After battling through the tight mid-field in Australia to score two points, Lance Stroll believes “every tenth [of-a-second] is going to count” in Bahrain.
Stroll was eliminated in the first Q1 session of 2019 but good race-pace and a strong strategy from the new Racing Point F1 Team enabled the Canadian to finish ninth come the end of the race.
“It was great to pick up a couple of points at the first race of the season,” said Stroll. “It was one of those days were we had to fight from start to finish with no let up. Good fun and close racing. Our strategy really paid off and we had good race pace.”
Stroll expects the mid-field to be just as close in this weekend’s 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix but sees the circuit as an even better opportunity for overtaking.
“Two points are important, but we came away from Melbourne knowing there’s lots of work to do. We knew the midfield had closed up, but there was just half a second covering about ten cars in qualifying. Every tenth is going to count this weekend as well.
“I think Bahrain is one of the best of the modern F1 tracks with good overtaking opportunities in turns one and four, and even into turn 11. There’s a nice flow to the lap with a combination of long straights and some slow to medium-speed technical corners. We often see entertaining racing there.”
While Stroll believes the track promotes entertaining racing, he points to some unique challenges the desert venue offers.
“The weather is usually pretty consistent – dry and sunny, but there’s always a big temperature shift when the sun goes down. Because some of the practice sessions are run in the daytime, you need to adapt to a very different track for qualifying and the race in the evening. You also need to look out for sand getting blown onto the track which can make things quite slippery.”