An update from free practice at the Bahrain International Circuit as the Bulls prepare for Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
Max was the first car out on track in Bahrain but experienced an electrical issue shortly after forcing him to stop just shy of the pit lane entry resulting in the Dutchman pushing his RB14 home to the garage.
Meanwhile, Daniel completed just 14 laps in the afternoon but claimed the top spot with an impressive 1:31.060 at the Bahrain International Circuit.
Unfortunately Max’s Team lost their race against the clock and he was unable to post a time in FP1 as the crew continue to work on his RB14 for the second session.
In Free Practice Two Max got back on track and was the first of the Bulls to head out under the floodlights with Daniel soon to follow.
Max completed 32 laps with a best time of 1:30.745 which was good enough for P5 while Daniel was just behind his teammate with a 1:30.751 for P6 after 31 laps.
In Free Practice Three it was P2 and P3 for the Bulls. Max took P2 with a 1:30.393 while Daniel finished the session less than a tenth behind with a 1:30.452.
Speaking after the session, Max said: "We had a small issue this morning. These things happen so it doesn’t concern me looking ahead to the rest of the weekend. It was not ideal to miss so much track time, it meant that I spent the beginning of the second session searching for the balance of the car which took a while. For such a short time in the car I managed to find quite a good balance and the long run pace looked pretty positive. I was also happy with how the tyre degradation looked at the end of that session.
"Come race day it will depend a lot on strategy, you can follow at this track better than others so with the right planning and a bit of luck you can get a good result. I think Practice 2 is the most important as it’s the closest conditions to the race, the others are a bit warm. Tomorrow we need to fine tune the short run pace in order to put ourselves in contention on Sunday, I’ll try to improve the feeling and balance to put myself in the best position possible.”
Daniel added: "Overall it wasn’t a bad day. Obviously, this morning was pretty strong but the evening session was not as good; we made some changes that didn’t work as well as we hoped. I don’t just want to go back to the Practice One car as I think we can still make it better. We can find a happy medium on the balance and the overall feeling is not too bad. I don’t think the position this evening is too important. I got traffic on the first lap, so I had to go for the second lap, and for sure I lost a bit of lap time there.
"Mercedes will still turn it up in Qualifying but we will be closer than where we were tonight. I’m confident that we will have a good car and tomorrow I’m sure we can be better than sixth and hopefully even better again in the race. I also just want to say that I don’t want Valtteri to get a penalty. This is Practice and it’s frustrating but I don’t think anyone agreed with my penalty last week and I don’t want to start that game. I believe he wasn’t told on the radio, so it’s probably not his fault."