Cool hotels, good go-kart tracks and "classic" configurations are some of the things that Daniel Ricciardo and Daniel Kvyat are looking forward to in Bahrain.
Q: What are you looking ahead to in Bahrain, after Shanghai?
DR: "We stay in possibly the coolest hotel of the season. I haven’t explored Manama but out near the circuit where we’re based, we stay in a hotel with it’s own beach. Obviously the weather’s great and for training and relaxing for a few days before the event, yeah, it’s pretty sweet."
Q: Rumour has it the Bahrain International Circuit is your second favourite at Sakhir…
DR: "Ha! Yeah, there’s a really good go-kart track next to the circuit. Last year after testing you could go down there and hang out with the guys working at the track and do a few laps – obviously in your race overalls and helmet trying to look as cool as possible. Pretty good."
…and the grand prix circuit?
DR: "It was the location of possibly my best qualifying lap ever, so I’ve got a few nice memories of Sakhir. Over one lap there’s nothing that really has the wow! factor but for racing it’s a little better. Last year the race was one of the best. You can pass, and moving to an evening race spices things up a little. It kept you guessing with the tyres. Yeah, it’s a good track to race on. There’s some tricky corners. Turn 10 is a funny turning-turning-braking-braking that’s very technical, and when you get it right it feels good – but there’s nothing that feels sick."
Q: 'Sick' in the Urban Dictionary sense?
DR: "Yeah, that’s the one."
Q: On to the Sakhir circuit, the first night race of the season, is that something you enjoy?
DK: "It makes a difference. The temperature is a lot easier on you as a driver, the tarmac is not so hot. The lighting is very good, there’s no real issue with driving under lights. The track itself is what I would call a kind of ‘classic’ configuration. It’s got some flowing sections, some interesting corners. I enjoy it. It’s a good racing track. The facilities are great and it’s a good paddock."
Q: Is the circuit layout one that you like?
DK: "I had quite an unlucky race there last year but that doesn’t make it a bad track for me. I think if you’re fast and you’re winning then any track is a good one! If you hit the right lines, if you hit on the right set-up and the right approach to the weekend, you’re going to enjoy yourself."
Q: And off-track?
DK: "We stay in a nice hotel in Bahrain, it’s right by the beach and the atmosphere there is really nice. I haven’t really been to Manama as it’s pretty much just hotel and track!"