HomeMiddle EastBahrainFerrari Drivers Optimistic Despite Mercedes' Surprising Pace in Bahrain

Ferrari Drivers Optimistic Despite Mercedes’ Surprising Pace in Bahrain

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In the heart of Bahrain’s scorching desert, the Formula 1 season kicked off with a flurry of excitement and surprises as Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz found themselves grappling with unexpected competition from the Mercedes camp during the opening day of competitive running at the Bahrain International Circuit.

Following a solid three days of testing in Bahrain just a week ago, Ferrari emerged as strong contenders, sparking hopes among fans and pundits alike that they could pose a serious challenge to reigning champions Red Bull in the 2024 season.

However, Thursday’s Free Practice 2 session witnessed a shock as Lewis Hamilton led a Mercedes one-two, leaving both Leclerc and Sainz to admit their surprise at the Silver Arrows’ impressive pace.

“It just shows you can never look into testing, because people tend to not show all their cards, and it’s clear Mercedes are going to be in the fight,” remarked Sainz, who finished FP2 in P4, while Leclerc trailed in P9. “Red Bull in the long run were a lot quicker than in the short run, so I expect them to be also stronger tomorrow and Sunday.”

Leclerc echoed his teammate’s sentiments, expressing astonishment at Mercedes’ performance but maintaining optimism about Ferrari’s prospects. “Mercedes look strong, which is a bit of a surprise,” he conceded. “But we don’t know which fuel [level] they were running, so I think we’ll have all our answers tomorrow.”

Despite the unexpected challenge from Mercedes, both Ferrari drivers remained confident in their team’s abilities. Leclerc, who claimed victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix two years prior, expressed belief in Ferrari’s competitiveness this weekend, stating, “I would be surprised if we are not in the mix.”

“I expect to be there with the others,” Leclerc continued. “The only question mark is obviously Red Bull, how far ahead they are in front. But with the others, I would be surprised if we are not in the mix, yes.”

Leclerc’s sentiments were echoed by Sainz, who emphasized Ferrari’s improved understanding of their car compared to the previous season. “Today it’s not the case, we know we’re in the right window for performing at our best with this specific car,” he explained.

Looking ahead to the remainder of the race weekend, both drivers emphasized the importance of focusing on performance and making strategic adjustments. “It’s all about tomorrow, trying to focus to do a step forward,” Leclerc affirmed.

As the anticipation builds for the Bahrain Grand Prix, fans eagerly await the unfolding drama on the desert circuit. With Ferrari and Mercedes locked in battle and Red Bull looming as a formidable adversary, the stage is set for an electrifying start to the 2024 Formula 1 season.

 

This article was created using automation technology and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members

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