April 18th, 2013 (F1plus).- Another big break is coming. The European season will start soon in four weeks time, but first teams and drivers have to make a stop at Bahrain for the four round of the Formula 1 championship.
In McLaren optimism has always been present, but more to boost morale and motivation to keep improving the MP4-28, an underachieving car when compared to past machines from the Woking base team.
The team is honest and understands it needs to work harder, and its Principal Martin Whitmarsh very much accepts the situation needs the fixing and the extra hours. He considers Bahrain another cornerstone point in that recovery process.
“Bahrain marks the end of the opening fly-away leg of the 2013 world championship. That being the case, following on in quick succession from last weekend's Chinese Grand Prix, we'll look to consolidate our achievements in Shanghai with further solid points finishes this weekend.
“While the first three races haven’t been the easiest for us, there’s been a little progress at every round, and we’ll be looking for another improved showing, as well as the opportunity to increase our understanding of MP4-28, in Bahrain this weekend.
“The work that goes on at the track is only the tip of the iceberg, though. There's been an incredible amount of effort expended back at the McLaren Technology Centre, so as to ensure that the delivery of new parts, and the evaluation of fresh ideas, remain constant."
“I therefore want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who's contributed to that work. Your efforts never go unnoticed, and the development trend is in the right direction.” Said Whitmarsh.
As for the drivers, they do seem to know very well the track and its technicalities, especially the team veteran Jenson Button.
“The Sakhir circuit requires a good overall car balance. There are some tricky and technical low-speed changes of direction; you need to place the car really precisely at the corner entry in order to maximize traction at the exit. And there are also some high-speed sweeps – Turns Six and Seven, for example – and some fast corners, such as the uphill left-hander at Turn 11.
“It’s a place where the grip levels can be quite hard to anticipate, and where the wind direction can play quite an important part in determining the car’s balance.
"The wind can affect top speed and cornering performance, so practice will be more important than ever in enabling us to take the best overall package into qualifying and the race.” The 2009 Champion said.
Pressure for sure is heavy over the shoulders of youngster Sergio Perez. Few driving errors, just for points earned and being overshadowed by his teammate must be something hard to cope with. Still, the Mexican affable personality will help him to deal with pressure and his work ethic and talent should kick in at any time to help directly with the performance part.
“The Bahrain Grand Prix circuit has plenty of run-off and a good combination of high- and low-speed corners.
"The challenge for the drivers comes from the constantly evolving nature of the corners, and dealing with the sand – which gets blown onto different areas of the track from the surrounding desert." Perez said in reference to the track.