The Danish driver collided with Kimi Raikkonen on lap two and recovered from an early pit stop to finish ninth.
However, the Woking-based outfit struggled at the Sepang International Circuit with the high temperatures and a lack of downforce, meaning they couldn’t replicate their double-podium finish from the season opener in Australia.
“Although the Sakhir track has several high-speed corners, it’s not as fast as Sepang so I’m hopeful that we’ll be slightly more competitive this weekend than we were there,” he said.
“I still think the track temperatures and our lack of downforce will make it hard to get the car into the sweet spot we found for it in Melbourne, but I’m hopeful we’ll be able to achieve a decent balance for the race.
“The grand prix itself will take place in the evening, so the track will be slightly cooler than it’s been for any previous Bahrain Grand Prix. I guess that’ll help all the teams, but I think we can still benefit from it.”
His team-mate Jenson Button finished sixth in Malaysia and is looking forward to Bahrain’s first day-night race. The Brit, who will make his 250th F1 start this weekend, is optimistic that the team can score more good points. “Things never stand still in Formula 1, and we go to Bahrain facing another new challenge: the circuit’s first night race,” he said.
“It’ll be interesting to see what sort of race we have under the floodlights – racing at night always adds to the atmosphere and sense of occasion, and I think this weekend will be no different. We’ve scored some useful points in the first two races, which was always our objective for the opening quartet of fly-aways, and I hope we can get some more points in the bag this weekend.”
Image courtesy of McLaren Mercedes