Team-mate Chilton again suffered a lack of running in Saturday morning practice, losing the final 30 minutes to a KERS water pump problem which meant that he did not try the Pirelli PZero Medium tyre ahead of qualifying, and then locked up on his flying lap in Q1. Despite being closer to his team-mate than previously, he will start the race from 21st, with Gutierrez alongside.
“I'm much more comfortable heading into the race than today's timesheet might suggest, to be honest,” the Briton insisted, “After a good day yesterday, we had the problem this morning and, although that wasn't the best preparation for qualifying, with the running I did get I could see that the changes we made since yesterday are positive and we have made progress in the right direction.
“Things were going well in qualifying but, unfortunately, I locked up into Turn 11 and, looking at the data, I easily lost three to four tenths there. So, again, it's a question of looking beyond the timesheets and staying focused. We're playing the long game here in Bahrain so, if I can get the right side of [Giedo] van der Garde at the start, I think we can show more of the progress we have made behind the scenes.”
“We're optimistic that, as was the case in China last weekend, we will experience a much better Sunday,” Booth concluded, “There is no denying that this track has not favoured our car so well but, behind the scenes, we've actually made good progress to overcome the balance issues which have been our main concern. I think we can look forward to strong performances from both [drivers] tomorrow.”