Just one week after Nico Rosberg took the first Silver Arrow victory of the modern era in Shanghai, and his own first Formula One win, Round Four of the 2012 World Championship will be held in Bahrain on Sunday 22 April.
The Sakhir circuit features three corners taken below 100 kph and four straights where the cars exceed 285 kph. The pit lane is among the longest of the year, with a total of 480 m spent under speed limit control. 70% of the lap distance is spent at full throttle, an almost identical proportion to that seen in Melbourne
DRS can be used for 46% of a qualifying lap in Sakhir, compared to 53% of the lap last weekend in Shanghai.
For Ross, “after the fantastic weekend that we experienced in Shanghai, it has been nice to take a few days to reflect on the achievement of the first win for a Mercedes works car since 1955, and of course, Nico’s first win in Formula One.
The team have worked very hard to overcome the tyre issues that affected us at the first two races, and it is clear that achieving the optimum performance from the Pirelli tyres is absolutely key to our performance and ability to challenge at the front of the field. The temperatures and track conditions in Bahrain will be very different to Shanghai, however we will work hard to extract the maximum performance from the F1 W03 and have another strong weekend.”
Last Sunday was a milestone for our MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS team” says Norbert. “However, things move quickly in this business and our focus is now on preparing for the fourth race of the season in Bahrain.
Our newly-formed Silver Arrows team made its debut at this circuit two years - and 41 races - ago. Since then, everybody in Brackley and Brixworth has worked tirelessly to make ours a winning team, and our performance in China provided a first taste of success.
But we are keeping our feet on the ground, because this year more than ever before in the history of Formula One, small details can take you from hero to zero: just three tenths of a second separated P1 to P11 in qualifying last Saturday. We have not raced on this configuration of the Bahrain circuit since 2009, because the layout used in 2010 included an additional loop of slow corners.
Track and ambient temperatures are of course traditionally high, while there are seven traction events from 150 kph or lower around the lap: these factors mean that looking after the rear tyres is particularly important. We have all seen how delicate it is to keep this generation of Pirelli tyres in their optimum performance window, and this challenge is making for some thrilling racing throughout the field.
This weekend will be our chance to understand more about what progress we have made with our Mercedes AMG F1 W03 on this point in hotter conditions than we experienced in China. We are taking nothing for granted, and will continue to work in a focused manner on extracting everything we can from our current technical package.”