2022 Bahrain F1 GP – It’s Red bull vs Ferrari
2022 Bahrain F1 GP – It’s beginning to become obvious over the weeks: the Ferrari are definitely in the game at the start of the 2022 season.
There were fears in some quarters that Red Bull would charge into the distance, but Ferrari showed it had the speed at least to keep Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez honest.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner even picked Ferrari as the team to beat, albeit as the latest salvo in favourite-status pass-the-parcel that inevitably accompanies the build up to the first race.
“Ferrari are very, very quick, you can see Leclerc today was quick,” said Horner. “Carlos Sainz was quick, whenever they’ve been on track in pre-season, they’ve looked very impressive. They could well be the car to beat tomorrow.”
Red Bull had the edge on headline pace but things were more evenly matched on race pace.
The Red Bull had the advantage in the corners, Ferrari on the straights, which could point to an engine-mode offset.
But the bottom line is that it’s Red Bull and Ferrari who look set to lead the way tomorrow.
A lot is hanging on Ferrari in making the Bahrain Grand Prix a closely-fought one. It is the only team which looks it may have the pace to make Red Bull fight for it – as Mercedes is simply not in the mix.
In that regard, after two sessions of Friday practice the picture looks very much as it did at the end of pre-season Formula 1 testing last week – with Max Verstappen setting the pace every time he runs, the Ferraris scratching close in response and the porpoising Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell flailing around at least 0.5s off, probably more.
World Champion Max Verstappen started the 2022 season the same way he ended it in 2021, on top. The Dutchman ended the opening day of the Bahrain Grand Prix as fastest, but it wasn’t the usual suspects close behind at the Bahrain International Circuit.
Verstappen enjoyed a smooth opening day, the World Champion was fifth after the first session before claiming his top spot in the afternoon, where conditions were similar to what they will be for Qualifying on Saturday. His best time was a 1:31.936, with both Scuderia Ferrari’s close behind.
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Verstappen is happy with how the weekend has started, he does predict though that the true pace of each team is still unknown.
“The car felt good today, testing here last week means we’ve all started in a good place. We had quite a straightforward and smooth day so I’m pretty happy, we also tried a few things on the car in each session and they seemed to work well. You can see that Ferrari are pushing hard and are very close so that’s exciting.
“Looking ahead, we’ll have to wait and see with different teams’ engine modes, no one is in quali spec yet so I think everyone still has a lot more to give. It’s good to see the teams are all closer together, in general that’s what everyone wants and I think over time teams will get even closer together.”
Sergio Pérez didn’t have quite as good an opening day as his team-mate, the Mexican has plenty of time to find on Saturday after ending Friday as seventh fastest.
The best the Mexican could salvage on the opening day at Bahrain was a 1:32.958, incredibly a whole second behind his team-mate.
Pérez enjoyed being back out on track but he does recognise that he has work to do on Saturday to move further up the grid.
“It’s nice to be back out on track for a new season. We have some work to do overnight to find a good compromise with the set up. We tried some different settings across the two cars, so I think we have good data to look at and then we can pick out the best bits for qualifying tomorrow.
“We are learning a lot about the tyre degradation and overall, there is some work to do but I am hopeful we will have a positive day tomorrow. FP2 will be the most useful session before qualifying because the conditions should be similar and I think it will be interesting to see where everyone is come Saturday evening. The pack is really close and I think the race will be even tighter so there will be some good racing all around.”
Ferrrari hopes to beat Red Bull
Mattia Binotto is happy with the fact that Ferrari is at it again. Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz finished second and third in the second free practice sessions and that should be a good omen towards Saturday’s qualifying. Binotto even hopes that it will manage to beat Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing.
“The tests showed that we and Verstappen would be fast with Red Bull and the first two free practice sessions proved that. We have two drivers who are mentally ready to do well for Ferrari and try to get the best possible result. They are in good shape,”
“You should always try to go for the best, including the victory. The competition is very strong, it’s good to believe that, but we can’t fool ourselves. My feeling? Still a little bit of relief.” said Mattia Binotto
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Bahrain F1 GP 2022 – It’s Red bull vs Ferrari Bahrain F1 GP 2022 – It’s Red bull vs Ferrari