enaam had his work cut out. The second qualifying group meant the track was drier, therefore, faster times were clocked in this heat. Enaam qualified a disappointing 12th , and was feeling the strain. He knew he had to be explosive in the heats to finish at the front. The heats were ferocious and intense and Enaam seemed to be making some ground only later to be harshly given a 10 second penalty for contact with another driver. This meant his starting grid for the pre-final was 6th a very awkward outside position. Enaam was unhappy and having a nightmare out there. Was the huge burden of pressure getting to him?

Enaam chose to race the pre-final on old less grippy tyres whilst much of the competition opted for new tyres. Did they know something he didn’t? The race started and immediately Enaam was knocked back by the leading pack. Was the Championship slipping away? Was he going to allow his fate to be decided by others? Heck no! With all his grit and determination he began to pick of the competition one by one posting the fastest lap time. On the 10th lap of the 16 Enaam with unstoppable speed passed the leader creating a gap in the closing laps and crossing the line victorious. Gaining maximum points and further increasing his overall lead, Enaam needed to finish in the top 11 to take the Championship.

In the Final, Enaam started on the front row but on the outside.  He realised a steady finish and calm nerves would help him win the Championship.  The start was very aggressive and Enaam got caught up and was spun almost out of control. Enaam managed to control the spin with a cool head and was back in the race.  He was placed 20th but having the edge with his speed he managed to claw his way back to a very impressive 12th.  Time was running out for Enaam, and with one last attempt he sped past 3 more karts posting the fastest lap by 3 tenths of a second.  A thumbs up from the Team meant he was in a position to win the Championship.  He drove a sensible and cautious final lap crossing the line in 9th place.  Enaam Ahmed had won the Champions Cup!

“A single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.” Henry David Thoreau


Facebook:  Enaam Ahmed


Lotus F1 Malaysian GP 2014

Formula 1

Lotus F1 Malaysian GP 2014



Lotus F1 Team Deputy Team Principal Federico Gastaldi is buoyed by the team’s first finish of the year, but under no illusions of the task ahead.

What’s the outlook for Bahrain?

We head to Bahrain still with lots of work to do, but with clear evidence that we are heading in the right direction. We’re at a very early stage in the understanding of our car’s performance and we’re still having to fight reliability issues; no doubt you will find us in Bahrain with plenty of work to do!

Seeing Romain cross the finish line in Sepang must have been a good feeling?

After the start we have had to this season, of course it was a great feeling to complete the Malaysian Grand Prix. That said, we’re not here as a team to celebrate a non-points finish. Our performance in Sepang represents a step in getting to where we want to be, and we have quite a lot more steps to make. The positive is that we are seeing progress so we are going in the right direction.

He was very determined to keep eleventh position?

Hearing him on the radio and speaking to him afterwards, he was very determined to do much better than that! The problem with rear downforce for the last eight laps of the race really meant he was fighting with one hand tied behind his back but he was still trying to fight for the positions ahead before he had to deliver a strong defensive drive. It was great stuff to watch.

Not quite the same relief over in Pastor’s side of the garage?

Pastor had a very trying weekend with more than his fair share of problems, yet the fantastic thing has been that he hasn’t let this dishearten him. On the contrary, his response has been fantastic and motivating for everyone. He is a very uplifting guy and will always share a joke with the crew in the garage or the team back at the factory. You can see the determination and focus in his eyes, but he certainly hasn’t given any indication of being the kind of driver who will throw his toys out of the pram when things aren’t going his way.

How’s the motivation of the team?

I still say it’s stronger than ever. We have an even higher mountain than usual to climb so we are up for the challenge. It’s incredible how relentless everyone at the track and at Enstone is in their focus and approach to getting us to where we want to be.

When can the team be fighting for points?

Romain was unlucky that he wasn’t in the points in Sepang so it wouldn’t be a lie to say that we have already been fighting for points. We are still at such an early stage of extracting performance from the E22 that our potential for improvement is very good.

What’s the short term plan for progress?

We are targeting reliability as that enables us to better understand the car. Equally, we are bringing new aerodynamic and performance parts to every race. When we get more track time we have more understanding of the car and more information for our engineers to work on.

Now it’s two races into the 2014 season, what are your thoughts on the racing spectacle?

Aside from the results from the team so far, I have enjoyed the last two Grands Prix. The cars move about a lot and there have been some good wheel-to-wheel moments which is always great to watch. The fascinating aspect is the knowledge that we are all so early in the understanding of how to race to these latest regulations. This means we will see the racing evolve a lot over the season as the teams all develop their cars and race strategies and the drivers understand better how to extract maximum performance from them. It’s going to be a great season



Romain Grosjean and Lotus F1 Team reached the chequered flag for the first time in 2014 at Sepang, when the Frenchman overcame a loss of downforce to win an entertaining duel for eleventh place with former team-mate Kimi Räikkönen. Now the aim is to do better in Bahrain’s inaugural F1 night race.

What are your thoughts looking ahead to Bahrain?

It’s a good track and I’m happy to go back there. I’m especially looking forward to the first night race at a circuit I like. Twice I’ve raced there in Formula 1 and twice I’ve been on the podium. So that’s a good record! We were not very successful in the pre-season tests, but hopefully there will be some more updates and performance from our side. I’m sure everyone is going to work hard even though there are just a few days before Bahrain. The race finish at Sepang is a big encouragement. No matter what the challenge, we are aiming for podiums and strong performances wherever we go.

What do you like about the Bahrain track?

On paper it is not the most amazing circuit, but when you drive it’s pretty cool. I like the long straights followed by the hairpins and then the twisty middle section with a lot of G-force which makes it exciting. It gives the driver plenty to do behind the wheel and it gives you quite a lot to do in the debrief as well. It’s always rewarding when you balance all the different demands on the car to get the lap as fast as possible.

How important for progress is the mileage attained in Malaysia?

It is essential. To make major progress we need more days like Saturday and Sunday in Malaysia, where we learned a lot about the car. There are some encouraging signs. We know we have a lot of work ahead, but we also know which areas to work on. We will try new things in Bahrain and I’m confident the car will be better.

How did it feel to reach the chequered flag in Malaysia?

Finishing the race was our first objective and then we wanted to see where we were with our car. It’s not perfect yet but it’s good to be where we are at this stage. I had a big loss of downforce around eight laps from the end which made things difficult, especially when I had to defend. Without that issue, I’m sure we could have finished higher. It was a good battle with Kimi. I kept remembering our past battles to make sure he couldn’t go through!

What are the current generation cars like to race?

I would say they are early in their development and we’re still some way from where we want to be in terms of performance. At the moment there is a lot of management going on in the cockpit and we’ll develop a better understanding and strategies of how to approach the race. Certainly, we’ve only completed one race so there’s lots more to come.

Do you think the night race will make much difference in Bahrain?

It means a later start, and if my calculations of how the day schedule runs are right, it could mean a larger window for sleep which is always welcome! In terms of at the track, every year we have had hot temperatures and a lot of sun which made tyre degradation quite high. Temperatures will clearly be lower at night and we’ll have to see how that changes grip and degradation.

I don’t know if being at night will make much difference to the results, but it will certainly be an exciting event visually. It is also the tenth anniversary of the race so I’m sure they will put on a good show.

Why has Bahrain been so kind to you in the past?

I wouldn’t say it’s been exactly kind, but certainly we’ve been able to perform well there in the past. It’s a track I knew from before Formula 1 and it has characteristics that I like in a circuit; some big braking into certain corners, some good change of direction with the double-left in the middle of the racetrack and it all flows quite nicely. With the E20 and E21 we were able to take advantage of the car’s good balance and kindness to tyres. It’s early to say how the E22 will perform, but we head there with a positive frame of mind

Pastor Maldonado

With the first two races of the season not quite going to plan, Pastor Maldonado looks forward to the challenge of one of the toughest races of the season.

What do you think of the Bahrain International Circuit?

Bahrain is a good circuit. We’ve been there in the pre-season and I think all the teams will be happy to return, especially for the weather and the type of track. I would say it is a ‘complete’ circuit because it has a mix of high, medium and low speed turns, plus good sequences of corners. So it’s a good venue to test at, which is exactly what we need to evaluate our new developments. The facilities for the teams are great as well.

Malaysia then Bahrain, do you enjoy racing in the heat?

To be honest they are not my favourite conditions, but it’s the same for everyone so I’m not complaining. When the visor goes down it doesn’t matter. You just focus on driving.

How important has the track time been during the Malaysian weekend?

It’s the most important thing. More mileage with the car means the engineers can increasingly focus on performance. Clearly reliability is still not 100 percent, partly because of our late testing debut with the car, but we have fixed many problems and that enables us to turn more attention to performance.

How frustrating was it to suffer from issues every day of the race weekend?

Very, of course! I’m here to race so you never want to be sat in the garage when the car should be out on track. I had more than my fair share of unreliability in Malaysia, but every time we expose a problem it means we have something to fix and we take a step forwards. There were good positives in Sepang. I did get some good laps and I can feel that the E22 is a proper race car. A race car that still needs quite a lot of work, but still a race car with great potential. We saw that Romain completed a race distance, which is a great positive. We also saw our rivals having problems, showing that we are not alone with the challenges of these very different new cars.

How would you sum up Sunday at Sepang?

With Bianchi I just felt an impact at the back of the car which spun me around. But from the start we were losing a lot of power which meant I had to retire in order to protect the engine. Despite that, the weekend was clearly a step forwards. Since the Saturday, we were able to run far more with the car and Romain was able to finish the race. We’re not the only ones with issues so early in the season. This is all related to the complex packages in the car, but we learnt a lot and will make progress for Bahrain.

What do you want from the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend?

Good reliable laps in the car would be the starting point. This will allow us to understand the car’s performance and where we can improve it. It will allow me to give feedback to my engineers and understand the challenges of driving the latest generation car. We can also work on understanding the tyres better as they are different this year, and the tyres are always an area where performance gains can be made.

Bahrain will be a night race for the first time, will that mean any special changes?

We will probably need to approach Bahrain a little differently technically now, in terms of tyre pressures and set-up. Otherwise we will treat it much like any other race and obviously we have experience from night events in Singapore and Abu Dhabi. I’m definitely looking forward to it though.

It’s the first time at night in Bahrain so something new for us all to discover.


Improvements in reliability mean attention is turning to unleashing the true performance of the E22. Lotus F1 Team Technical Director Nick Chester explains all…

What did the team learn in Sepang?

We’ve learnt more about our mapping and we’ve made some improvements with the braking of the car, but there is still a lot more to come. We have more work to do at Enstone including improving the set-up and operation of our brake-by-wire system, which is one of the areas where the drivers have the biggest complaints. It’s spoiling their entry into the corner and costing them quite a lot of time.

How does brake by wire work and why is it causing issues?

The system looks at what the driver is requesting from the brake pedal and then the demand is split between a braking force generated by the power unit and a normal hydraulic braking force from the callipers. The difficult part is fine tuning those two different types of braking demands so that they work together in a natural, predictable way for the driver. It’s very important to have a brake-by-wire system that responds the way you want and to get the mapping correct so that you have the right braking behaviour to make it easier for the driver to control wheel locking. When you initially apply the brakes you want to get the pressures up high as quickly as you can, for good retardation. But for corner entry, how you come off the brakes is really important. Being able to carry good speed into the corner apex makes a massive difference to the lap time.

If we add up all of the laps done with the E22 so far this year, it’s probably the same as the first three days of testing last year…

That’s right. We are at a very early stage in terms of understanding of the car so there is a lot of latent potential to be unearthed. We are still exposing reliability weaknesses, but we’re working through these well. The unfortunate aspect is that this has occurred at the races, where we want to be scoring points and building a championship campaign. At the races we’re still doing some work that you would normally do in winter testing. Some of that is obviously due to an enormous regulation change – everybody is still learning – but due to our lack of running we are on a much steeper learning gradient. There is a positive that there are much bigger steps that we can make. An example of that is the improvement in wet qualifying performance this weekend relative to Melbourne.

How frustrating is it to lose track time due to different reliability issues?

It is frustrating. Particularly in Malaysia because the build of the cars was very good, but then a software issue let us down and prevented us running in FP1.

Both our drivers have been vocal in praising the long hours done by the team at the racetrack. How much longer do the cars take to work on now?

The cars are much more complicated this year. There is a lot more involved in the build of the car. Obviously it’s only the second race and things will get easier. We will re-design things to make them easier to fit, the procedures will improve and the mechanics will get more familiar with the components. But even by mid-season, I would say it will still be a harder car to work on than last year. I’m sure that’s the same for all teams.

How happy are you with the upgrades brought to Malaysia?

It’s a tricky one to tell because we lost a lot of Friday running, so we didn’t get all the comparisons done that we normally do. We’ll have to do a further comparison in Bahrain to get a proper feeling for how they perform.

What are the main challenges for Bahrain?

We go there without a lot of mileage in winter testing so we have more set-up work to do on the track. Obviously temperatures can be quite high, so that is one thing we will have to watch out for. Then it’s about getting more of our development parts on the car and doing more work with the power unit.



FRONT WING Front wing settings are optimised around turns six and seven.

REAR WING Relatively high levels of downforce are required for Bahrain so the car runs with a lot of rear wing. Not to Monaco levels, but comparable amounts to Albert Park and Malaysia. High temperatures mean less dense and aerodynamically effective air to cleave.

SUSPENSION There are reasonable traction demands so the suspension needs to be sufficiently compliant for these requirements. The traction demands from lower speed corners mean a focus on enabling maximum usage of the mechanical grip from the tyres. Kerbs are used in turn two in order to maximise the straightline speed before turn three and the long kerb at the exit of turn 10 is generally avoided because its harshness can hurt traction.

BRAKES Bahrain represents the first proper test of braking systems of the season. Long straights lead into slow corners, meaning brake temperatures and wear levels need close monitoring.

TYRES Pirelli’s P Zero white medium and yellow soft are nominated. Despite the circuit’s desert domain, the track is not as sandy as you may expect – due to the circuit’s impressive track cleaner! The asphalt has a high abrasiveness which gives good grip but can lead to high tyre degradation. So far the tyres this year have proven to be quite tricky to manage in the races having similar degradation than 2013 despite being a step harder.


With four long straights over the course of the lap the MGU-H will have plenty of opportunity to recharge while the heavy braking points at the end of the straights allow the MGU-K to keep the battery reserve at high charge. The circuit is therefore in the middle of the table on the balance between electrical energy and fuel. One of the major challenges will be the hot temperatures of the Bahrain desert that will put the cooling system of the Energy F1-2014 under a great deal of pressure. With cooling requirements already at a premium with the high rotational speeds of the turbocharger and MGU-H, adding extra external temperatures will make engine cooling a priority task on the job list.

The Premiere Motorsport Podcast