Pascal Wehrlein drove a strong race in Bahrain as the Manor Racing driver secured thirteenth on the road, and admitted it was nice to be competitive all race long at the Sakhir International Circuit.
The German Mercedes protégé ran as high as seventh in the early laps of the race, and felt the car was much better than what it had been during the Australian Grand Prix two weeks ago, which enabled him to take the fight to the Sauber and Force India teams on Sunday.
He also felt the tyre degradation issues that affected him so badly in Australia were less severe in Bahrain, but they were still present enough for the team to switch him to a three-stop strategy.
“It was a great race for me,” said Wehrlein. “I can’t even compare it to the one in Melbourne because it felt like a completely different race. The car was better, the way we could manage the tyres was better – everything was just a big improvement.
“It was quite chaotic to begin with but that happens in the midfield so I’m not going to complain. My start was good and I managed to avoid any contact, then the rest of the first stint was really good fun.
“It was nice to be so competitive. I was 7th at one point and I really enjoyed getting past the Force Indias. It would have been good to take the second Sauber at the end but I had started to lose the tyres by then.
“We still experienced some tyre degradation, which is why we switched to a three-stop strategy, but it was much better than the last race and another good sign for us.
“I want to thank the whole team for today. I had a great car and it’s exciting to see how much more potential we have. I can’t wait for China now.”