Mercedes may have topped the time sheets on the first day of running in Bahrain, but the performance of Ferrari has the world champions looking carefully in their mirrors heading into the rest of the weekend.
Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton finished Friday around half a second quicker than Ferrari on ultimate pace, but Ferrari’s long-run pace has caught the eye of the championship leaders.
“On qualifying laps we look quicker but on race pace they are really strong so we will have to do a lot of work tonight to find the perfect setup,” says Nico Rosberg.
Despite a productive day in which the team covered over 100 laps between the two cars, Toto Wolff believes the team will need to work hard over the entire weekend to ensure they can hold off the Ferraris on Sunday.
“We saw some very strong long runs from a number of teams today during FP2 and Ferrari looked the quickest car during the session, with some very stable and quick lap times,” says Wolff.
“So our boys are at the top of the timesheets, yes, but we have a lot of work to do tonight to analyse and understand the data. But like always, this is only Friday and it’s Sunday that counts.”