Formula 1 news: In the opening race at Bahrain International Circuit on Sunday night, Ferrari finally recaptured the top two steps of the Formula 1 podium after 45 races without a win, re-establishing itself as a championship competitor for the first season.
After the race, team principal Mattia Binotto remarked that he thinks “expectations are there.” He added, “but that’s Ferrari.” He believes after a few tough seasons, they pushed and worked extremely hard “back at the factory.”
The team is “great.” It’s good they performed “ok’ today, however, tomorrow is another day and they know it can be “tougher,” as the season is “long.” But, the car is performing “well” and they want to be a part of it.
Formula 1 News: How Ferrari got back at the top of the Formula 1 standings and what it needs to do to stay there? Why did Mercedes and Red Bull fail?
Although the lead over Red Bull was small — barely 0.1s in qualifying and even less at times during the race — Charles Leclerc was able to hold off Max Verstappen when it mattered. And, on Sunday, Leclerc had dominated over the world champion, especially when they shared the same section of track for three circuits between Turns 1 and 4. Leclerc said it was a “tough” race, but it was the kind of racing he enjoys.
One of the reasons Ferrari had a strong start was that it spent the last two years in the midfield. So, its main focus was on 2022 earlier than the rivals. That allowed it to spend more money on this year’s car. Moreover, at the start of 2021, Formula 1 introduced new rules to assist struggling teams.
Hence, when Ferrari finished sixth in 2020 reaching its lowest, it gave it greater development potential for this year’s car. Ferrari’s wind tunnel and CFD capability are well done. It has a unique take on the 2022 rule book. And, one of the most extreme design concepts seen on the grid this year.
Binotto said there’s still a lot to learn. Both the car and Carlos have “more potential”. And, they need to continue to “develop the car” in the “right direction.”
Formula 1 News: What is the update on the rivals’ statuses- Red Bull and Mercedes?
In terms of performance, there was little difference between Ferrari and Red Bull in Bahrain. But due to an issue with the fuel system on both Red Bulls, Ferrari won the race. It won with a maximum of 44 points, while its major rivals scored zero. Team boss Christian Horner said it was “Out of the blue”. They will figure out the problem soon, which seems to be there in both its cars.
Mercedes’ performance difficulties, on the other hand, may take longer to resolve. Both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell couldn’t keep up with the Ferraris and Red Bulls over a distance. The issues appear to be tied to the underfloor aerodynamics rather than the car’s upper surfaces.
Toto Wolff, Mercedes boss, said it’s something new for all. They have more opportunities to experiment. And, there was “good learning.” However, Wolff said it’s “too early” to look at the championship. Every weekend matters, and right now, it’s all about one-of-a-kind events.