McLaren preview the Bahrain GP

Wednesday 2nd April 2014

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McLaren preview the Bahrain GP

McLaren preview the Bahrain GP

Jenson Button will take part in his 250th Grand Prix in Bahrain, but his rookie team-mate Kevin Magnussen is excited by racing on a track he has seen before.

Jenson Button: It's hard to believe that this weekend's race will be the 10th Bahrain Grand Prix - I won this race back in 2009, I've had lots of good performances here, and I really enjoy the challenge the circuit presents. You always feel like you can get a little bit more out of yourself, and the car, which makes it a difficult but rewarding track on which to drive.

Sunday's race will be my 250th Grand Prix start. That's crazy: it feels like only yesterday that I was celebrating my 200th, with a win for McLaren in Hungary back in 2011.

Things never stand still in Formula One, and we go to Bahrain facing another new challenge: the circuit's first night race. It'll be interesting to see what sort of race we have under the floodlights - racing at night always adds to the atmosphere and sense of occasion, and I think this weekend will be no different.

We've scored some useful points in the first two races, which was always our objective for the opening quartet of fly-aways [ie, Australia, Malaysia, Bahrain and China], and I hope we can get some more points in the bag this weekend."

Kevin Magnussen: It'll be a good experience to go racing at a circuit on which I've already driven a Formula 1 car - a first for me in fact because I already have four days' running under my belt from the recent winter tests. While that doesn't really make a massive difference, because you can learn a circuit relatively quickly, assisted by simulator experience, it does mean you can go straight into Friday's practice sessions on the front foot. You don't need to familiarise yourself with the track first.

I really enjoyed the tests and filming days we did in Bahrain earlier this year actually - the track has a good mix of corners, and the high-speed stuff around the back of the circuit is really enjoyable when the car is working well.

Although the Sakhir [Bahrain] track has several high-speed corners, it's not as fast as Sepang [Malaysia] so I'm hopeful that we'll be slightly more competitive this weekend than we were there. I still think the track temperatures and our lack of downforce will make it hard to get the car into the sweet spot we found for it in Melbourne, but I'm hopeful we'll be able to achieve a decent balance for the race.

The Grand Prix itself will take place in the evening, so the track will be slightly cooler than it's been for any previous Bahrain Grand Prix. I guess that'll help all the teams, but I think we can still benefit from it.

It's always fascinating to try new things, and I really hope this weekend's event, the 10th Bahrain Grand Prix, is a great success."

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