Pascal Wehrlein admitted he was buzzing after making his Grand Prix debut in Australia two weeks ago, and says nothing will ever take that feeling away from him as he heads into this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
The German ran amid the midfield battle during the early stages for Manor Racing before extreme tyre degradation saw him drop down the order, although he saw the chequered flag in fourteenth position.
“Melbourne was amazing,” revealed Wehrlein. “Nothing can prepare you for the feeling of lining up on the grid for the first time and taking the chequered flag at the end of your first Grand Prix. They are special memories for sure.”
Wehrlein admitted he was happy with the first start of his Formula 1 career, after moving up from nineteenth to thirteenth on the opening lap, and feels the first stint of the race was a good indication of the step up the team have made this season.
“I’ve replayed it over and over in my mind – and a little bit on TV!” revealed the German about the start. “To find myself running in 13th place at one point was pretty incredible.
“To be honest, the whole first stint was really positive and a good reflection of the step the team has made since last season.”
Wehrlein also feels the team will take a lot of knowledge from the Australian Grand Prix into this weekend’s race in Bahrain, and feels they will learn from the mistakes made during qualifying and the race, although he acknowledges the tyre degradation issues seen may take longer to rectify.
“As a team we learned a lot in Melbourne,” said Wehrlein. “Qualifying didn’t work out well for us and as we have the same format here in Bahrain we need to put those lessons into practice.
“We still have a way to go with optimising the set-up to counter the tyre degradation problems we experienced in the second half of the race. It was a good start, but there’s a lot of room for improvement in every area, including me.”