Get ready for Round 2 of the 2019 season with our official race preview – think of it as your McLaren encyclopaedia for each race weekend.
Hear from McLaren drivers Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris, get insight from Sporting Director Gil de Ferran, and learn more about the team back in the factory with our all-new Spotlight series.
|Where||Bahrain International Circuit|
|When||29 - 31 March 2019|
|Start time||18:10 local, 16:10 BST, 17:10 CET|
Carlos Sainz #55
“I can’t wait to get back on track in Bahrain. After a detailed review of the Australian Grand Prix we've seen promising areas of performance in the car and I feel confident with our work during the whole weekend. Obviously, I wasn’t happy with the unfortunate result in qualifying and the retirement in the race, but that’s in the past. Once analysed, my only focus is the next race.
“Bahrain will be a fresh start and another chance to try to maximise our results on track. The schedule in Bahrain is different to other grands prix due to the late start of the sessions but I quite like it for a change and it makes this venue unique. Racing under the floodlights is always an interesting experience and I look forward to a positive weekend.”
Lando Norris #4
“Melbourne was a mixed weekend for me, qualifying went well and I was pleased with my performance there, however Sunday didn’t go as I’d planned. We weren’t able to take advantage of the opportunity for points, however my debut grand prix was a great experience. I learned a lot and it was good to complete a full race distance for the first time. I’m looking forward to taking what I’ve learned from Melbourne and applying it in my approach to preparation for Bahrain.
“Bahrain is a track with good memories for me after my pole and win there in Formula 2 last year and I’m excited to race under the lights for the first time!”
Gil de Ferran, Sporting Director
“Time for the first of our home grands prix!
“Bahrain is a very different circuit from Australia, which undoubtedly will challenge the car in different ways. Having said that, we’ll try to capitalise on the many positive learnings from Australia. At this point in the season we’ve only visited two tracks, so it remains difficult to predict how well suited we will be to this circuit. Nevertheless, we do expect the close battles we had at the first race to continue.
“Carlos and Lando have shown to have integrated well into the team. We continue to focus our minds on two areas; achieving incremental gains that will have a steady impact on our results throughout the season, and executing the whole race weekend well.”
|Race distance||308.238km/191.539 miles|
|Distance to Turn One||400m/0.429 miles|
|Corners||15 (nine right, six left)|
|Tyre choice||Hard C1, Medium C2, Soft C3|
Spotlight: Louise McEwen
The spotlight is rarely shone on the team at the factory – but the contribution is no more and no less important. While a rapid pit-stop, bold overtaking move or decisive strategy call earn the plaudits, successes are just as dependent on engineering an upgrade in record time, manufacturing high-quality components, and carrying out stringent analysis and simulation. Every part of the operation needs to work in harmony to see progress on a race weekend. This is the ultimate team sport.
We are a team together. And these are some of the stories from HQ.
Tell us about your role?
I oversee the team visual identity and how this is applied to all of our brand touch points. Sometimes I’m referred to as the ‘Brand Police’ as I also have to protect our brand and identity and ensure that it is not misused.
What do you love about it?
The variety of my day job as brand touches so many different areas. Branding everything from the car livery, team kit, to coffee cups. We’ve pretty much branded everything that you could think of at some point or other!
What will you be doing when the lights go out in Bahrain?
I’ll be watching on the sofa at home in London with my three-year-old daughter, she’s a huge fan already. It’s good to watch the race as a ‘fan’ so that you can see how things look on TV.
Highlight of your McLaren career so far?
In 2018 we delivered a new digital garage at the British Grand Prix. It was the first time in 12 years that the garage had such an overhaul to bring it into the digital era. The project took 12 months from conception to delivery and there were lots of logistical challenges and complexities, but it was a fantastic way to work collaboratively with so many different stakeholders right across Racing.
Last thing a driver said to you?
At our pre-season car launch Carlos asked if his team kit trousers looked too baggy! The drivers are very lean, and so we had their trousers altered.
Earliest McLaren memory?
February 1997. The Spice Girls helped launch the MP4/12 in London. At the time I was definitely more of a Spice Girls fan than F1 fan, but suddenly McLaren was on my radar and I’ve been a fan ever since.