Bahrain Grand Prix: Marussia preview Sakhir weekend

Max Chilton leads Jules Bianchi

Max Chilton leads Jules Bianchi

The third race of the new season sees the addition of a new night race to the calendar as the 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix aims to deliver a spectacular display of floodlit racing on the occasion of the 10th anniversary race.

The Bahrain event is typically a challenging one, due to what are normally similar air temperatures to those experienced last week in Malaysia, although without the fierce humidity. Temperatures do fall considerably in the evening though, so this back to back is challenging more for the tight turnaround between races than the ambient conditions.

John Booth, Team Principal: “We head pretty much straight into the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend with the motivation and determination to achieve a better result here than at our last event. Some of that will require rather more luck than we experienced in the race in Malaysia and some will hopefully be the product of a thorough examination of where we lost out performance-wise last weekend. We always enjoy a night race as it certainly adds to the spectacle and provides an extra dimension for the TV audience. For 2014, this race presents a rather different challenge. I am sure the heat, the wind and the sand will continue to be factors but these will be less of a known quantity by virtue of the revised running schedule. It is the later timing that will make the recent testing work completed here all the more valuable.”

Mattia Binotto,  Scuderia Ferrari Engine & Electronics Deputy Director: “The third round of the 2014 World Championship, the Bahrain Grand Prix, is without doubt the most severe with regard to the use of the Power Unit, both due to the shape of the Sakhir circuit – characterised by long straights – and for temperatures which, as was the case last weekend in Malaysia, will be very high. An important new factor compared to previous races is the fact that all teams have a good shot at this track, and have in their hands a significant amount of data, which is crucial for optimising the performance and efficiency of the Power Unit. In fact, never before has making the most effective and efficient use of the Power Units required so much time and attention to every detail. In Bahrain we can start from an established base and with the support of the data collected in the first two races we can hone things even further in some respects. In a sport where every detail counts, this can make a difference.”

Max Chilton, Driver No. 4: “On the one hand, this weekend is quite a quick turnaround for the team, but at least we are returning to a track which we visited only recently in pre-season testing, so we have a good engineering basis for the week ahead. I like Sakhir, so it will be interesting to race here in the different conditions presented by a night race; I do like a challenging race, but it would be good to achieve a better outcome this weekend. As ever, you learn a lot from the races that are most difficult, so I hope we can take the lessons from Malaysia and use them to improve here. They will be small steps but in the right direction.”

Jules Bianchi, Driver No. 17: “This has not been the best start to the season for me and I am hoping that Bahrain will be a case of ‘third time lucky’. Malaysia was disappointing for me but there is no point dwelling on what has passed because we need to have the focus on the next race, which is what I have been doing. We are perhaps better prepared here because of the work we did in pre-season testing, so we have to take that as a positive, and I am looking forward to the first night race to be held here. I really enjoy the flow of this track and I think its characteristics will help us at this early stage of the season when we are still learning a lot from the new package and how to get the best out of it.”

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