After Romain Grosjean opened Lotus' 2015 points account in China, it is no surprise the team are eager to take that form to the Bahrain International Circuit.
Romain Grosjean: "It’s a good track and I’m happy to go back there. I’m especially looking forward to being able to race in Bahrain at night with a fast and reliable car. It’s a really fun circuit and one I enjoy racing at. Two of the three times I’ve raced at the Bahrain International Circuit in Formula One I’ve been on the podium. It’s a good record and of course I’ll be pushing as hard as possible for the best result to get more points for myself and the team in 2015.
"On paper it is not the most amazing circuit, but when you drive it’s pretty cool. I like the long straights followed by the hairpins and then the twisty middle section with a lot of G-force which makes it exciting. It gives the driver plenty to do behind the wheel and it gives you quite a lot to do in the debrief as well. It’s always rewarding when you balance all the different demands on the car to get the lap as fast as possible.
"[Racing at night] means a later start, and the later schedule means a larger window for sleep which is always welcome! In terms of at the track, the daytime hot temperatures with a lot of sun made tyre degradation quite high. Temperatures are clearly lower at night which has an influence on tyre grip and degradation. Last time it was certainly an exciting event visually and I think people enjoyed it as a viewing experience on television as well as at the track where there was something more of a party feeling with the crowds."
Pastor Maldonado: "Bahrain is a good circuit. I would say it is a ‘complete’ circuit because it has a mix of high, medium and low speed turns, plus good sequences of corners. It’s challenging over a lap and makes for an enjoyable race. The weather can get pretty hot, although this won’t be as much of a challenge as we’re racing at night now. The facilities for the teams are great and it’s one of the easiest circuits to work in as the paddock feels welcoming, there’s plenty of space for us yet it doesn’t feel like you’re at a massive venue like some tracks do.
"[As a night race] we now approach Bahrain a little differently technically in terms of tyre pressures and set-up. Otherwise we will treat it much like any other race and it’s similar in feel to Singapore and Abu Dhabi. At the end of the day it’s racing no matter what the time."
Nick Chester, Technical Director: "We had a number of aero updates in China that worked pretty well and that we kept on the car throughout the weekend. There are a few more upgrades for Bahrain, however with the tight turnaround they will be reasonably small ones but still well worth fitting on the E23.
"I believe that we can fare quite well. We’ve seen in Melbourne, Sepang and Shanghai that the car has run pretty well at all those different tracks and we have had cars in Q3 in all those races. The E23 hasn’t shown any particular vices that mean that we’ll perform less well on certain circuits. I expect that we can be in a similar position to China in Bahrain this weekend."
Federico Gastaldi, Deputy Team Principal: "Bahrain is a venue we do like visiting. The circuit provides a good challenge and it’s a track where we’ve performed well in the past. The paddock has a very social atmosphere and we always receive a very warm welcome from everyone involved with the Grand Prix. The weather is always very warm and since last year we’ve had the added pleasure of an evening race. We’re certainly very happy to visit."