The Racing Engineering team endured a frustrating weekend in Bahrain, with Stefano Coletti’s fourth place finish in the feature race the only highlight. Both drivers stalled on the grid in the Sunday sprint race, while Raffaele Marciello’s weekend started with promise and ended with two lowly finishes.
“This was a very disappointing weekend in terms of results, especially when we saw in both races that both cars and drivers have a big, big potential in regards to their race pace, consistency and balance,” said Thomas Couyotopoulo, the Sporting Director of Racing Engineering. “Both drivers showed a very, very strong pace during the races and we have to work on the details now to have it right in Barcelona and put it all together and use the performance and potential that is there to score a lot of points.”
During the feature race at the Bahrain International Circuit, Coletti conserved his tyres well to finish on the tail of third placed Jolyon Palmer. Unfortunately he stalled on the grid for the sprint race, and ended up finishing 23rd.
“On the option tyres the car was really good and before the safety car period I was quicker than the two cars in front of me so. I am quite happy with the car. When the safety car came out, we pitted on lap 6. The problem was that some drivers slowed down on the fast lane, so I dropped from P3 to P6 and in the end finished in P4.
“The pace was good all race long, when I saw the cars behind me dropping away, I maintained the gap in front of and saved my tyres as there was 8 laps to go. Unfortunately the race was one lap short as otherwise I would have easily been in P3.
“Overall I am very happy with the car and if we hadn’t had some bad luck, I am sure we would have finished much higher up on the podium.”
“Unfortunately I stalled at the start [on Sunday]. Then I did the whole race alone at the back. The car was really, really quick and very consistent, very easy to drive. Very disappointing as today there could have been big points for us, but the championship is long.
Marciello started the feature race ninth but slipped back after a poor start, but then acquired a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit-lane during his pit-stop, finally finishing down 18th. In the feature race, he like his team-mate stalled on the grid, and he finished a lap down in 24th.
“The car was really fast, so I think we lost a great chance to score good points,” said Marciello. “I think I gained a lot of experience and we can learn a lot. It went really badly [on Sunday] as I stalled at the start. At least we know the car is really, really fast, but at the end I was one lap down.
“So for Barcelona we have a lot of potential as the car is fast, but we have to use it. My problem is the start and we have to work on that now. We will do better in Barcelona for sure.”