Bahrain Test Round-up Q&A
What’s been the most pleasing aspect of the test this week in Bahrain?
Lewis: It's been impressive to see us start the first of the two tests here in Bahrain with good mileage and reliability, especially when you see how difficult it is for everyone with the new regulations. The team can be very proud of their efforts after so much hard work back at Brackley and Brixworth.
How hard are you pushing the car at the moment and where do you think the team are in performance terms?
Nico: We need to push the car in testing to see how it works in every condition. We don't yet know where we are in terms of performance yet, but this week has been great for me personally because I felt at home in the new car for the first time. All the settings are as we would like and the buttons on the steering wheel are now easier to get used to, so from that point of view it’s going really well.
What did the race simulation feel like in the car and how did you cope with all the new systems?
Nico: It was very busy in the car during the race simulations as there are a lot of new systems to learn. That’s what testing is about, to try and get used to everything. My engineer even threw some other things into the mix, such as safety car periods or a stop and go penalty to familiarise ourselves with as much as we can before the racing starts for real.
What are the main factors the team have been looking into during the second pre-season test?
Lewis: We're not aiming to be top of the timesheets; it's more about ticking the reliability boxes. We’ve been looking at a lot of different set-ups and the car seems to be responding well, so we just need to continue with the consistency we’ve shown and keep improving.
The team have caused a few of the numerous red flags so far, does that concern you?
Lewis: We're trying to find any issues we can now to prevent them happening during a race situation, so from that perspective it's actually positive when we are able to find and fix problems so it doesn’t worry me at all.
What can you and the team take away from the last four days?
Nico: I learnt a huge amount this week and every lap is important; every lap we complete, we learn something new. We discovered a lot of reliability issues that can only really be discovered if you do a lot of laps and push the car, so they have been very important to find. We now need to work on these issues and make sure we can fix them next week before we go to Melbourne.
How satisfied are you about the programme this week?
Paddy: It’s been a positive week with a lot of planned work going ahead and some fixes to make as a result of issues that are good to highlight at this stage. We still have a lot of work to do before Melbourne but we’re happy at this stage and looking forward to the final test here in Bahrain next week.