Formula 1: Ferrari third power behind Red Bull and Mercedes?

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Before the first Friday of training of the season, the big question was: How strong is the Ferrari SF21 really? The Formula 1 observers are not much smarter after the first two sessions in Bahrain. The bolide doesn’t seem to be a complete mistake, as Carlos Sainz’s fourth place proves in the evening. Charles Leclerc, on the other hand, was only able to find himself in twelfth place, but was also a good fifth in the first session.

“Today was a positive day”, the Monegasse sums up with satisfaction. “We might not have expected to be so competitive – even if it is still early.” The fact that he was so far behind in the second session can be seen from the fact that he had a few problems with the car. “I couldn’t finish the round that I wanted,” he says.

Nevertheless, we’re only talking about seven and a half tenths of a second behind, so the gap to the front was actually not that big. Leclerc says he feels a lot of motivation in the team and also the improvements to the car. “That’s good,” said the Ferrari driver. “And tomorrow we will know exactly where we are.”

Sainz: Difficult conditions are difficult to anticipate

The second session was also a bit more difficult for team-mate Carlos Sainz, which was mainly due to the increasing wind. “That pushed the cars and the balance a little more to their limits and brought the field closer together,” said the Spaniard.

Especially for him it was more difficult after his team change because, unlike his McLaren, he did not know how the Ferrari would react to changed winds. “At McLaren I knew perfectly what the car was doing. I was able to anticipate and get 95 to 100 percent out regardless of the conditions,” he says.

“But if you change teams, you don’t know how the car will react any more. That’s why you always go under it a little,” said Sainz. “You don’t want to make any stupid mistakes and stay under the limit.”

Hülkenberg: Ferrari is in a much better position

The times therefore say little to him. “I think the long run showed better where everyone is. You can clearly see that Mercedes and Red Bull have an advantage. But I’m surprised how close everyone was in the short runs.”

But where is the Ferrari now? That still remains the question. “I do believe that they are much better off than last year, not that they are driving everything into the ground,” suspects ex-driver Nico Hülkenberg on “Servus TV”. “Right now my guess is so around the third, fourth force that they are there. The question is how well they will develop compared to everyone else.”

According to Leclerc, there is still a lot in the Ferrari: “We haven’t driven at full throttle yet,” he announced. “But I don’t think that was the case with anyone today either. We don’t know how much sandbagging everyone does. That will become clear in qualifying tomorrow.”





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Formula Ferrari power Red Bull Mercedes

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