Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The "Pink Panthers" look forward
to the Bahrain Grand Prix
At the rainy Chinese Grand Prix, the twin “pink panthers” of the BWT-sponsored Sahara Force India Formula 1 team both scored points, as Sergio Perez finished in ninth place and Esteban Ocon in tenth position after falling to seventeenth at one point.  
Team Principal and Managing Director Dr. Vijay Mallya issued the following statement “Ten points from the opening couple of races is a solid start to our season. We knew this new era of Formula One would provide some huge challenges, but I’m proud of how we have reacted as a team. We’ve taken our chances, ridden our luck at times and shown good reliability. We know where we can improve and where we need to focus our attention, but overall the VJM10 race car has performed well across two very different circuits in varying weather conditions. I’d like to think we can compete for points again in Bahrain.”

Sergio Perez provided this overview of his first two races “I feel pretty happy about the way we have started the year. Eight points from two races is a good achievement and shows that we are working well as a team. I still think a better result was possible in China, but we can’t complain about where we ended up because it wasn’t an easy race considering how cold and wet it was on Sunday."

Esteban Ocon looked back at his Chinese Grand Prix: “I feel positive after China and scoring another point. Despite the lack of running on Friday and the disappointment of qualifying, we were able to come back strongly in the race. I still believe we didn’t maximize our opportunities and we have analyzed everything that happened and learned what we could have done better. There is a lot on which we can build to get stronger as the season progresses."

Race Engineer Tim Wright provides this preview of the Bahrain Grand Prix The track in Sakhir provides a harsh test for Formula One cars. Racing at night means it’s no longer as demanding on the cooling system as it used to be in the past, but conditions are still something we have to take into account when setting the car up for our drivers. The circuit can be very windy, as we are not far from the coast and in the open spaces of the desert, and that contributes to unsettling the car and blowing sand on the track, reducing grip."

Wright continued "Tires are a crucial element there – the rough track surface results in one of the highest degradation rates in the season, while the number of slow, high duration corners makes it even harder for the rubber. The slow corners and the long straights mean it’s important to have good traction and plenty of engine power."

Wright’s Key Points:

•Rough track with lots of dust, high degradation
•Slow corners and their exit are critical for a good lap times
•Four big straights, lots of engine power needed

As a follow-up to Wright’s comment regarding tire degradation Pirelli will use the following compounds for the Bahrain Grand Prix:  

 P Zero medium (white sidewall)
 P Zero soft (yellow sidewall)
 P Zero Supersoft (red sidewall)
At some point in the race, teams must use at least one set of P Zero medium and one set of P Zero soft tires.

The Bahrain race will be televised on CNBC Sunday April 16 at 11 A.M. Eastern Time.
Quotes, photos and graphics for this article provided by Sahara Force India F1 team

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