PREPARING TO TAKE A TOUGH TESTCompany press release. BAHRAIN
– In the second pre-season test of the season, previous years saw the team hopping aboard a low-cost puddle-jumper to make the short trip to Barcelona and the Circuit de Catalunya. It's all change this time out, as of course we're in Bahrain.
The Bahrain International Circuit isn't a total unknown as a test venue – after all we were here for a tire test with Pirelli in December – but prior to that the Sakhir track hadn't been used as a proving ground since 2009 when Ferrari, BMW and Toyota all trekked out to the Gulf for a spell of hot weather running. Then we were busy pounding out laps in Spain, so while we have plenty of data from past GPs and from last December, it's still going to be a bit of a new experience, especially with the radically different RB10.
And speaking of which, Jerez wasn't exactly the debut the team was hoping to give our 2014 challenger. The issues we had there have been well documented, and it's fair to say that it was a pretty frustrated crew that clambered aboard the plane home.
That frustration doesn't last, however, and it's pretty soon replaced by a lot of head scratching, a lot of number crunching and a lot of seriously late nights. It's been a fortnight of frantic activity here at the factory, and the whole team has been burning the midnight oil over the past couple of weeks in a bid to solve the problems we encountered in Spain. So much so that we ran out of midnight oil, went looking for the 1 a.m. oil, got through that, burned the 2 a.m. stuff and then called Viry – where our engine partners Renault were working at as similarly intense pace – for more supplies, which they kindly sent our way.
It all means that this second test starts with a degree of nervous anticipation. And this track is a whole different kettle of corners compared with Jerez. Where in Spain it was cold and occasionally wet, Bahrain is likely be hot, dry and dusty.
The team saw that on arrival. Depending on their tasks (garage build etc.), the crew has been landing in the Gulf State in dribs and drabs since last Saturday. So far the thing everyone has mentioned is the wind. Yesterday was particularly blustery, which of course kicks up the sands around the track, and that makes it a tricky environment for engines. How the new power units will cope remains to be seen. The wind has been a lot lighter this morning, but we still had a short delay and the track didn't open until 9:30 a.m. That didn't affect us, however, as we had plenty of work to do in the garage.
It is a good bit warmer here than in Jerez, so again it will be more than interesting to see how everyone gets on with cooling here. Yesterday, we had temperatures in the early 20s, and today it's looking like more of the same.
Like Jerez, Sakhir has a fairly abrasive surface, so it's going to be a good workout for the new Pirelli tires. We've got a range of tire types to get through with the 2014 hard, medium and soft on offer as well as the 'winter' hard compound that was brought to Jerez – which is supposed to get to optimum temperature quickly in cold weather and also a set of 2014 mediums, which are set to be tested without warmers as they're going to be banned in 2015.
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We're out here for a full two weeks over the two tests, and we're determined to make them count. The start of the season is approaching. Next stop: Melbourne.
There are a ton of things to get sorted here in Bahrain, and the drivers will hopefully get the chance to put some good miles on the car. Seb's in the cockpit for the first two days this week, and then Dan will take over on Friday and Saturday. It's going to be extremely busy and there'll be no time to get out and about in Manama but everyone is really up for the challenge.
Infiniti Motor Company Ltd. is headquartered in Hong Kong with sales operations in approximately 50 countries. The Infiniti brand was launched in 1989. Its range of premium automobiles is currently built in manufacturing facilities in Japan and the United States. Production in China and Europe will start soon along with the expansion of the brand's portfolio.
As the Title Partner and Vehicle Performance Partner of Infiniti Red Bull Racing, Infiniti has a far-reaching technical collaboration with the Formula One team, and Sebastian Vettel, its four-time World Champion driver, serves as Infiniti's Director of Performance.
More information about Infiniti, its Total Ownership Experience® and its industry leading technologies can be found at www.infiniti.com. For the latest news on Infiniti, visit InfinitiNews.com, 'like' Infiniti on Facebook or follow the brand on Twitter @InfinitiUSA. For interesting content on Infiniti in Formula One visit: www.infiniti-gp.com, www.youtube.com/InfinitiGP or follow on Twitter @InfinitiGP.
Infiniti, the premium automotive brand, starts the 2013 season as Title Partner and Vehicle Performance Partner of Infiniti Red Bull Racing. With a deepened technical collaboration across people, process and technologies, an 'open door' approach is enabling both sides to access a pool of innovation, new technologies and R&D resources in the shared pursuit of precision and performance.
Since the partnership's inception in 2011 it has already seen the launch of the Infiniti FX Vettel Edition and product development input from Sebastian Vettel and test driver Sebastien Buemi for the all-new Infiniti Q50 premium sports saloon. Infiniti continues to be the most visible automotive brand in Formula One, and the deepened partnership will ensure closer alignment on an increasing number of future team collaborations.
For interesting content on Infiniti in Formula One visit: www.infiniti-gp.com, www.youtube.com/InfinitiGP or follow on Twitter @InfinitiGP.
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