Charles Leclerc has voiced concerns over Ferrari’s performance ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix, stating that he doesn’t believe they have the performance to secure pole. In the later FP2 session, Leclerc was fourth fastest, with Carlos Sainz running to 14th. Leclerc added that he expects the strong Aston Martin pace to drop off on Saturday, but Ferrari will still not have the pace to fight for pole position. “It’s still early days, I maybe think that Aston is a bit quicker than they will be tomorrow. We don’t know, it’s just what I think,” he said.
The team has a lot of work to do, Leclerc said, tuning the SF-23 in order to fix its race pace. However, he acknowledged that there is room for improvement. During testing last week, the car was very inconsistent, but better-behaved at FP2. Sainz, however, has struggled with the balance of the car and encountered a dramatic spin in FP1 before a change in the rear-wing spec. “The car is not exactly responding as I expect, or as it did in testing. It’s a bit more out of place compared to where it was”, he commented. “It was a test that went wrong, and we came back for FP2. I lost a bit of track time; I lost a bit of freedom and probably paid the price in FP2. Still, the car doesn’t feel the same as it did in testing.”