Buemi: “Some of my family live in Bahrain, I always enjoy going there”
In the run-up to the Bahrain double-header, FIAWEC.com has been speaking to various drivers to find out more about the Bahrain International Circuit and some of their favourite memories racing there.
Next in our series is Toyota Gazoo Racing’s Sebastien Buemi who follows on from his team-mate Mike Conway’s Q&A last week. Here’s what he had to say…
1. Tell us about your first experience of the Bahrain International Circuit
“My first experience was a very long time ago, I think around 2005. The circuit was pretty new then, I came for the Formula BMW World Final and I think I finished second. It was a small loop of the circuit and I really enjoyed it. Some of my family actually live in Bahrain so I always enjoy going there.
2. What’s your favourite memory from there?
“It would have to be my first FIA WEC win in 2013 – the last race of the season. It was my first win in the championship so I really enjoyed that time.”
3. Do you have any preferred sections of the circuit – if so, where and why?
“I enjoy the circuit a lot in general but I’d say the high-speed section between turns 5, 6, 7 and 8 is my favourite - it’s flowing, fast and going downhill into the little hairpin at Turn 8. There are a few different possible lines and a few chances to overtake at apex of Turn 8.”
4. What’s key to a fast lap at the Bahrain International Circuit?
“I think the capability to brake late and hard. If you look at the track, there’s a lot of straight line braking. It’s a bit of a stop-and-go track so you need to have a good car for braking – this is really important. This is where you can really make a good lap time.”
5. What do you think will be the biggest challenges between the daytime 6 hour race this year followed by the day/night 8 hour race for the WEC double-header?
“The daytime 6 hour race is a bit earlier than we are used to being in October opposed to November/December so it could be pretty hot so it will be a big challenge for the tyres and the cars in general. The biggest challenge will be degradation.
"The 8 hour race is also difficult because it starts in the daytime where it’s very hot but also runs into the night – so you need a car and a package that can adapt well to both conditions.”
Round five of the WEC – the 6 Hours of Bahrain – will take place on Saturday 30 October and the WEC season-finale - the 8 Hours of Bahrain - will be staged the following weekend (Saturday 6 November).