Vettel: Ferrari need to be 'sly as a fox' to score points in Bahrain

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Sebastian Vettel admits Ferrari need to be as "sly as a fox" to have a chance of scoring points in the Bahrain Grand Prix.

After starting 1-2 at this race last year, the German and teammate Charles Leclerc will start 11th and 12th on Sunday at Sakhir after a difficult weekend so far.

While it would be instinctive to suggest Ferrari's lack of straight-line speed would be their main drawback versus their rivals, Vettel actually pointed to the more technical middle sector as where things went wrong

"It was very tough and tight," he said. "I think Sector 2 wasn't ideal, I was too close to George [Russell], maybe that didn't help, and I was struggling after the stop and go in the final sector to get the fronts really to work.

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"Maybe there was a little bit more [time], but overall I think it's more or less where we belong this weekend.

"Tomorrow is the race, and in the race is not about one lap, so we'll see what we can do."

With Ferrari realising they could well be the seventh-fastest team in Bahrain, as AlphaTauri also return to form following a bad race in Istanbul, Vettel admits getting tyre strategy right could be their best chance to move up.

"This track is very rough, very tough on tyres, and that will be the key tomorrow to manage those," he explained.

"I think if we are sly as a fox, we have a good chance. If not, then it will be a long race. I still believe that there is a good chance to score some points."

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Vettel though would out-qualify Leclerc for the second straight race, but the Monegasque also sees an opportunity from starting outside the top 10.

"You can always do better, but I think that's the case for everyone," Leclerc said.

"At Turn 4 I think I lost quite a bit, but yeah, it's like this, we'll start P11 and P12, the first ones to have a free tyre choice.

"I don't know how much we can benefit from that, because I'm pretty sure that starting on the medium for the top 10 is not so bad.

"But yeah, we did our best, and today that's what was possible."