McLaren rookie Kevin Magnussen is hopeful that the experience of testing in Bahrain during pre-season will be of some help at this week's Grand Prix at the same circuit.
Before pre-season started, the only tracks the Dane had driven a Formula One car at two circuits - Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi and Silverstone.
Since two pre-season tests took place at Sakhir, this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix will be the first that takes place at a circuit where he has raced before, and Magnussen hopes he can use that experience to his advantage.
"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," Magnussen told crash.net.
"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."
Magnussen doesn't think he will be as competitive this week as he was in Australia, where he finished in second place after Daniel Ricciardo was disqualified, but admitted that his driving style suits the track in Bahrain.
"Although the Sakhir track has several high-speed corners, it's not as fast as Sepang, 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," he continued.
"The Grand pPrix 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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