Vettel feels strategy is Ferrari's best chance for success in Bahrain

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Sebastian Vettel sees strategy as Ferrari's best chance for success after a tricky Friday in Bahrain.

After leading every session until race day at Sakhir last year, neither the German nor teammate Charles Leclerc managed a top 10 in either practice at Sakhir.

The reason for that may well be the long straights in Bahrain which favoured when Ferrari had the best engine on the grid in 2019, but is now their biggest weakness.

“It’s probably not the best track for us on paper, but we still have a little bit that we can improve and see what we get tomorrow,” Vettel said via

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“It was obviously difficult to make the tyres last and it will be difficult on Sunday. It’s not quite clear yet how many stops and which tyres are the best, so a little bit of homework tonight.

"For now, I think we focus on quali and then prepare for the race."

Given Vettel has recently suggested some of his poor race results have been due to being caught in "trains" in the midfield, he was asked whether Ferrari would focus on optimising tyre life or single-lap pace in qualifying.

“Points are scored in the race,” Vettel simply replied, “so certainly you have to think of the race, but the higher up you start, the better your chances.

“But we’ve seen here many times that you can make quite a big difference with strategy and tyre handling and nurturing, so let’s hope that come Sunday, we’re better off.

"Until then, you’re obviously trying to go as fast as you can because the same applies in quali as in the race… the faster the car is, the better you will be in quali and also then in the race.”

20018 bahrain gp gallery friday

As for Leclerc, he had one word to describe his Friday.

“Difficult,” the Monegasque, who scored his first pole in Bahrain 19 months ago, admitted. “I expected a bit better because normally it’s a very strong track for the team in the past few years, but this weekend we seemed to struggle quite a bit more.

“At least the first day has been more difficult, but we are normally pretty good at fixing the issues overnight so hopefully we’ll be working well tonight and coming back stronger tomorrow.”

Asked what the main area he has to work on, Leclerc added: “Just the balance basically, because throughout the corners it’s very tricky. We go from oversteer to big understeer and it’s quite difficult to manage the car at the moment.

“I did quite a few of mistakes, so also my driving hasn’t been very good today. Hopefully, all of this will be good tomorrow and we will manage to get a good result. We are all very, very close and anything we can gain will be a bit advantage.”