Ferrari F1 team sporting director Laurent Mekies believes Charles Leclerc lacked the usual confidence in car control at the Bahrain track he dominated last year, and Sebastian Vettel is not losing hope of scoring points despite only a sixth starting line for Ferrari.
As expected, Ferrari struggled in Bahrain, where engine power is crucial, and neither Vettel nor Leclerc managed to place in the last part of the qualifications and will start on the 11th and 12th. Vettel was faster than Leclerc in qualifying for the second race in a row, and even ten times before that Leclerc was faster with an overall qualifying ratio of 11: 4 for Leclerc.
“Just one fast lap is never ideal, and we had that in Q2 today,” said Vettel, who achieved his first podium in Turkey this season. "We missed the passage to Q3 by just over a tenth, but in my only fast lap I had Russell in front of me first, which prevented me from getting into Charles' lee, and then I failed to drive the ideal second sector."
"It only adds to the disappointment because even though we expected to be in the middle of the standings here, we could easily have been in the top ten rather than in the sixth row." “At the same time, I am sure that the team in the race can win good points.
Due to the characteristics of the track, the race will be based on tire storage and I think we can do something good about it. We will have to be cunning like a fox, patient and not make mistakes. ”
Mekies says Ferrari expected tough qualifiers without Leclerc having the usual confidence in the car.
“I’m sure if you ask him he’ll probably tell you that he didn’t have the usual self-confidence he has here,” Mekies said. "We work hard to give him everything we can and that he has the car he needs.
I think we made a little progress, we saw that his self-confidence grew, but today we lacked something for a better result. " “We can expect a tough race because of our starting positions, but there are a lot of cars around us that have similar speeds.
The smallest details could decide the outcome" Leclerc says that after the third training he did not think that they could finish better than 12th place, but that after the qualifications he thinks that they could have done better.
“I feel we could have done a better job so I can’t hide my disappointment that we didn’t get into the top ten,” Leclerc said. "Seb and I are the first to have a choice of tire choices, but I don't think that's going to be an advantage because the top ten starts on medium tires, and that seems like the best option."
"It's going to be a tough race where the tires overheat very quickly, so that's going to be crucial."