We preview the Bahrain Grand Prix where it would be foolish to write off Ferrari’s chances, despite their opening-race disappointment.
Sebastian Vettel’s quote “why are we so slow?” was a real takeaway moment from the season-opening Australian Grand Prix but it may be worth sticking with Ferrari as F1 moves onto Bahrain this weekend.
The Prancing Horse had looked the team to beat during pre-season testing but they were well behind the Mercedes cars in Melbourne as the Silver Arrows locked out the top two steps on the podium.
Sebastian Vettel to win the Bahrain GP @ 57/20
However, the bumpy Albert Park street circuit is known to have considerably less grip than Sakhir, which also requires more braking, while the night racing in the Middle East also provides significantly different conditions.
Vettel is a four-time winner here, including the last two, and importantly has secured pole position on four occasions to main rival Lewis Hamilton’s two. This is a track which has produced plenty of processional races, six of the 14 pole-sitters having won the race.
Charles Leclerc to finish on the podium @ 2/1
Vettel is 57/20 to take the chequered flag again, while team-mate Charles Leclerc may also be worth chancing at 2/1 for a podium finish.
He produced arguably the best drive of his career at this circuit two years ago when he overtook 13 cars en route to winning the F2 race and the youngster should compete if his car is right.
Pierre Gasly to finish in the top six @ 5/7
With Ferrari and Mercedes having enjoyed a complete hold on the podium here in the last four years, it may be asking too much for Red Bull to repeat their third-place in Australia (via Max Verstappen).
However, their new Honda engine was very impressive in Melbourne and produced some excellent speed data. Mercedes boss Toto Wolff described it as “a huge step forward” and admitted Red Bull were “very fast on the straights”, of which there are many in Bahrain.
The top-six finish market looks the one to turn to with Red Bull.
In it, Pierre Gasly is 5/7. He is another driver with happy memories of the circuit – he was fourth here in the Toro Rosso last season – and looks to have the car to back that up this time around.
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