A really tough weekend for Barwa Addax Team in Bahrain. However, some confidence can be gained from the showing of both drivers Jake Rosenzweig and Rio Haryanto and there was definitely an improvement made from the performance in Malaysia.
Jake Rosenzweig, worked hard and very well throughout the whole weekend, in what could be really said to be his first races of the season in optimum shape. He was unable to shine in free practice but the team took advantage of the time improving the set up of the car.
The team made the decision to go for a different strategy to the rest and took the risk of starting the 1st race with harder compound tyres and try to stay out longer before having to make the change to softs.
He managed to climb up to 10th in the race but with the change of tyres he was soon relegated to the rear of the field. Jake was able to fight back and finished in 16th place. Despite his efforts, he knows that it could have been a different story if it hadn’t been for constant traffic with drivers on different strategies and maybe the decision to come in a couple of laps earlier might have helped his cause.
The track was not as tough on the softer tyres as had been expected, probably due to the fact that a lot of tyre rubber had been left on the circuit. In the second race Rosenzweig was able to compete with his rivals in the main peloton, producing a race rhythm that matched experienced drivers, such as Johnny Cecotto.
He had some great scraps with important drivers in this category which should give him the confidence to realize that he can compete with the best, who have much more experience. The American driver is on the way to consolidating himself at this level.
Rio Haryanto, started the weekend in the same way, more or less, as his team mate. He was unable to get one really good lap time posted, due to traffic on the circuit and, like his team mate, he had to start among the back markers. It was decided to adopt the same strategy as the rest of his rivals, with the exception of his team mate.
He came in to the pits to change from soft to hard on lap 11, to see out them out till the end of the race. Despite having to take care of his tyres he drove a splendid race, climbing through the field from his 24th placed start to finish in a very creditable 15th position.
Nine places in a category that is so evenly matched is a great performance, especially when one takes into account that he started the race from so far back, which meant constant traffic. In the second race Rio was ready to make a fightback of similar proportions but a chaotic incident involving various cars at the first corner left him with damage to the front of the car.
He had to limp in slowly to the pits to replace the front portion of the car. This left him way behind the main peloton of drivers but Haryanto spent the rest of the race showing what might have been as he set lap times that were as quick and at times quicker than the leading cars.
Another stroke of bad luck, but you have to be optimistic about the coming races if the Indonesian driver is capable of reproducing this kind of performance.
Rio Haryanto, Barwa addax Team official driver: "It’s a tough weekend for us started with a bad qualifying where I was held up in traffic on my quick lap. Had a good race in race1 manage to get up to 15th from 24th and bad luck in race 2 as I had an incident in turn 1. Overall we learned a lot this weekend and we still have to work hard to get to the top."
Barwa Addax Team realize that the results have not been good until now, at this start of the season, but the team is confident that they will get better, as they usually do, for the European stage of the championship. They are going to work hard to ensure that they turn this around this season.
The Spanish has complete faith in its drivers. Jake Rosenzweig who was severely hindered physically in Malaysia, improved considerably in Bahrain despite having to drive among the main group of drivers throughout the whole weekend.
Rio Haryanto, even though he was riddled by bad luck, did enough to show that he has what it takes to be fighting it out with the favourites in this class. In Malaysia he was competing really well in the first race until an unfortunate puncture destroyed his chances and in the second race, here in Bahrain, his rhythm was superior to the race leaders.
Montmeló, Spain will stage the next two races as the championship moves to Europe for the following seven events. The dates will be from the 9th-12th of May.