Conditions for today’s 32 lap Feature race were similar to those for yesterday’s practice and qualifying with air and track temperatures of 25° and 31° respectively. Following qualifying Jordan King was starting from 5th on the grid and Alexander Rossi was in 9th with both men started on the Pirelli medium compound tyres.
As the lights went off both of the Racing Engineering cars lost places away from the grid with Jordan dropping to 12th with Alexander one place ahead in 11th but, as the cars started the second lap, Alexander was challenging Haryanto for 10thand he was soon ahead of the Campos Racing car and his next target was Sirotkin and he passed the Russian for 9th on lap three.
Alexander was now one of the quickest cars on track and the young American was now chasing Lynn and he was quickly ahead of the DAMS ca! r moving up to 8th on lap five. By lap seven the Racing Engineering car was just 0.3 seconds behind Pic and on lap nine he took 7th place from the Campos Racing driver. Alexander’s next target was Evans who was 1.9 seconds ahead but Alexander was lapping faster than the Russian Time car but as his tyres began to wear the gap opened again slightly to three seconds but gradually the Racing Engineering car dropped further back and on lap 17 Alexander took his mandatory pit stop switching to the Pirelli soft compound tyres and he resumed the track in 16thposition.
Alexander was flying on his new tyres setting the fastest lap of the race so far with a time of 1:44.879s and on lap twenty two he was now 4th, 1.4 seconds behind Evans but on lap twenty five he was forced to return to the pits with a damaged nose following contact with the New Zealander and he dropped to a very disappointed 21st position and h! e was only able to move up to 18th at the chequered flag.
Jordan, after his difficult start, lost another place to Berthon and, on lap three, he was now fighting with Rowland and on lap four the gap was just 0.5 seconds but he was able to pass Latifi (who had been passed by Rowland) for 13th on lap six. The young Englishman quickly pulled out a gap on the Canadian and on lap eight he was 1.7 seconds behind Sirotkin and the Racing Engineering car began to slowly close the gap. By lap twelve Jordan was up to 11th as he passed Pic and he was now behind Lynn who had been passed by Sirotkin and for the next few laps the two men were separated by about half a second and on lap 17 Jordan was ahead and now lying 9th as the cars began to take their pitstops.
Jordan took his stop on lap nineteen and resumed racing in 16th place, 0.8 seconds behind Canamasas whom he quickly passed and he was soon ahead of R! owland and he now began to chase Lynn who was 1.7 seconds in front. Jordan gained more positions as the pitstops were completed but on lap 26 he lost a place to Pic dropping to 10th position but he was able to regain 9th a few laps later and he crossed the finishing line in this position.
A disappointing day for both Jordan and Alexander with neither man getting the results they had hoped for and it will be a difficult day tomorrow for them as Alexander will have to start from near the rear of the field and Jordan will start from the 5th row with a lot of work to do to get the result his speed in qualifying showed he was capable of.
Alan Queille, Team Engineer:
“Very disappointing race for us today at Bahrain. Both cars dropped at the start, which complicated things straight away. Alex recovered quite well and was fighting for a podium finish, when he had contact with Evans and lost his front wing. He had to pit again which cost him precious time and he finished in P18. Jordan was able to make up positions during the race as well and was good at managing his tyres. But the positions lost at the start didn’t allow him to finish higher than 9th, which is a pity as we lost out on the reverse grid pole for tomorrow. We really need to score points tomorrow and will work hard to achieve this.”
“This was quite a good race, but I am disappointed as I didn’t get the reverse grid pole. Saving my tyres worked very well, our long run was very good, but maybe we should have pitted one lap earlier to protect from some people. I am starting 9thtomorrow and definitely want to score more points.”
“The race was going fine. We were in 3rd with 10 laps to go, and as I was fighting for 2nd, I went to overtake Evans into turn 4, but he was surprisingly slow out of the corner which caused contact and my front wing to break. We had to come into the pits to fix it, which meant the race was over.”