Ferrari and Red Bull have expressed doubt that they will be able to beat Mercedes in this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix, and expect the event to be tough despite the cooler conditions resulting from running at night.
“For sure there is still a lot of things to improve on all the areas and we know that.” said Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.
“We have the right people and all the tools to fix those things, but unfortunately those things are not easy things to fix and it will take time…Obviously Mercedes have been looking strong over the tests, over the first two races but I’m sure we have some big gains that will come.”
“But it’s not easy to catch up with them.”
Raikkonen showed well during practice for last weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix but suffered during the race after being hit by McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen, who later apologised for the incident.
Meanwhile Raikkonen’s close friend and reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettel added his weight to the voices branding Mercedes as runaway favourites for victory again this weekend.
“I think we’ve seen throughout testing and the first couple of races, Australia and Malaysia, that Mercedes are the favourites. They have the strongest package; they’re way quicker than us down the straights.” said the German.
“There’s too much time that we lose there. But that’s not a complaint. Fair enough, they did a very good job so they deserve to be in that position. I think we’re already much closer than we thought, and everyone else thought, which is a strong point, and all we have to focus on are the fights that we can fight right now.”
First practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix begins at 12:00 today.