The McLaren-Honda team secured their first double-finish in China last weekend, although neither Fernando Alonso nor Jenson Button could secure their first points of the season. They head into Bahrain this weekend with the hope of further progress from their 2015 car, although neither driver believe the car will particularly suit the Sakhir circuit.
Alonso was happy to see the chequered flag in China, and hopes to build on that momentum this weekend in Bahrain feeling the team have made significant progress with the MP4/30 so far in 2015. His main aims will be once again to finish the race in Bahrain, and to obtain as much data as possible for future races.
“For me, China was a significant step forward for us and particularly for me as it’s the longest race distance I have done so far,” insisted Alonso.
“Every lap we complete provides us with extremely valuable data, so to finish the race was a great improvement and proves the gains we have made in the reliability of our package. I had a lot of fun out there and our performance in the final stint was very positive.
“Now, we go to Bahrain, and our aim is to keep building on this momentum with reliability, and of course to keep pushing for gains in performance, as we have been doing every weekend.
“In Australia, Malaysia and China we have seen big improvements each weekend, and although these two races are back-to-back, we will arrive in Bahrain and begin working on set-up straight away to maximise our potential at this circuit.
“This will be a challenging track for our car, for sure, but our first aim is to finish the race and take away as much data as possible to prepare ourselves for Barcelona onwards.
“We are certainly seeing progress all the time and the car feels great to drive, so we have a good base to keep developing. I’m looking forward to seeing what this race brings and getting the most from the weekend in every session.”
Team-mate Button insisted the Chinese Grand Prix was difficult for him, but still found positives in his afternoon’s work. He does not believe the Bahrain circuit will suit the team this weekend, but has happy memories of the track having won their back in 2009 for Brawn GP.
“China was a tricky race for us although we did see a lot of positives,” said Button. “There’s been a definite step forward at each race so far, although sadly this didn’t translate into the gains on track that we’d hoped for during the race, so we’re busy working out the reasons for that and will channel that into set up preparation for this weekend.
“Bahrain is always a really great event for the fans and it’s a fun track to race on – I won there in 2009 and I enjoy driving there. Although our car isn’t suited so well to this track layout, we’ll still be pushing to continue our development as we look forward to the start of the European season and hopefully more gains in performance.”