ROBERT Kubica is expecting the Grove-based Williams F1 team to face a number of challenges at this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix.

The Pole struggled in Australia a fortnight ago, finishing last behind teammate George Russell.

And Kubica believes it could be another testing time.

He said: “It is a very different track to Australia, so we will face new challenges, including the increased temperature and track layout.

“There are a few things to discover but I know the track pretty well.”

Russell added: “Racing in Bahrain is tough as it is a very aggressive circuit, with high tyre wear and temperatures which puts a lot of stress on the cars.

“All in all, I am ready for the challenge and eager to get back in the drivers’ seat.”

The Enstone-based Renault team will be attempting to build on their first-race result which saw Nico Hulkenberg finish seventh, but teammate Daniel Ricciardo retire.

And the same is true of the Banbury-prepared Haas team, for whom Kevin Magnussen came sixth, but Romain Grosjean failed to finish.

Renault were fourth in the constructors’ championship last year, but the former knows they cannot rest on their laurels.

Hulkenberg said: “There’s a lot more work we can do to improve.

“We know that, and we have to keep the developments coming if we’re to edge away from the midfield group.”

Ricciardo added: “Hopefully we can be in amongst it this weekend, but first we need to ensure we’re quick in qualifying and be at the top end of the midfield.”

Haas headed to Bahrain eyeing a double points-scoring finish.

Magnussen said: “That potential is very satisfying, but we need to complete the job and get both cars in the points.

“We need to have fewer mistakes if we want to be fighting as best-of-the-rest for the remainder of the year.”

Grosjean added: “We’re happy with our car, happy with what we’ve got and we’re looking forward to the season.”