Binotto expects teams to drop the sandbags in Bahrain

Michelle Foster
Charles Leclerc up close in testing. Barcelona February 2022

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc up close in testing, putting in the laps in the Ferrari F1-75 Barcelona February 2022

Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto believes all the teams will drop their sandbags at this week’s Bahrain test with race and qualifying simulations in play.

The Formula 1 circus is back on track at the Sakhir circuit this week, all the teams taking part in the official three-day pre-season test.

And it is an outing that could finally give us an indication of the true pecking order.

While understanding their all-new 2022 cars was the focus at Barcelona’ group shakedown, Binotto says this week is about maximising performance.

“Certainly I think that in Barcelona, at the first session, the idea was to collect data and try to understand the correlation,” he said as per

“But when we go to Bahrain, and then it will be very close to the first race of the season, we will all I believe, try to simulate some race simulations, and qualy simulations.

“We will want try to extract the most of the performance from the car itself. So certainly, in Bahrain, I think the relative competitiveness of the teams will become more clear.”

Ferrari had a strong start to testing in Spain, the team trading P1s with McLaren on the opening two days before Mercedes and Red Bull hit the front on day three.

Ferrari also covered the most laps of any team, the F1-75 and its new power unit proving to be reliable.

The Scuderia, though, did suffer with porpoising, the car bouncing up and down on the main straight.

Binotto admits they underestimated the problem, which is known for going hand-in-hand with ground effect aerodynamics – the philosophy on which this year’s all-new cars have been designed.

“I think most of us, at least, underestimated the problem,” said the Italian. “By the time we were on track we were certainly bouncing more than we expected.

“We certainly knew, with the ground-effect situation, that it was going to be different. It is a learning process.

“Solving it can be quite straightforward, optimising the performance because it should not be a compromise but trying to avoid the bouncing by getting the most out of the car, that could be a less-easy exercise.


“I’m pretty sure that at some stage, each team will get to the solution. How long will it take? I think the ones that get there sooner will have an advantage at the start of the season.”


PlanetF1 Verdict


Binotto expects teams to up the pace in Bahrain

Mattia Binotto expects teams to show their real pace in Bahrain.