Toto Wolff says the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend will offer much different challenges to what was presented during the opening weekend of the season in Australia, and it will be up to the whole Mercedes-AMG Mercedes team to ensure another race weekend at the front of the field.
Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton finished first and second in Australia, with the former also setting the fastest lap and earning himself the first bonus point for it since 1959, but Wolff expects a different challenge to present itself in Bahrain, particularly as two of the practice sessions will not be as useful as they would normally during other weekends.
First practice on Friday and Saturday’s third session both run in the heat of the day whilst the other sessions, particularly Qualifying and the race, will be held across twilight and into the night.
“We will see a very different race in Bahrain, where the weekend presents unique challenges, especially the change in conditions between the sessions,” said Wolff.
“FP1 and FP3 take place in the middle of the day when both the air and the track can be very hot; FP2, Qualifying and the Race on the other hand are held in the evening in considerably cooler temperatures.
“These temperature swings make it very tricky to set up the car and find the right configuration for the sessions that really count.”
Wolff knows Mercedes need to extract ‘every bit of performance’ that they can to bring home the results they want, but whatever happens, he is expecting an exciting weekend in Bahrain.
“We need to extract every bit of performance from our package and keep on working hard to improve the car over the weekend to be competitive,” said Wolff.
“We’ve had some great racing in recent years in Bahrain, so I’m looking forward to an exciting weekend.”