Charles Leclerc is positively surprised at Ferrari’s speed in the first two free practice sessions for the Bahrain Grand Prix. The Monegask was fifth fastest in the first session on Friday and his teammate Carlos Sainz set fourth in the second session.
“It was a positive day,” said Leclerc after the first day in Bahrain Autosport. “We may not have expected to be so competitive, even though it is still early in the season.”
In the first practice session, the 23-year-old Ferrari driver was about six tenths slower than Max Verstappen, who clocked the fastest time. In the afternoon, however, he did not get past the twelfth time.
“The first free practice went well, but the second a little less. I struggled a bit with the car now and then and I didn’t manage to do a lap as I wanted,” he said.
“In general, there is still a lot of work to be done, but I feel that the team is very motivated. And I also know when we will notice the improvements that have been made compared to last year. Tomorrow we will know exactly where we stand in compared to the other teams. ”
Carlos Sainz set the fourth fastest time in the second free practice in Bahrain.
Sainz has to get used to circumstances
Sainz, who came over from McLaren, admitted only three tenths to the fastest time of Verstappen in the second practice, but the Spaniard said he had to get used to the conditions at the Sakhir circuit.
“The conditions were very different from the first practice, when everything felt pretty normal. In the second practice the wind turned and it made it more difficult to find the balance,” said Sainz, who had almost a second slower than Verstappen.
“At McLaren I knew exactly what the car was going to do when the wind turned and I could anticipate that. When you change cars, you have to get used to it first.”
- Third free practice: Saturday – 1 p.m.
- Qualifying: Saturday – 4pm
- Race: Sunday – 5pm
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