Ferrari not settling for second-best in Bahrain

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Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz insisted that they aren't about to to settle for second place this weekend, and confirmed that they were going all-out for victory in the first race of the season in Bahrain.

Leclerc and Sainz were second and third respectively in both of Friday's two one-hour free practice sessions in Sakhir. Leclerc was just 0.087s off the best time of the day set by reigning champion Max Verstappen in the Red Bull.

But the team insisted that it wouldn't be happy to simply settle for second place this weekend.

"Ferrari must never sign to finish P2,” Sainz told Sky Italia on Friday. “Ferrari must always aim at achieving victories. That’s why we are here.

He said that the team's objective was “to get back as soon as possible to win, on the podium, to fight for the championships.

“We don’t know where we are yet," he pointed out. "We can’t confirm we would be happy with P2. We have to aim for the top, and that’s what we aim for.”

Leclerc concurred with his team mate's view. “For sure I want to win, everyone inside the team wants to win, so I wouldn't sign for P2 either," he said. "It would be a great step compared to last year.

Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari. 18.03.2022. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Sakhir, Bahrain

"It’s a completely new project, we said that often, and there is optimism because we know how much we worked to arrive at this point.

"Our first two sessions have gone rather well, without any issues. We seem to be quite competitive, but we have to keep in mind that it is still early to draw any conclusions.

"I am quite confident in the car and it felt good overall. We tested many things and worked on the car a lot since the first session. We made good progress and have to keep pushing to find small details ahead of qualifying tomorrow."

However it wasn't all good news for the Scuderia, with Sainz struggling to maintain the same sort of form he'd shown in first practice when it came to the evening session.

Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Ferrari F1-75. 18.03.2022. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Sakhir, Bahrain

"FP1 went well, the feeling with the car was good and an improvement from testing," he said. "Unfortunately in FP2 this good feeling went away a bit.

"We didn’t nail the set-up and I struggled to put a clean lap together," he admitted. "We definitely need to have a close look at that tonight.

"I’m confident we can get back to the feeling from this morning and that e’ll be ready for qualifying."

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