It was great to kick-start my season with a win in Malaysia. Taking a one-two was also a fantastic result for the team and I can’t wait to see what we can do in Bahrain. I’ve finished on the podium here a couple of times here but, for one reason or another, I’ve never managed to get the win. Until last week it was the same story for me with Malaysia, so fingers crossed this can be the year of breaking those cycles! Malaysia was a really busy event for the team and we have a test coming up straight after this weekend’s race, so it would be great to give the crew another good result to head home with after a long road trip. We know it’s going to be tough to maintain our current form, particularly at a circuit where every team has had so much running time over the winter, but I’ll be pushing hard to keep those results coming.
The first two races have been a great start to my season and I’m already looking forward to being back in the car and carrying on that momentum in Bahrain. It’s a great track and I really enjoy driving it. I’ve never had much luck on race weekends here, but it’s definitely the one I’m best prepared for this year. I came to Bahrain for the Pirelli tyre test back in December and during winter testing a few weeks ago. Of course, it’s the same situation for most teams and drivers so we could see some close battles throughout the weekend. We may be leading both Championships at the moment but our rivals are breathing down our necks, so we need to stay focused and keep doing our job calmly and professionally.
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
We can be very proud of our achievements last week in Malaysia but there is no room for complacency. After two races we are leading both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships. But the most important thing to take from that is that it has only been two races. We are in the very early stages of what will be a demanding year for everybody and we have seen already that fortunes can change very quickly. We approach Bahrain with the same mentality as we have approached every challenge so far this season: in the knowledge that nothing must be taken for granted.
Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical)
Malaysia produced a highly satisfying result for the factories at both Brackley and Brixworth, with a historic one-two finish for the team complemented by Mercedes-Benz powered cars occupying seven of the top 10 positions. This is down to the hard work and dedication of a fantastic group of people and is very much deserved. Having said that, it is essential that we do not relent in our efforts. With every team having run at the circuit during the winter, Bahrain can be seen as a benchmark in terms of competitiveness at this early stage of the season. The combination of heavy traction demands and variable grip levels are a challenge for both car and driver, while the long straights reward strong performance from the Power Unit. We expect a tight battle throughout the field this weekend and it will be interesting to see how far the cars have come over the past few weeks since our last visit.