The Venezuelan driver retired from last weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix after a problem with his power-unit’s turbo, but his team-mate Romain Grosjean did manage to reach the chequered flag.
Looking back at the race, he said: “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.”
He is hoping for a more trouble-free weekend. “Good reliable laps in the car would be the starting point,” he said when asked what he wants from the Bahrain Grand Prix. “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.”
Grosjean said the 11th place finish in Malaysia was a “big encouragement” for the Enstone-based outfit and added: “No matter what the challenge, we are aiming for podiums and strong performances wherever we go. 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.”
The Frenchman has a strong record at the Bahrain International Circuit after finishing on the podium in 2012 and 2013. A top three result looks unlikely this year but he heads into the race weekend with a positive frame of mind.
Image courtesy of Lotus F1 Team