Ferrari boss explains why he’s not worried after Bahrain disaster

Carlos Sainz suffered from high tyre degradation during the Bahrain GP, resulting in an inability to battle Fernando Alonso for third.

New Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur has dismissed that his side are already in crisis following Charles Leclerc’s engine failure at the Bahrain Grand Prix, with the Frenchman labelling the problem as simply a “teething issue”.

The season-opening race was a nightmare for Ferrari, who were expected to push Red Bull all the way at the Bahrain International Circuit.

Concerningly for the Italians, it was Aston Martin who looked like the bigger threat to the reigning constructors’ champions, with Fernando Alonso having topped two free practice sessions before claiming a podium.

Ferrari had locked-out the second row on the grid, but it quickly became apparent that neither Leclerc nor Carlos Sainz had anything to say about Red Bull’s magnificent pace, with Leclerc having been easily overtaken by Sergio Pérez after overtaking him on the opening lap.

READ: Are V10s set to return to Formula 1?

Leclerc ran the second half of the race in third, until he suddenly retired following a power unit failure.

Had he not retired, then a rostrum would’ve still been a massive challenge for the 25-year-old, with Alonso’s pace having been better.

Sainz ended up finishing where he qualified in fourth, with the Spaniard having been dealt with easily by Alonso.

A power unit failure for Leclerc certainly came as a shock to Ferrari, who worked tirelessly to solve their engine issues during the winter break.

Article continues below

It has already been reported that the Monegasque will likely take a grid penalty into this weekend’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, to further add to the team’s misery.

Despite the issues facing Ferrari, Vasseur isn’t too concerned just yet and doesn’t believe the SF-23 is a bad car.

“It’s my position that I’m sure,” Vasseur said.

READ: Max Verstappen warned about major threat in Saudi Arabia

“I’ve never experienced in my life a car that is able to be quick on one lap and for a concept to not be fast on the long stints.”

Another problem the team experienced at the Bahrain International Circuit was worryingly high tyre degradation, something that Vasseur believes is due to a “set-up issue”.

“From my point of view, it’s more a set-up issue and a teething issue that we have to understand what we are doing well, even if it’s about cooling or something like this, and come back a bit stronger.”