Will Buxton claims Mercedes could be faster than Ferrari due to this big weakness

Pre-season testing indicated that Ferrari are quick enough to challenge for the championship this season.

Pre-season testing in Bahrain was generally a success for Ferrari, who did not encounter many issues over the course of the three days.

The Scuderia will be looking to put together a more meaningful title charge this season, after last year’s efforts were derailed by terrible reliability issues.

The SF-23 was very reliable in Bahrain, allowing both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz to get a lot of laps under their best and leading the team to believe that their reliability woes are a thing of the past.

Ferrari also looked to have the pace to battle Red Bull in the championship this season over a couple of laps, however their race pace was somewhat lacking.

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The tyre degradation of the SF-23 was below par, with the pace of the car dropping off significantly after only a few laps, something which F1 reporter Will Buxton believes that the team needs to improve before the season starts.

“It’s good for a couple of laps but, race pace-wise, Ferrari have got a mountain to climb,” said Buxton.

“While Ferrari have had, seemingly, a good test, and they have a fast car, there are rumours coming from the scarlet team that they are actually in a bit of trouble.

“Because, while the car is super-reliable and we’ve seen that on track and as you said super-fast, its deg is miserable. The tyres are just jumping off a cliff.”

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After falling short of both championships last year, Ferrari will be looking to finally end their title drought this year.

Both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz will feel optimistic about their chances of winning this year, having shown that they can match each other last year.

With Red Bull looking like the clear favourites for the championship this season, Ferrari will need to solve their race-pace problem before the Bahrain Grand Prix, as a winning start for Red Bull could see the team start to build up an unrecoverable lead over their rivals.