After a positive pre-season test, Carlin were amongst the favourites heading into the opener at Sakhir and rookie Logan Sargeant says he was pleased with P4 in Qualifying as he believes the team’s strength may lie in their race-pace.
Sargeant was the only driver to finish in the top 10 in all five sessions at testing and the American has since followed that up with two further top 10 placings, including P4 when it counted in Qualifying, only 0.218s off Jack Doohan’s pole lap.
“I think that it was as good as what we could have hoped for really,” said Sargeant on Qualifying. “Obviously, we want to be on pole, but it’s a really good starting place and a really good baseline. I am really happy with my lap and the performance that we put in.
“I think we have a really good race car in the long runs, so hopefully that gives us the opportunity to move forward. We are starting in a position where we can fight in both races - we just need to maximise our points.”
With his teammate Liam Lawson qualifying two places further back in sixth, Carlin are the only team with two drivers in the top 10, handing them a great chance to take home a decent haul of points from Round 1.
“Liam and I just want to better each other and push the team forward as much as we can to have the quickest package,” he continued. “At the end of the day, we both want to be on pole, so we are just going to keep working at that.”
Starting from sixth on the reverse grid in the Sprint Race at 7.40pm (local time) on Saturday evening, Sargeant believes his Carlin has the potential to fight at the sharp end, but he went on to add that he would also be using the outing as a chance to get a feel for how the tyres hold up on the Bahrain International Circuit.
“I do think we have a good car in the long runs,” he re-asserted. “It is going to be about keeping the tyres underneath us and making the right decision, and I think that would leave us in a good spot.
“I will get a feeler for how the tyres are in this initial Sprint Race and use that as my benchmark. Tomorrow, we need to go for it and try and get on the podium, which would make for a really good feature.
“Overall, I am just hoping that we can move forward in the races - that is the goal. I want to get off the line well, have a clean start and just find my feet and have some good pace, and then find my way forward.”