Bahrain Grand Prix Race
• Pastor Maldonado finished 11th with Valtteri Bottas 14th in today’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
• The team split strategies once again with both cars running a three-stop race but with Pastor starting on the medium option tyre while Valtteri started on the hard prime tyre.
• Both drivers had solid races getting the most they could out of the FW35 today.
Mike Coughlan, Technical Director: Having seen our pace on Friday, we were expecting a better race performance than what we showed in qualifying, and that is what happened today. We planned three pitstops with both cars and our strategy worked as we had hoped. We nearly got into the points, and although some cars ahead had problems, we were still pushing to the chequered flag. Both cars would likely have been fighting each other again at the end, but Valtteri lost some time due to a problem during his pitstops. We now need to continue improving the car performance for the next races.
Pastor Maldonado: Considering the problems we have been having, I think we got 100% out of the car today. We put everything together today, working well as a team and managing the tyres, and 11th was the maximum we could have achieved. We are really looking forward to the next race where we should see a step forward. We must stay together and positive. It’s a difficult time, but we still have many races to go.
Valtteri Bottas: The race was really dominated by the rear tyres today. In the first two stints I was fighting with a lot of cars so it was difficult to look after the tyres and manage the pace. The last two stints were better as I had more clean air and managed to make up some ground on the cars ahead. We now need to keep on working to get some updates to help us in coming races.
Laurent Debout, Renault Sport F1 team support leader: Whilst finishing outside the points cannot be an entirely satisfactory result, we can be positive that we are fighting with the midfield to get in the top 10. Pastor drove a controlled race and was just outside the points so we need to keep this momentum going for the coming races. With time we can get back to where we want to, and should be, racing.