Go Fourth And Multiply!
Go Fourth And Multiply!
Bahrain GP 2012 - Mark's Report - Sunday 22 April 2012
Mark notched up his fourth consecutive fourth place this season in the Bahrain Grand Prix, and his 10th consecutive top four finish. He now lies third in the world championship, just five points shy of his team-mate Sebastian Vettel at the top of the table.
"I've been frustratingly close to the podium on a lot of occasions this year," says Mark. "But four fourth places is better than four fifth places! Overall, it's been a good opening segment of the season for me and Red Bull Racing are now leading the constructors' Championship. But I'm looking forward to getting on a plane and going back to Europe."
Mark made a good start to convert his third place on the grid, but he lost a bit of ground to Vettel and Lewis Hamilton during the early laps. And before long he was having to focus more on his mirrors than what was happening ahead of him.
"The first couple of stints were difficult," says Mark. "I didn't have KERS for the opening couple of laps, which made it difficult to put pressure on Lewis [Hamilton], and I wasn't happy with the balance of the car either. By the last stint the balance was better, but there was no way I could live with the three guys in front."
Tyre wear was a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the race and Mark did an excellent job to conserve his rubber during his long 18-lap final stint. Other drivers and teams struggled more.
"I was a bit surprised by the pace of some other cars today," says Mark. "The Lotuses were surprisingly quick, although we've known all season that they have a tidy little car. And look at the pace of McLaren and Mercedes: Lewis and Jenson [Button] had a difficult day today, while Nico [Rosberg] went from dominating in China to being less competitive here. The cars are really sensitive and I can see it continuing like this for the rest of the year."
There is now a three-week break in the calendar before the start of the European season in Barcelona. Between now and then, however, there's a three-day test session in Mugello, at which Mark will drive because Red Bull Racing has a raft of updates to try.
"I'm pleased that the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend is over," says Mark, "and I'm looking forward to getting back to Europe and racing on some proper circuits. We have a lot of new bits coming through and on the evidence of these opening races we'll need them because it's very close out there. I look forward to joining the winner's rostrum soon."
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2014 WEC Schedule
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