Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Bahrain International Circuit, 2020

All Ferrari-powered teams lap slower in Bahrain, by up to 1.3 seconds

Lap time watch: 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix

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A year and a half since Formula 1 last raced in Bahrain, all three Ferrari-powered teams are lapping slower around the track than they did in 2019.

Ferrari swept the front row of the grid at this race last year. Today they couldn’t reach Q3 and their best time was over a second slower than Charles Leclerc’s pole position time for the last Bahrain Grand Prix.

Haas, whose VF-20 has seen little to no development during the season, made an even bigger step backwards. Last year Kevin Magnussen put their leading car sixth on the grid, just five-thousandths of a second slower than Max Verstappen’s Red Bull. This year he and team mate Romain Grosjean both dropped out in Q3. They lapped 1.3 seconds slower than they managed in 2019.

Fellow Ferrari users Alfa Romeo have also lost performance compared to last year, though not as much. Ferrari has admitted their power unit is not as competitive as last year’s. On this power-sensitive circuit, all their rivals using different engines were quicker compared to F1’s last race in Bahrain.

Having missed out on pole position for the first time this year at the last race in Turkey, Mercedes were back on top again today. Lewis Hamilton broke the track record Leclerc last year by six-tenths of a second.

While Mercedes were almost a second quicker than last year, half the field found more than a second. Williams are the most improved team, almost two-and-a-half seconds quicker than in 2019.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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2020 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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6 comments on “All Ferrari-powered teams lap slower in Bahrain, by up to 1.3 seconds”

  1. The last four drivers failed to beat the 2016 pole time of 1:29.493, and even Giovinazzi only just managed to better it by 0.002 seconds or 2 thousands.

  2. Dave (@davewillisporter)
    28th November 2020, 17:06

    I wonder why Binotto wants a PU freeze with fuel flow used to balance performance!

    1. Remember, it’s not a PU freeze per the start of 2021, but rather before or during 2022 (as Renault say they would be okay with) @davewillisporter, so perhaps Ferrari did manage to claw back at least a good amount to get them back into the ballpark for next season already.

  3. Ferrari would have gone a lot faster if they had made it into Q3 and could go onto new softs and race to the max though. In general the lap times came down by about 3 to 4 tenths of a second from Q2 to Q3

  4. What I wouldn’t give to know exactly what trickery Ferrari were using to make extra power. My money is on caching fuel by using the cylinder head as an accumulator… Even going as far as using a porous structure within the head (and downstream of the fuel flow meter) to produce a pressure accumulator for bursts of extra fuel flow. Maybe we’ll never know… but what a difference being “caught” made.

  5. Ferrari noob.

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