Scuderia Ferrari Spanish driver Carlos Sainz suggested Formula 1 champions Mercedes and their new driver George Russell were playing ‘typical’ games in hyping up the Maranello team ahead of the start of the 2022 Formula 1 season, which takes place next week with the Bahrain Grand Prix.
George Russell, new teammate to fellow Briton and seven-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton after being promoted from backmarkers Williams this year, repeatedly stated in the last days at Sakhir that Scuderia Ferrari were looking very solid and seem to have the fastest car both on one lap pace and in high fuel runs.
Carlos Sainz was asked to comment on his statements and said on Friday during the second day of pre-season testing at the Bahrain circuit that George Russell’s comments were “typical Mercedes, typical George just hype up the others and then come to the first race and blow the competition away. If it would be the first year they’ve done it then I would maybe believe them but they’ve done it for five or six years now and they keep surprising us in the first race. As you can imagine I don’t believe much… we can see what they are doing (on track) and I’m not going to say much” – the Ferrari driver explained. added Sainz, one of two Spaniards on the grid, the other his childhood idol Fernando Alonso.
Scuderia Ferrari, Formula 1’s oldest and most successful team, finished third overall in the 2021 season after climbing back from a 40-year low of sixth in the previous campaign. Meanwhile, Mercedes have been F1 constructors’ champions for the past eight years.
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In Bahrain, under searing-hot conditions with stiff breezes keeping the drivers on their toes, Carlos Sainz explained that the lap times are not relevant at this stage and the true pace of Ferrari and their rivals is easily disguised. At the same time, the Spanish driver confirmed that he hadn’t found much confidence with the F1-75 car in Bahrain, even having posted a solid 52 laps to go second behind leader Pierre Gasly on the opening day.
“Yes, still obviously not much [confidence], because we are still obviously going through our run plan, going through the things we want to test before going here for the race weekend, and it’s still very difficult to know where everyone is. Particularly here in Bahrain… one hour changes everything. A wind direction change here can mean once corner becomes super tricky to super easy and some track temperature up and down just means you are two-three tenths quicker [or slower]. So it’s very difficult to take conclusions in Bahrain, even when you are testing stuff that you’re interested in taking conclusions.” – Carlos concluded.
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