Formula 1

F1 News: Ferrari Drivers Stunned by Mercedes Resurgence in Bahrain Practice

In a surprising twist during the Bahrain FP2, Ferrari’s Sainz and Leclerc were caught off guard by Mercedes’ Hamilton and Russell taking the top two spots. This unexpected turn of events has redefined the competitive landscape of Formula 1.

Key Takeaways:

  • Ferrari’s Surprise: Sainz and Leclerc were taken aback by Mercedes’ commanding performance in FP2, with Hamilton and Russell achieving an unanticipated one-two finish.
  • Changing Dynamics: This development has challenged the earlier view of Ferrari as the main contender against Red Bull. Verstappen, last year’s front-runner, finished a distant sixth in the session.
  • Confident Outlook: Despite the surprise, both Sainz and Leclerc maintain their confidence in Ferrari’s competitiveness, expecting to stay in the fray at the front in upcoming races.

In what was an unforeseen outcome at Thursday’s Free Practice 2 (FP2) in Bahrain, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell of Mercedes secured the top two positions, overshadowing last year’s dominant Formula 1 driver, Max Verstappen, who finished sixth.

Previously, Ferrari was viewed as the direct rival to Red Bull in this year’s championship race. However, the recent showing by Mercedes’ W15 suggests they might also be strong contenders for the lead.

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz, reflecting on Mercedes’s unexpected upswing, told

“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.”

“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.”

Charles Leclerc, Sainz’s teammate, shared similar sentiments, remarking,

“Mercedes look strong, which is a bit of a surprise. But we don’t know which fuel [level] they were running, so I think we’ll have all our answers tomorrow. At least on our side… no bad surprises. No good surprises either, just exactly as we expected the car to be. So we went through our programme. In FP2, it was a bit more… I mean, I did a small mistake on my fast lap, and it’s a one-lap tyre, so then that was it. But apart from that, it’s all about tomorrow now, trying to focus to do a step forward.”

Expressing optimism about Ferrari’s prospects, Leclerc added,

“I would be surprised if that is not the case, for sure. I expect to be there with the others; 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. I feel quite good with the car. And it’s a much better start compared to last year, where last year we arrived at the first race and it was very difficult to know what exactly was the right window where we could optimise our car. Today it’s not the case, we know we’re in the right window for performing at our best with this specific car, and now it’s all about tomorrow, to try and anticipate the conditions of tomorrow and make the best out of this weekend.”

As the F1 season heats up, the unexpected surge of Mercedes and the confident stance of Ferrari drivers set the stage for a riveting championship race.

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