Hamilton: Ferrari ‘completely different’ in Bahrain

Date published: March 29 2019

Lewis Hamilton believes Ferrari are ahead in Bahrain and predicts a tough qualifying battle.

Lewis Hamilton believes Ferrari are ahead after they dominated FP1 and 2 in Bahrain, but says Mercedes can make it a “tough battle”.

Charles Leclerc finished fastest for the Scuderia in FP1, before Vettel narrowly bettered his team-mate in FP2 to secure 1-2 finishes in both free practice sessions.

Although Vettel has warned people not to pay “too much attention” to Ferrari’s 0.6s gap over the Silver Arrows, Hamilton believes they are genuinely behind the team who have claimed victory in the last two Bahrain Grand Prix’s.

However, that doesn’t mean Mercedes will roll over in Sakhir claims Hamilton.

“It’s hard work out there for everyone; FP1 is incredibly hot, the track is at 50 degrees, so everyone is struggling with the tyres,” Hamilton told reporters.

“The Ferraris have been quick from the get-go and picked up more pace from there, so it’s completely different to what we’ve seen in Melbourne.

“We had some issues with the balance of the car, but we’ve made improvements for FP2. At the moment it looks like the Ferraris are ahead, so we have to keep our heads down, keep working, analyse things tonight and try and come back stronger tomorrow.

“I think as we get to Qualifying, everything will get a little bit closer, but it is going to be a tough battle.”

Meanwhile, Australian GP race winner Valtteri Bottas has said there is more to come from him after finishing P4 in the second free practice session.

Ferrari have definitely improved their pace since Melbourne so that is going to make tomorrow exciting,” he explained.

“The main focus for me is where I can improve for myself all around the lap, and I know there is still plenty to gain.

“My laps that were on the board today were not great yet, but there is more to come.”

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