After what was a hurtful 2020 F1 season for Ferrari, 2021 witnessed a relatively better start for the Maranello-outfit, as both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz saw the checkered flag within the top 10, securing a handy 12 points for the team.
What’s more, the newly recruited Spaniard reckoned that the Ferrari is feeling much faster than his former team’s 2021 car, MCL35M.
Apparently, following a slow start to the race, Sainz was lapping much faster than Daniel Ricciardo during the latter part of the race, and almost stole P7 from the Australian.
“It is encouraging because last year I remember I passed Charles pretty easy. So I remember how big was the difference between the McLaren and the Ferrari,” he said.
“I was close to overtaking the McLaren at the end. And I had much better pace than Daniel towards the end of the race. We were catching by half a second per lap.”
To bring down the pace deficit, Ferrari had to design an entirely new power unit ahead of the 2021 season. And considering how the Ferrari-powered fared in Bahrain last weekend, it looks like the Reds have finally achieved their desired goal.
Considering a rather successful weekend in Bahrain, Sainz sounded confident that Ferrari could soon return to the top step.
“There’s positive signs, there’s encouragement, and there’s a big step compared to last year. Now it is a matter of fine-tuning the details. Keep working hard back in Maranello and keep improving,” he said.
At the moment, the chances of Ferrari securing a top three finish on the constructor’s table look quite bleak, as their biggest threat could be McLaren.
But they aren’t the only threat, as AlphaTauri, too, showed an astonishing pace at the Sakhir circuit last weekend. The only good news for Ferrari is that apart from the two teams, the rest of the mid-field comprising Alpine and Aston Martin are looking a bit far-off.
So, amid the limited yet imminent threats, can Ferrari find their way back up in the top three this season? Only time will tell.