After the first race of the new season, the Grand Prix of Bahrain, messages of satisfaction are arriving from the Ferrari camp. Both cars reached the finish line, both in the circle of points winners, which is a significant step compared to last season.
At the end of 2020, there were two Formula 1 races on the Sakhir track. One on this "normal" GP configuration, and the other on the outer circuit. Ferrari won just one point in two races for Charles Leclerc’s tenth place at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Entering the new season confirmed the pretty good job the Italian team did during the winter. Partly because of the engine, partly probably because of changes to the rear of the car, Ferrari has become much more competitive and is likely to fight for third place in the constructors ’standings against McLaren.
“It’s a good start and I’m relatively happy with today’s race,” Charles Leclerc said after the Bahrain Grand Prix. "I can't be extremely happy with the sixth position, but at the end of the day we need to look at where we were last year, and then it's clear that we've made good progress."
Leclerc managed to pass Valtteri Bottas after the start, but he still failed to keep that position. After a few laps, Lando Norris passed him, and later a very good Sergio Perez rushed from the background and took fifth place.
"I had a very good start. I found myself in third place and kept the tires in the first stint pretty well." "I think there was still something left in them, but we had to go for a chance to try to direct the others to a different strategy.
It was the right thing to do, but it may have cost us a bit in terms of the speed at the end of the race. ” “We’re not where we want to be yet, so we have to keep working and pushing very hard to be better in the next races,” Leclerc says.
Sainz is satisfied
Carlos Sainz started from eighth place and during the race, he mostly drove in ninth or tenth position, but in the end, he managed to return to the same position from which he started, which is a pretty good result for the start of the season.
“It was very important for me to finish all the laps and continue to gain experience in the car. Maybe that's why I didn't take too many risks at the start this time and it cost me a couple of times." "When the race calmed down a bit, I started to press lap by lap and I think we showed very good speed on medium-hard tires and especially on hard in the last stint. I also managed to make some good overtaking. ”