Bahrain GP: Ferrari will come back strong, says Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes dominated the show at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix and stayed ahead of a disappointing Ferrari, who fell off the pace. With the Bahrain Grand Prix set for this weekend, Formula 1 defending champion Lewis Hamilton wants Mercedes to be on their toes as he expects a fight from the German team. Here are the details.
Ahead of the Australian GP, Hamilton had cited the threat Ferrari posed with their pace. But on race day, Mercedes were way ahead of their arch-rivals. Valtteri Bottas won the race ahead of Hamilton as Mercedes completed a swift top two finish. Ferrari struggled for intensity and Sebastian Vettel managed to end fourth behind Red Bull's Max Verstappen. Hamilton says nobody expected that show.
"I think everyone was surprised by our showing in Australia, No-one was expecting to see a gap like that with Ferrari. They were ahead - that is what we saw in testing - but it wasn't the case that weekend," cited Hamilton.
Ferrari will be wanting to make a strong comeback and show their credentials this season. They will draw comfort from the fact that that Vettel enters Bahrain as the two-time defending champion. "We just did our normal job, but I am sure they will come back strong. So, we have to be ready and we have to stay on our toes," warned Hamilton.
Besides Vettel, new boy Charles Leclerc finished fifth at the Australian GP. The striking factor was that the team was a minute adrift of Mercedes. Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said that he does not expect to see this repeated. "We've seen the potential of Ferrari's package in Barcelona and we expect them to come back strong in Bahrain," he said.
The race day of the Bahrain GP is set to be held on Sunday, March 31. The race will be held live on the Star Sports Network. It is set for a 8:30 PM start at the Bahrain International Circuit.