Carlos Sainz Jnr, Ferrari, Bahrain International Circuit, 2021

Sainz encouraged by Ferrari’s close race with McLaren in Bahrain

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In the round-up: Carlos Sainz Jnr says his Ferrari’s pace compared to McLaren in yesterday’s Bahrain Grand Prix is encouraging.

What they say

Sainz finished eight seconds behind team mate Charles Leclerc and was closing on Daniel Ricciardo – the man who replaced him at McLaren this year – for seventh place as the race finished:

It is encouraging because last year I remember that with that car I passed Charles very easily. So I remember how big was the difference between the McLaren and the Ferrari.

And how close I was from overtaking Ricciardo at the end, I think I had much better pace than Daniel there towards the end of the race, we were catching more than half a second a lap. There’s positive signs. There’s encouragement, there’s a big step compared to last year and now it’s a matter of keep finding the details, keep working hard back in Maranello and keep improving. We’ve done certainly a very good step, and now we want to take the next steps.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

The fight for Bahrain Grand Prix victory went all the way to the final lap, with Lewis Hamilton successfully undercutting his way past Max Verstappen and then holding the Red Bull driver off in a thrilling fight. Kribana thinks the race was won in the pits:

This was decided in the pit lane. Red Bull should have known that once Norris pitted, it would open up the others’ pit stop due to the undercut being almost at Singapore levels in terms of power.
Kribana

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On this day in F1

  • 40 years ago today Carlos Reutemann defied Williams team order to win the Brazilian Grand Prix ahead of Alan Jones at Jacarepagua

Author information

Elliot Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching Photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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24 comments on “Sainz encouraged by Ferrari’s close race with McLaren in Bahrain”

  1. Great article from Motorsport broadcasting.

    I wonder if anyone has done a study to show how much revenue FOM will stand to gain or lose if they choose not to renew their TV contracts in key markets, meaning the broadcast will be exclusively on F1TV Pro.

    1. They just did the opposite in Germany, where there’s now no F1 TV pro access or F1 on free to air, but exclusively on sky….

      1. Which costs at a minimum EUR 27,50/month (ie EUR 330 for the first year, if I saw correctly, and after that EUR390)

        1. Use a F1 TV PRO for €6,99 a month and you can cast it to your TV (only from a PC) is much cheaper then other stations.

          1. Does it work in Germany? As far as I know, only Sky can transmit F1 nowadays. I really want to give F1 TV a go but it doesn’t work anymore (unless I have vpn, i guess).

          2. As TurboBT mentions, @macleod, F1TV pro is not available anymore for German subscribers. I think there was a window of time to get it prolongued last year but now, you cannot get it anymore because of the new Sky deal.

        2. I have to say, its pretty cheap here in Australia. Foxtel (who is our version of Sky) spun off a sports platform called Kayo sports, which offers a the lowest package costing AUD 25/month (17 EUR/month). There is no 4k option. You dont need a box for this either, I believe you can download the App to your TV.

          Then there is an option with the box, which cost about AUD 50/month I believe. That gives you 4K. The amount of live sports your get for either AUD 25 or 50 is pretty comprehensive. Although the EPL is not on Foxtel anymore, the list of live sports is pretty good, can’t complain.

          1. Not supporting Murdoch.

  2. cotd Merc’s strategy was definitely what allowed them to fight also having 2 sets of hards proved invaluable. It is a shame that in the end the race is marred by DRS and politics.
    The peking order is almost the same and the top 2 teams still have a massive lead over the midfield but as long as there is a genuine fight all is fine by me, in my view a classic race was ruined.

    1. No, it’s not a massive lead. Checo couldn’t reach P4 even at the end of the race.

      Previously, whenever Mercedes were required to go full beans, they would end up lapping most of the mid field.

      Here we had both McLarens, Ferraris and the non-delayed Aston and Alpha Tauri all finishing on the lead lap.

      The midfield is definitely closer.

      1. I think @peartree is right in his assessment as Bottas was still able to do a free pitstop despite a bungled second stop. The midfield is nowhere close to the top two teams in race pace.

        Last year, the cars were lapped till 9th and this time it was till 11th, despite the improvement in the pace of Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and Alpha Tauri. Perez is still struggling for pace as otherwise he would have finished 4th from the back if he was close to Max.

        All in all, not much has changed in the pecking order apart from a bit of shuffling in the midfield. However, hope other tracks play to the characteristics of some of the midfield cars and produce some surprising results.

        1. @f1g33k Till 12th, but I agree with you on what you’ve pointed out. To be fair to Perez, he ran out of laps to catch Norris because of how much further ahead he was than Leclerc, so even if he weren’t struggling for pace, he still wouldn’t necessarily have clawed the gap entirely.

  3. Thank you for the COTD. At that point in the race, I was also thinking Mercedes should have pitted to cover Norris because before that, Alonso had a huge undercut gain that put him I think in the battle for best of the rest behind Red Bull and Mercedes.

  4. Didn’t know that AlphaTauri’s livery had a bit of gold. :D

    1. @Dave Merely an optical illusion in the specific image. Definitely isn’t there on TV coverage.

  5. Ferrari’s pace indeed was encouraging. At this point (things can change), I reckon Mclaren and Ferrari will battle for P3 in the WCC.

    1. @jerejj
      I wouldn’t count out Alpha Tauri. Sure, their results weren’t great in Bahrain, but the car has a lot of potential and might be even quicker than McLaren and Ferrari (at least on tracks that reward power and aerodinamic efficiency).
      Imola will be very interesting, because Alpha Tauri and Ferrari (at least Leclerc) were quite competitive there last season and quicker than McLaren.
      As for whether Ferrari’s gains were encouraging, I would say yes and no. Yes, because they definitely made a step forward pretty much everywhere (power, drag, tyre wear, pit stops) and no, because Leclerc was still losing about 0.2-0.3 to Norris on race pace. Leclerc would’ve probably also finished behind Gasly, if it wasn’t for the contact between the Alpha Tauri and Ricciardo at T5 on the re-start.
      The next three races will offer a more detailed picture of the exact pecking order between these three teams. I doubt any other team will join the fight for P3 in the WCC.

      1. @srga91 Me neither, although I’ve got some doubt they could challenge Mclaren and Ferrari for P3 on outright pace over the season. Time will tell. I definitely have less hope for Aston Martin and Alpine in this regard. Because of limited development chances, the urge to move 100% focus on next year as early as possible, and driver line ups.

  6. Does anybody know why Juju Noda withdrew from the US F4 race(s)?

    1. @coldfly there has been no explicit confirmation – the only information so far is a statement has been released stating that she was withdraw because of unspecified personal reasons, and that the team felt she “needs better circumstances that will allow her to just focus on racing, rather than needing to deal with external problems”.

      1. Interesting, I was wondering about that too.

      2. Thanks @anon
        I’ll refrain from speculating, and just hope to see her racing soon again.

  7. And then you attack the crown and capture the country

    Lol. Ecclestone was borderline intolerable, but he had a certain humor I have to give him that. Brilliant response really.

  8. “relief” is the word Sainz wanted to say. For sure even he had doubts if Ferrari had done much of a step.

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