Ferrari’s 2022 season appears to be coming to a woeful end, with the Italians looking poor at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix so far.
Many predicted that Ferrari would be in a tight fight with Mercedes at the Yas Marina Circuit this weekend; however, the Maranello-based team found themselves in sixth and seventh after Free Practice 3.
Lando Norris incredibly, managed to end the first session on Saturday ahead of both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, summing up the Italians weekend so far.
Leclerc has complained about the performance of his F1-75 all weekend so far, with the Monegasque admitting “it’s bad”.
Their pace appears well off Red Bull who are dominating the timing sheets and are the bookies favourite for pole and the win, with it looking set to be a duel between George Russell and Lewis Hamilton for P3.
This is bad news for Ferrari and Leclerc, with the Italians just 19 points ahead of the Germans in the Constructors’ Championship.
As well as this, Leclerc is looking set to lose the fight for second in the Drivers’ Championship to Sergio Pérez, with the Mexican having actually topped FP3.
The duo head into the weekend level on points, with Leclerc technically ahead due to having won more races than Pérez this season.
For Sainz, there is seemingly very little to fight for, with the Spaniard looking unlikely to finish multiple positions above Hamilton, something he needs to claim fifth in the championship.
Sainz was behind Leclerc after FP3, with the 28-year-old having claimed seventh in the session, just over six-tenths behind Pérez’s best time.
FP2 was actually close to being horrific for Sainz, after a mechanic appeared to leave their hand on his front-right tyre after completing a pit-stop.
As Sainz was released from the pits, it looked like a mechanic was struck by Sainz’ rapidly spinning wheel, resulting in the driver quickly checking if the mechanic was okay.
“Yeah, check if the mechanic is okay, yeah?” asked Sainz.
“He had a hand on the tyre,” the Spaniard added.
Ferrari’s race engineer then confirmed that the mechanic was completely fine, much to the relief of the Spanish driver.