Exciting young Toro Rosso drivers Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen have given their input on what to expect at the Bahrain Grand Prix this weekend.
Carlos Sainz: "Turn 1 is very tight at the start, meaning that a lot of cars need to fit in a small space. I remember having a tough moment through Turns 1 and 2 at the start last year, with a lot of cars bunching up. The race takes place at night, so your braking points change during the weekend and you take your references from FP2. I remember Turn 6 being difficult all weekend, suffering a lot from understeer because of the wind always changing the balance of the car. Turns 9 and 10 are the most difficult corners, not only of this track but also of the season, because it’s a double apex and you brake through the whole area, making it easy to front-lock a lot. You will always be able to see the marks of the tyres in that braking zone. I also remember Turn 12 being a challenge because it’s always on the limit – you can go flat there one lap if the wind is okay, but then you try to do the same the following lap and it’s impossible because of the wind… It’s tricky, but it gives the driver a lot of pleasure when you manage to do it well! Finally, at the last corner you have to make sure you get a good exit. Last year we struggled a bit with top speed, so it was all about getting a lot of traction out of there – I remember this straight being a bit too long for us… Maybe no longer that much this year!"
Max Verstappen: "The Bahrain circuit has a very long straight – too long last year! – and they overtook me quite a few times there in 2015… It's not a nice feeling and inside your head you're talking to yourself and saying “c'mon, c'mon!”; it's frustrating, but there's not much more you can do when another car is quicker than you. I also remember a lot of national flags on the left after the first three turns. I first saw them during the track walk, but then I sometimes also had time to see them while driving. Turns 5, 6 and 7 were a bit tough to get right when it was dark as the braking points change, but it's still a nice part of the track as I always enjoy the fast corners. Turns 9 and 10 were quite difficult for the front-locking and it's easy to flat-spot your tyres there – something you don't want to do during a race! In general, it's special to race in the evening, while it's getting dark. Hopefully this year we will score some points there, because Toro Rosso has never scored any in Bahrain! So this is definitely a good target that I will be looking to achieve."