Former Ferrari boss backs Bahrain revival
Former Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali is expecting the Maranello team to bounce back in Bahrain after being comprehensively outperformed by rivals Mercedes at the Australian Grand Prix. Having seen Sebastian Vettel win the previous two races in Melbourne, the red cars were absent from the podium last weekend.
The Scuderia came into the season-opener well-fancied to make it a hat-trick, having left winter testing with an air of dominance.
However, Vettel was seven tenths off Lewis Hamilton’s pole time on Saturday and finished Sunday’s race almost a minute adrift of winner Valtteri Bottas.
The German never looked like muscling in on the Silver Arrows and lost his starting podium spot to Max Verstappen, when the Red Bull blasted past him to take third.
“Yes, that was a difficult weekend for them,” Domenicali is quoted by Speed Week.
“Ferrari could not show a normal level of performance, but let us not forget that Melbourne is a special place.
“That’s why, for me, Bahrain is the more reliable gauge for me.”
Domenicali, who was succeeded at Ferrari by Marco Mattiacci, Maurizio Arrivabene and now Mattia Binotto, urged the legendary team against panicking.
“In Australia, the car was too slow, and I don’t know if it was the tyres or the chassis or the engine,” he said.
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) March 20, 2019
“If I look at the speed and the lap times, it is clear that something did not go normally there. But they should not overreact now.
“We will find out in Bahrain what the real situation is.”
Vettel won from pole in Bahrain 12 months ago, before going on to secure pole positions in the following races in China and Baku as well.