It was a return to the points for Esteban Ocon in Bahrain after his ninth-place finish. But the Frenchman was hoping for much more after a strong Saturday showing, as he looks ahead to tackling the fast, outer Bahrain circuit.
What will be the main challenges of the outer Bahrain circuit?
It’s going to be a whole new challenge on the outer Bahrain layout. I think it’s going to be especially tricky in qualifying and it might be quite busy on track! If you put all the cars on track at the same time, there’s going to be very small gaps in between and it’s going to be important to find a gap, while still finding a slipstream. The long circuit is already one of the easier tracks to overtake and this one might even be better.
Have you driven or even seen the new layout?
I’ve had a go on the track on the simulator and it does look challenging even if it’s short. It’s different to the rest of the track with high kerbs and it’s very bumpy and probably lower grip on that new part linking Turn 4 to where Turn 13 is on the normal circuit. I’ll do a track walk this week as I haven’t seen it in real yet. It’s a different downforce level and set-up, so that’ll be the interesting thing to see how quickly we can adapt. I’m sure we’ll find our way around.
What are your targets this weekend?
We had a good few days off to recharge a little before debriefing fully from last weekend’s race. Clearly, it wasn’t the best result after a very good qualifying. We think we’ll be better at this outer layout, so let’s see what we can do. I send my best wishes to Romain in his recovery and I’m pleased to hear he is alright.