Already this season, I think we've shown what we can do well as a team when we put a driver in a good position in qualifying. If the team can give Kimi or Romain a car that will allow them to qualify at the front of the field, they can deliver a strong result.
With that in mind, we were all a bit disappointed in Bahrain when Kimi could only qualify in ninth place and Romain was in eleventh as that wasn't the position we expected to be in at all. The race however was a different matter...
We recovered from qualifying in a fantastic way, and the car was unbelievably quick on race day. Kimi was on a two-stop strategy and it was the right call to make as it allowed him to come through to finish second, but the fact that Romain was able to make three stops and join him on the podium was a sign of how strong the E21 was.
Could they have finished higher if we'd qualified better? Like I said about Kimi's start in China, it is hard to know. There were times in Bahrain when Sebastian Vettel looked unbeatable but, at the same time, Kimi is a great champion and, if he'd been on the front two rows of the grid, then there is no doubt he would have been able to push Vettel all the way, especially at the end of the race when his pace was really strong. When you have a driver like Kimi in the team and he has a car as good as the E21, then it is always possible.
For Romain, the podium finish will come as a big confidence boost for him after a more difficult start to the season. He has driven well this year and has been scoring points, but in the first three races of the year, he just hadn't been in the top three or four. The team was confident that he could deliver a result in Bahrain and, even after qualifying, he was able to have a good race with a strong car under him and he delivered the result.
I'm confident that he will be a lot closer to Kimi for the rest of the year and is going to score a lot of good points for the team. In Bahrain, he drove a perfect race, did some good overtakes and had strong pace which makes me sure that there will be more results like Bahrain to follow for him. It's important for a driver to have a lot of confidence to fight at the front of the field against drivers like Vettel and Alonso, and the podium finish is good for Romain as it gave him that boost.
The double podium means that we'll go back to Europe for the Spanish Grand Prix second in the championship, which shows that we are one of the top teams at the moment, and it was great to see both drivers on the podium in Bahrain. Of course, it would be nice if one of them had been on the top step, but we have one win already and have started the season strongly. We just hope that we can continue our run of form when racing resumes in Barcelona.
Qualifying is going to be key there and, like I've said, if we can put Kimi on the front two rows, then we can expect everything from him as I feel he has the best race pace so far this season. Romain can also challenge right at the front if we give him a car to qualify well.
These next few races are important as they are the first ones in Europe and people are bringing in new parts, so we will see where we stand compared to the other teams, but we are looking forward in a positive way.
We'll be bringing some updates to Barcelona ourselves, but I can't tell you what they are as I don't think the team would be happy if I gave our rivals the chance to find out what we have planned! Let's just say that we are working hard to improve a car that is already very good and we'll see if the hard work pays off when we arrive in Spain.
Click on relevant pic to enlarge
the conversation - Add your comment
Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.