A disappointing Qualifying for Racing Engineering and their drivers today at Bahrain.

A disappointing Qualifying for Racing Engineering and their drivers today at Bahrain.

14.04.2017: It was very hot today at the Sakhir Circuit, Bahrain for Practice and Qualifying at the opening round of the 2017 FIA F2 Championship

It was very hot today at the Sakhir Circuit, Bahrain for Practice and Qualifying at the opening round of the 2017 FIA F2 Championship with air and track temperatures of 36° and 45° degrees respectively for the forty-five minute morning Practice session.




The two Racing Engineering drivers, Louis Delétraz and Gustav Malja, were amongst the first cars out on the track and, like the other cars, they were fitted with the Pirelli P Zero White medium compound tyres. Gustav immediately went to the top of the timing list with a lap of 1:43.230 on his first flying lap and Louis was just behind him in 5th with a lap of 1:44.016.



Both cars returned to the pits for some set-up changes after fifteen-minutes returning to the track with fourteen minutes of the session remaining. With eleven minutes still to go a car stopped at Turn 8 causing a Virtual Safety Car to be deployed reducing the running time to just!



six minutes while the marshalls removed it. This delay resulted in none of the twenty drivers improving on their earlier times.



The Qualifying session took place at 20:00 local time under the track floodlights and, as a result, the temperatures were lower than those in the morning at 29° and 30° for the air and track temperatures respectively.



All the cars were now fitted with the Pirelli P Zero Yellow soft compound tyres as the drivers battled for a good position on the grid for tomorrow’s Feature Race.



Once again, Louis and Gustav were amongst the first cars out of the pits and the young Swiss driver was immediately lapping quickly to go second fastest with a lap of 1:40.674 only to be immediately demoted to third as Gustav lapped fractionally quicker on 1:40.661.



On their next flying laps both men improved as Gustav lapped in 1:40.473 and this time Louis was a little faster on 1:40.453.



After twelve minutes both the Racing Engineering c! ars returned to the pits for some set-up changes and a fresh set of soft tyres, returning to the track with eight minutes still to go.



As the session entered its final minutes Gustav was hit by the car of Jeffri and with, both cars too damaged to continue, a Virtual Safety Car period meant there were no further improvements by any of the drivers.



With both Louis and Gustav unable to go for a final fast lap both men are back in 14th and 15th positions on the grid for tomorrow’s race and both men will have a lot of work to do to get into the points.

  


Sebastien Viger, Technical Director:



"A very disappointing session. Both drivers had a tough morning, but we learned a lot and improved the car quite a lot for Qualifying. They were both reasonably happy with the car for the first stint and the individual sectors looked good.



On the data we saw there was a lot of time to gain but, unfortunately, both drivers aborted their first flying laps and then Gustav had a collision with Jeffri, which didn’t allow Louis to improve on his second push lap.



So, overall, it’s a really shameful qualifying for us with difficult starting positions for tomorrow’s race. We will work on good starts and a good strategy to at least minimise the damage and bring back some points and finish in decent positions keeping in mind race 2.”!
 




Louis Delétraz:



"Qualifying was a bit disappointing, because I think we can do much more than P14. the first run was OK. I made a small mistake on my lap, but I knew how to correct it. On the second run I had to abort my first push lap as I had a lock up in Turn 1, but the tyres were still very good and the car felt great as well.



So I started a second lap, which was good until Turn 8, then there were double yellow flags then the VSC, so I had no chance to improve. It’s a shame, but we will try to catch up tomorrow in the race. It will be my first race in Bahrain, with such heat and with the Pirelli tyres, so it will be interesting.



 We need a good strategy, a good start, a good opening lap and the goal is to make it to the points, preferably finish within the top 8. If we make it to the front of the reverse grid, it will be very good.”!
 



Gustav Malja:



"Obviously, this is not the result I wanted, it was far from what I am looking for in a qualifying, because of the crash. It is a shame I didn’t get any laps in the second stint, but we also didn’t maximise during the first run.



I could have gained a bit more in some corners, which we could have put up with, but I made a mistake in the last corner, which cost me a bit of time and we lost some positions due to that during the first stint.



 I could not really see, if I could have improved during the second part due to the crash. This is a really bad performance for us, I hope we can turn this around tomorrow and fight hard. Now our focus has to be on Race 1.”



- Ines Koschutnig, photos  FIA F2 Championship

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/racing-engineering-qualifying-bahrain-deletraz-malja---163439.html

14.04.2017 / MaP

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