Lewis upbeat ahead of Bahrain

Lewis Hamilton

“I’m looking forward to Bahrain. It’s a circuit I enjoy and I think it should be good for us – the nature of the circuit, the long straights and the heavy braking zones mean it is a theoretically strong place for KERS. In fact, it’s got the highest brake-wear of the season so far, so it will be interesting to see how well KERS can be exploited around the lap.

“Most importantly, we seem to have a solid direction within the team – all our upgrades invariably bring a laptime improvement and our direction on set-up and strategy shows what a strong group we still are. I still think we are several races away from being truly competitive but a straightforward race at Bahrain would give us a very good opportunity to accurately assess where we sit among our rivals.”

Heikki Kovalainen

“There’s a real mix of corners at the Bahrain circuit and the long straights followed by tighter corners mean it’s a good place for overtaking. It’s quite tricky to find the right set-up, it’s a medium downforce circuit so that always brings a compromise. And the changing wind conditions, the winds here can be quite strong, also make it harder to get the car working over the whole weekend. Still, it’s a circuit you have to attack to get a good time – I really enjoy the high-speed esses and uphill sweeps around the back of the circuit. I’m looking forward to another strong weekend and the opportunity to put some more points on the board.”

Martin Whitmarsh, team principal Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

“The points we scored in China were encouraging because they showed that, even without a fully competitive car, we have lost none of our ability to attack over a race weekend and to maximize every opportunity that comes our way. Until our package reaches full competitiveness, that must remain our aim for the Bahrain weekend. Once again, we will introduce a series of upgrades to MP4-24 and remain optimistic that they will once again deliver a further performance improvement. Also, as the home of one of our primary shareholders, it is a particularly special race for everyone within the team and we are made to feel very welcome by our Bahraini hosts.”

Norbert Haug, vice-president Mercedes-Benz Motorsport

“We are looking forward to the second back to back race this season after the first two grands prix within eight days in Melbourne and Sepang. This schedule with four races within five weeks, is a very tough challenge for everybody involved in Formula 1. Our performance in dry conditions looked a step better in Shanghai than at the two races before and our aim is to continue in this direction. Anyway - we cannot expect miracles in Bahrain and everybody in the team is absolutely aware of the fact that we have to work day and night in order to come back to the top of the field.“We lost already six points in Australia by our own faults and also in Malaysia we should have scored more than one point. In China we achieved for the first time what was achievable, but fifth and sixth places cannot be the target for the team starting with numbers 1 and 2 on their cars. After the first four flyaway races we have to deliver presentable progress in the next four races in Europe. However, it will be very challenging to move into the top three of the team ranking in such a short time.”

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