REPORT: Grid spots locked for season opener

Published on
01 Mar 2024
Est. reading time
3 Min

Alex will start from P13, with Logan lining up in P18

After months of waiting, we have our first competitive running of the 2024 season under our belts with the grid now set for Saturday’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
Friday started with one of the least representative sessions of the entire 24-race calendar, with FP3 taking place in bright sunshine in the Sakhir Desert.
As such, nobody was in any real rush to get out on track, with both Alex and Logan rolling out after a 15-minute wait.
Our Thai racer eventually wracked up 17 tours, with Sarge recording one less as we made our final preparations for Qualifying.
With the sun dipping beyond the horizon, the eyes of the motorsport world were firmly trained on the Bahrain International Circuit.
Q1 was highly competitive, with just one second separating all 20 cars when the chequered flag was flown.
Alex improved on his final run in the first knockout phase to progress through in P9. Unfortunately for Logan, he was unable to find any extra time, with his opening effort enough for P18, knocking him out by just over a tenth.
In Q2, we would be left to rue a tenth of a second margin once again. Alex did improve on his final run but could only sit and wait as he slid back into the knockout zone, with his 1:30.221 good enough for P13.
"P15 was where we predicted we’d be today so it’s a slight reward qualifying P13," Alex shared.
"On paper, it’s mixed feelings because I feel like we did a good job and got the most out of the car but we’ve definitely got more performance in it, which isn’t a bad thing.
"I was excited to go out today on low fuel and feel the car light but I think tomorrow will be very close.
"We’ve made big improvements, but everyone has so it’s all relative. This circuit is always very close so let’s see how we go tomorrow."
Logan added: "The first run was great but the second run wasn’t so good. I’m a little bit confused about the difference in tyre performance across the two runs; it didn’t feel like I had the tyre in the right window on the second set and I lost a significant amount of rear grip.
"It’s a little bit disappointing but at least the performance was there in the car. Nonetheless, we knew it would be very tight and that it is.
"It’s hard to say exactly where we are on race pace but I feel quite comfortable within myself on race pace, so hopefully we can use that to our advantage tomorrow."
Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance, concluded our reaction by commenting: "The midfield is incredibly tight and today we were just on the wrong side of it.
"Nonetheless, the FW46 is in that competitive midfield mix and able to compete.
"Conditions were very cool this evening and we needed to adapt our approach as qualifying progressed.
"We weren’t perfect but, generally, the balance and tyres were reasonable and both drivers were able to fight.
"Unfortunately, Logan suffered from a brake balance issue on his final timed lap, which cost him some time. We will address this overnight and don’t expect any repeat behaviour tomorrow.
"Although we have had the first good look at relative pace today, and consequently the competitive picture is beginning to emerge, there is still plenty of uncertainty over how the race paces will unfold tomorrow.
"We certainly go into the race confident that both drivers can compete with the cars around them and make good progress."
Great Britain 2024
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