After a frustrating outing in Shanghai, Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo looks for a silver lining to take away from China.
Well, we’re in Bahrain. We left Shanghai early on Monday and via a couple of stops got to Manama Monday evening. On the flight there was plenty to dwell on after a Chinese Grand Prix weekend that didn’t go how we would have wished. We didn’t have the pace but I guess the positive is that both Jean-Eric [Vergne] and myself finished 56 laps and collected some useful data.
Actually, quite a lot of data. We went to China with some updates for the car and I spent much of Friday trying those out. We weren’t very quick in qualifying so the team decided to go into the race with JEV driving a car that was more like the one we’d had in Malaysia. It means we’ll have some good comparison information that should help us here in Bahrain and also be useful at the Mugello test which follows this last flyaway.
The way things worked out in China the race basically doubled as a test too. It was a long afternoon, a lot of laps just driving around – but when you’re in seventeenth and there isn’t likely to be weather or attrition, the points seem a long way off and you have to do what you need to do help the team move forward in the future. I think what we’ve learned will be useful this week in Bahrain where hopefully we’ll be more competitive.
As you probably realise, F1 didn’t go to Bahrain last year, so unlike the rest of the early-season circuits I haven’t got the experience of a 2011 FP1 run behind me. I have been to Sakhir before but only for a Formula BMW Scholarship event in 2006. It was on a short circuit, albeit incorporating bits of the Grand Prix track. To be honest I don’t remember much about it – but I got the scholarship so I must have been fairly quick. Maybe that’s a good omen and I’m clearly going to finish the Grand Prix on the podium!
Is it tougher racing in a hot country? Well frankly it’s pretty hot in the car wherever you are, but yes, it’s hotter and normally more exhausting to be racing somewhere like this. But in between Malaysia and China I went to Australia where it was 30°C plus every day and I did plenty of outdoor training in the beautiful weather so I think I’m probably well prepared for it.
Incidentally, I’m not on a retainer from the Australian Tourist Board, I really do love going home and the weather this time of year in Western Australia really is beautiful. Maybe I should give them a call…
- Visit the official Formula 1 website
- Visit Scuderia Toro Rosso's website
- Circuit Guide: Bahrain International Circuit