Lotus GP's Romain Grosjean admitted that he was feeling a lot happier in the desert heat in Sakhir at the Bahrain International Circuit than he did last week in a chilly Shanghai, where he nonetheless battled through to sixth place.

"This season so far we've been from quite cool temperatures in Australia to hot weather in Malaysia, reasonably cool in China and then hot again here in Bahrain," he pointed out. "But I hate the cold, so I feel better here!"

The heat did mean that practice on Friday was spent dialling the car into the hottest, driest conditions of the season so far, and working out the best strategy to cope with tyre degradation during Sunday's race.

"This variation makes it difficult for the team to set up the car, as you're working with different conditions and therefore spend most of the practice sessions adjusting things to match," he said. "The tyre strategy will be different and the tyre usage will be different here as we have these temperatures.

"I think we can be quite happy with our day's work," he continued. "We ran through the full programme as planned and got some decent mileage under our belts ... We now have a much better idea of how the car behaves and hopefully this will lead to a good performance in qualifying tomorrow.

"We've made a big improvement from where we were this time last week in China," he added. "I'm feeling confident on long runs and tomorrow we'll be pushing hard to get the best single lap pace as well."

The big decision will be how to time the race stints in order to get the best use out of the prime and option tyres without risking too long a run and succumbing to tyre wear on the softer compound.

"The key for this weekend's race will be making the tyres work in the heat and we're encouraged by our pace using both tyres with both cars on high fuel today," said Lotus GP technical director James Allison.

Grosjean's team mate Kimi Raikkonen summed up the situation by stating that "The soft tyres felt better today but we have to work out which tyre will work best over a stint duration." He added: "At the moment, it doesn't look like the difference will be night and day."

Raikkonen added that he'd been happy with the state of the track from early on Friday.

"The track conditions were surprisingly good straight away in first practice today, and it didn't feel like a massive difference in the second session," he said. "Hopefully the wind does not get up overnight and blow sand on to the track."


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