Bahrain International Circuit
Race laps: 57
Total race distance: 308.238km/191.530 miles
Circuit length: 5.412km/3.363 miles
Number of corners: 15 (nine right, six left)
Allocated tyre compounds:
Lando Norris #4
“It’s time to go racing again and I’m really excited to be jumping back into the MCL35M and getting out on track. We were only out in Bahrain a couple of weeks ago for pre-season testing and looking further back it was only a few months ago since we raced there, so I’m looking forward to doing it again. I’ve had some good performances there during my career and it’s a track I’ve become very familiar with. Even though we only had a few days to test, during those days and in the lead-up to this weekend we’ve been able to learn a decent amount about the car and do some correlation work in the simulator, which has been helpful. Of course, there’s still more we can understand to extract every final bit of performance, which we’ll need.
“I feel confident and ready to enter my third year in Formula 1. My aim is to keep building on my previous experience and help the team progress as much as possible. I know how hard everyone in the team has been working, both day and night, to get us prepared to go racing again and I can’t thank them enough. We’ve got a long and challenging season ahead but hopefully we can get off on the right foot.”
Daniel Ricciardo #3
“I’m really excited for the of start the season. It’s the beginning of a new chapter, my first race in papaya and I can’t wait to get started. It’s also a special race with Bahrain being the team’s home-from-home. In my first few months at McLaren the team has made me feel right at home in such a short space of time. I feel confident and comfortable going into the new season, which is important as I want to get the most out of the car right from race one.
“As a team we made the most of pre-season testing with some smooth running. It was great to get to grips with the MCL35M in just the few days that we had to put it through its paces. I think, naturally, it takes a bit of time to adjust to a new car, but I’m feeling prepared to hit the track come Friday. It’s an exciting circuit with a few big braking zones and plenty of opportunities for overtaking. Racing at dusk is always cool and brings an added challenge to the weekend.
“This season looks like it’s going to be a competitive one, but I’m looking to hit the ground running, leave nothing on the table, give it my all for the team and hopefully give the fans something to smile about.”
Andreas Seidl Team Principal
“This week we kick off another exciting year of Formula 1 after a busy and productive winter for the team. Lando, Daniel and the entire team are fully focused on what will be a highly competitive and thrilling season as we aim to maintain our momentum from 2020.
“It’s incredibly difficult to predict the pecking order from testing alone, so we will only really begin to see where everyone is on Sunday. What we can be certain of is an even tighter battle this season with McLaren right in the mix.
“The hard work and dedication from every single person in the team over the winter months, alongside Lando, Daniel and our Mercedes colleagues has been outstanding. A massive thanks goes to all of them alongside our partners and, of course, our brilliant fans. We’re ready to hit the track in anger and excited at the prospect of closer racing, great battles and a competitive season ahead.”