After a disappointing weekend in Australia, Ferrari led the two free practice sessions for the Bahrain Grand Prix this weekend.
Charles Leclerc led the first free practice, followed by team-mate Sebastian Vettel, well ahead of the rest of the pack. In the second practice, in the early evening in Bahrain, the positions of the Ferrari drivers were reversed, but the advantage at the top was still comfortable. The closest Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton was six tenths slower.
Ferrari’s performance in Australia was below expectations and the team made it to the second round of the championship remarking that they had understood and rectified their problems. Although it is only Friday, today’s results should lift the spirits of Vettel and Leclerc.
Mercedes and Red Bull again showed similar pace, but the distance to Ferrari is worrying. The true pace of everyone will not be shown before Qualifying, but the yellow light will be on for them tonight.
In the middle pack again Renault was strong, with Hulkenberg finishing Friday in the 5th place, ahead of the Red Bull of Verstappen. Just like in Australia the middle-team competition looks very tight; Kevin Magnussen in 7th was just over a second faster than Giovinazzi in 18th.
The starting positions will be set this Saturday (03/30) during Qualifying.