Like all the drivers, the Ferrari pair of Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello have had their first chance to assess the new Bahrain circuit and both are impressed with the facility. On foot and by bicycle or scooter, curious drivers have...
Like all the drivers, the Ferrari pair of Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello have had their first chance to assess the new Bahrain circuit and both are impressed with the facility. On foot and by bicycle or scooter, curious drivers have been traipsing over Bahrain's new asphalt to gain some insight into how best to tackle the unknown challenge.
"The circuit looks spectacular with a good layout," said Schumacher. "For me, the preparation for a new circuit consists simply of finding out where the corners are and noting any points that might be tricky where you could make a mistake. The organisers here seem to have addressed many of the problems we encounter at other tracks, with excellent facilities and good working conditions for the mechanics."
Barrichello underlined the importance of tyres after scrutinizing the surface and expressed surprise at how clean the track was. "The surface is very smooth, in that there seem to be very few bumps," said the Brazilian. "But at the same time the asphalt is very grippy and abrasive and that will make tyre choice very important as everyone is effectively starting from zero here and it looks as though track temperatures could be very high."
"Before coming here, I heard all the stories that the track would be very dirty because of the sand, but first impressions are that it is actually cleaner at this stage than at the first two races of the season."
Being one of the top four teams, Ferrari does not have the option to run a third car in Friday practices. Barrichello conceded the other teams may have a slight edge in that respect but over all he thinks set up will be the trickiest thing to get right.
"I think this is the first circuit where the teams who are allowed to run a third car in these sessions will have an advantage," he commented. "As for my general impression of the track, I think it will be quite straightforward to drive, but a bit more tricky to set up the car."
"There are a couple of corners that remind me of the Valencia circuit and a challenging series of 'Esses' which are similar to part of Silverstone. I think the facilities here are better than anything we have seen before and they are amazing."