It's very frustrating to have not FINISHed the race in Bahrain yet – in both cases I remember qualifying very well and doing good starts... But in 2015 we had a Power Unit issue and in 2016 I got hit by Perez in lap 1, so hopefully this year we can turn things around and score a good result this year: third time lucky!
We normally go karting at the track right next to the F1 circuit and its great fun! I'd say it's actually one of the coolest KARTING tracks I've ever been to. I hope this year we keep the tradition and we get to go again, it's always good to have some fun!
The race takes place in the evening in Bahrain, so the whole schedule is shifted and the day starts a bit LATER for us. This is good, as it allows us to spend the mornings doing a bit of sport or going to the beach, which is something different! And I have to say that the hotel we stay at in Bahrain is awesome! Its right by the beach and you can do any kind of sport you want – from squash to gym sessions, sea sports... And we always find some time to chill by the pool or at the beach, it's a must!
I'd say I always prefer a good hot race, except for Singapore where it's a bit too hot and humid. The one thing that makes this Grand Prix tricky is the fact that on FRIDAY we have a practice session during the day, when it's sunny and windy, and another one in the evening, when it's much cooler. This makes it very difficult to approach the weekend.
I've seen a few CAMELS when we travel to countries like Bahrain, but the only time I've actually ridden one was in Morocco – it wasn't difficult, you just sit there and wait for it to stand up... But I don't think I will be doing it again soon!
This is a twilight race, so the light is different to other races that take place just after lunch. Here in Bahrain, the race starts with the sun still shining, but ends under the floodlights. So you need to have a clear visor, but the challenging part is always the start, as the sun can sometimes still be too bright for your eyes – DAZZLING!
I'd say this is one of the trickiest qualifying sessions of the year because it's usually quite windy and the conditions are changing all the time. There's sometimes also a bit of SAND on track, so it can be very difficult to get the perfect lap!
I really like HOT races like Bahrain, especially for its unusual night atmosphere – I think it's really cool to race in these conditions. Half of the races on the calendar should do this!
The day also starts later, as the race is in the evening, which means that we can SLEEP more in the mornings! This is very nice and we always arrive to the circuit after a big, delicious breakfast and ready to rock the track!