The final four day test session prior to the start of the season in Melbourne gets underway tomorrow, once again in Bahrain. Some of the team returned home after the third test, but others stayed out in the desert, preparing for what is a final chance to check out the STR9 and be as well prepared as possible for Round 1, the Australian Grand Prix.
Our driver schedule is the same as at the previous test, which means Daniil Kvyat drives on the first and third days, Thursday and Saturday, with Jean-Eric Vergne at the wheel on Friday and Sunday.
You don’t need us to tell you we have not done as high a mileage as we would have liked so far in winter testing and the fact that other teams have also struggled is no consolation. We hope we can make better progress this week and back in the factory, we have been working very hard. Now, we just have to hope we are in a position to make the most of these days, doing plenty of kilometres and exploring the potential of our STR9.
The job list is a long one, including getting to grips with all aspects of the new power unit, working on the elements that everyone used to talk about before these new rules, namely aero performance and set-up, as well as evaluating the Pirelli tyres. We’ll do all this with a new chassis (STR9-04), which arrived in Bahrain yesterday.