Ferrari ‘properly back’ with 1-2 finish in Bahrain

Jon Wilde
Carlos Sainz ahead of a Mercedes and a Red Bull. Bahrain March 2022.

Carlos Sainz's Ferrari ahead of a Mercedes and a Red Bull during the Bahrain Grand Prix. Sakhir March 2022.

Carlos Sainz declared Ferrari are “properly back” after achieving their first victory and one-two finish since 2019 at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Apart from a duel with Max Verstappen on laps 16 and 17, Charles Leclerc was always in control having started on pole position for the season’s opening race and the first of the sport’s new era of regulations.

Up to the restart on lap 51 of 57 following a Safety Car period to recover Pierre Gasly’s stricken AlphaTauri, it had looked as though the first five on the grid would finish in that order with Leclerc ahead of Verstappen, Sainz, Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton.

But Verstappen was reporting power steering issues and after being passed by Sainz on lap 54, he was quickly forced to retire with a separate suspected fuel pump issue – and was joined in retirement by Perez, who spun at Turn 1 on the final lap when under pressure from Hamilton.

But while it ended as a dismal, point-less day for Red Bull, it turned out perfectly for Ferrari as they made the ideal start with the new F1-75 to their aim of becoming championship challengers again.

“Congrats to Charles, congrats to Ferrari,” said runner-up Sainz, who matched his previous best F1 finish achieved in Monaco last year.

“Ferrari are back and properly back. A one-two and where the team should have been over the last few years. The hard work is paying off and we are there.”


After qualifying third, Sainz said he had been struggling to get to grips with the new car and repeated that admission post-race.

“It’s been a very tricky weekend, I won’t lie,” said the Spaniard. “I didn’t have the pace today but I managed to hold in there and bring the one-two for the team. I have some homework to do over the next few days and I’m sure I’ll come back stronger.

“At the restart I had a strong chance because I had a very clean restart behind Charles and Max. He defended well, to be fair, and then suddenly I started seeing some flashing red lights from the back of his car and I said ‘okay, this is my chance’ and I went for it.

“[Max] was unfortunate, I think today he was driving well enough to get P2. But I had a good run on him and then he had to retire, so it is what it is and it’s good for Ferrari.”