Ferrari’s poor pace on the first day of practice for the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix, surprised even their driver Charles Leclerc as the team toiled out of the top ten all day with the hopeless SF1000.
Speaking after ending the day 14th fastest and a massive 1.4 seconds down on the benchmark time set by Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton.
The Ferrari driver reported at the end of the day, “It’s been a difficult first day. I was expecting to do a bit better because traditionally this is has been very strong track for the team in the past few years,
“But today, we seemed to struggle quite a bit more. But we are usually pretty good at fixing the issues overnight, so hopefully we’ll come back stronger tomorrow.
“I think it’s pretty clear what we need to do to improve. It’s just the balance really, as through the corners it’s very tricky and it’s quite difficult to manage the car and I made a few mistakes.
“The times are all extremely close, so any gains we make can result in a big difference,” added Charles.
Teammate Sebastian Vettel was a quarter of a second quicker in the other Red car, to end his day 12th.
The German reported, “Today in the first session the sun was still up while in the second one it was night time, however, maybe because of the time of year, there was definitely less difference between the sessions compared to the previous years.
“I think that the Sakhir track does not suit us as well as it has done in the past, but we still have a little bit to improve and work on, so let’s see what we can do tomorrow.
“Looking ahead to Sunday, we know the track is tough on tyres and so it is difficult to make them last, but it will be the same for everybody. It is yet not clear which tyres will work best, and therefore how many stops we will need. But first we must focus on quali and then we will see for the race.
“While it’s true the point are only given out at the end of the race, the higher up the grid you start, the better your chances, as you have more options in terms of strategy and tyre management,” added Seb who has won the race in the desert on four previous occasions, unlikely he will be lifting a trophy this weekend if day one is anything to go by.