Bahrain Grand Prix 2020 – Practice
Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: Although there was some overnight and morning rain, we were able to complete the programmes as intended. Roy did an excellent job and completed all of his test items, providing some very useful feedback, including on the new 2021 Pirelli tyres. FP2 was fully dry but interrupted by several red flags, which disrupted our low fuel running and delayed the high fuel runs. Nonetheless, we were able to gather some useful tyre data, which will help guide the car set-ups for the rest of this weekend and also into next year.
The weather tomorrow looks similar to today and so FP3 may be more valuable than it traditionally is at the events where we race in the evenings. We will wait and see how hot the track is tomorrow afternoon before finalising the FP3 run plan. We have got a lot of work to get through tonight, but we are confident that we can improve the performance of the car as a result and can produce useful test programmes to suit whatever weather conditions that we encounter.
Nicholas Latifi: It is nice to be back driving in some warm weather, but it was a tricky day. This track is notoriously difficult on the tyres, with very high degradation. FP1 isn’t the most representative session, the ones that matter are in the evening time, so FP2 was a bit more important. We got extra running with the new 2021 tyres which was good to get a feel on them. We have some things to sort out, we need to fine tune the balance on the low fuel, and high fuel was very disruptive with the red flags. It is clearly going to be difficult to manage those tyres.
The tyre degradation and race management has been my stronger suit this year and allowed me to win the feature race in F2 here last year. Hopefully that plays to our strengths, but we still have a lot to improve before we can be confident about that.
George Russell: It was nice to get back out on track today under the lights as it is always pretty spectacular, so I enjoyed it. It hurt us slightly missing FP1, as it puts you on the back foot and then with those red flags from Alex’s crash and the appearance from the dog, it didn’t make it the easiest session. It affected my low fuel run on the soft tyre as I was on the out-lap both times the session got red flagged. However, we have been in this position before and we know what to do. It will be a long evening into the early hours of tomorrow, and then wake up tomorrow and go and have some fun. Let’s see what we can do.
Roy Nissany: It was a very positive session once again, and a challenging one in comparison to my last FP1 outing at Monza. We have stepped up in terms of development and it feels great as always to be working with the team, to be in the car and a part of the progress that Williams is making. It is an incredible experience putting down the results, and I am looking forward to more action at the test in Abu Dhabi.