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Formula 1 | Ferrari eyes Bahrain pole: “Looks like we’re up there”

Ferrari are hoping after the positive impressions from Bahrain free practice that the F1-75 is good enough to fight for the first pole position of the year on Saturday.

On Friday you only had to admit defeat to world champion Max Verstappen in the Red Bull, but Charles Leclerc was only 0.087 seconds behind the Dutchman, teammate Carlos Sainz was third.

“It looks like we’re up front. That’s good and gives us a little smile,” says Leclerc, but doesn’t want to read too much into today. “No one is at the absolute limit of the car,” he says. “But at least there were no nasty surprises today, that’s a good sign.”

Only once did Monegasque overdo it a bit when he spun in the second sector. The Ferrari driver wanted to test his car’s limits and hopes he doesn’t make the same mistake tomorrow. “But I feel pretty good in the car,” he emphasizes, and sees room for improvement since he didn’t set his fastest time on the first lap.

Carlos Sainz speaks of a “positive start”

In general he is satisfied with the practice day: “Things went well today. We tested a lot of things, changed a lot on the car and all the changes brought us forward,” he sums up. “We have to take the same step again tomorrow, then hopefully we’ll have a car that we can fight with.”

Carlos Sainz also speaks of a “positive start” after Friday, which underlines the good feeling since the test drives. However, he himself was half a second behind his team-mate Leclerc today. He explains that by not understanding the car 100 percent when running with little fuel.

“I’m having trouble with the front tires warming up, with a lot of understeer in the corner and I don’t think I’m driving it in the ideal way yet,” says the Spaniard. “So we still have some homework to do. I have to work through the night to make sure I can find some lap time for tomorrow.”

But he’s not worried: “I know what we need to work on and which areas we need to improve,” emphasizes Sainz. “Hopefully we can take the right steps and improve for tomorrow because I’m not entirely happy at the moment.”

The situation is different for Leclerc, who is aiming for pole position in Sachir: “So far it’s looking pretty good. I hope it stays that way.”

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