The Scuderia Ferrari team continue to show they have a vastly improved package in 2015, with Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen finishing third and fourth in last weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix, and both drivers head into this weekends Bahrain Grand Prix high on confidence.
Vettel is hoping to keep the pressure on Mercedes this weekend in Sakhir, feeling that the car works in all conditions, feeling happy with how his season has panned out so far. He will continue to focus on his own race and not of those ahead or behind him, with the aim of looking after his tyres so that he can be in the best place possible to challenge Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
“It’s another weekend on another track, with different conditions,” said Vettel. “I would say we can be happy with our season so far, but we must find confirmations.
“This is also the first night race of the year, and it will be exciting, so let’s hope we have a good car. This track calls for power and good brakes system, because here we have long straights followed by heavy braking areas.
“To some respects it is a unique track, where finding a good pace is not always easy. It will be hot, but not as much as Malaysia, given the fact that we race at night. In any case, we have shown that our car can be good in both cold and hot conditions, so we hope this trend will continue here. If we can look after our tyres we can put some pressure on the team ahead of us.
“At the moment we know how strong Mercedes are, they have a very good package, but so do we, and we must make sure that we keep improving it to close the gap. Whatever is going on between the two Mercedes drivers does not affect us: we must look after ourselves, the rest is not in our hands”.
Team-mate Raikkonen felt the race in China last weekend was the first in 2015 where he did not have any problems, and was happy with his result. He believes the 2015 SF15-T should work on any circuit, but is not prepared to make a prediction about how he feels his weekend in Bahrain will go. He agrees with Vettel that the team still have work to do to be able to challenge for victories this season.
“In the last race in China we did our maximum,” said Raikkonen. “It was the first race with no problems, but obviously we want more and we’ll keep working to improve in every single area. The team is working very well; it’s a solid group of people that go in the same direction.
“Every track is different, but the behaviour of the car has been good in every place we’ve been and I don’t see reason why it shouldn’t be the same here. From tomorrow, we’ll go through our programme and we’ll see. Now it’s too early to make prediction about the weekend. Every year on the same track it’s slightly different and every car behaves in a different way.
“The Bahrain track is nice, the layout allows you to overtake and this can make a big difference in the race. The second practice is much later than the first one and that’s when you can understand the situation a bit more. We have to do our best to have a clear weekend. We still have a lot of work to do if we want to do always better and fight for wins.”