Mercedes pair wary of Ferrari threat

By on Friday, April 17, 2015
Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton reckon that Ferrari will be a threat to them during this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix.

Rosberg topped the second session in Bahrain, with Hamilton in second place, but Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel claimed third and fourth positions, with the Italian squad switching its focus to long run simulations comparatively early in the session.

"The afternoon session wasn't very useful as the conditions are so hot and really quite different to what we see in the evening - which is of course when qualifying and the race will be held," Rosberg said.

"That makes the second session very valuable and we learned a lot - for example that Ferrari are very good on the long runs. On qualifying laps we look quicker but on race pace they are really strong so we will have to do a lot of work tonight to find the perfect setup.

"Tyre wise it's all been pretty straightforward. Both compounds are robust - it's just their absolute pace that should be a factor. Qualifying will be important as we saw in the last few races. But I'm feeling good about my pace on one lap and the long runs too so confidence is high."

Hamilton, who beat Rosberg to victory at the circuit last year, believes that Mercedes is in a better shape than in Malaysia - when it was defeated by Ferrari - but remains wary of his rivals.

"We've had a good day in terms of getting the long runs in and understanding the tyres," he said.

"Working on race runs was the priority - although we did also show strong single lap pace. On my fastest lap I locked up into Turn 8 so lost out a bit there and there's a few areas I need to work on to find a bit more time.

"It's difficult to say how long each compound will go but the option feels great. From what I can see it shouldn't be as tough as it was in Malaysia from a tyre perspective and we're definitely in a better position this weekend than at the same stage in Sepang.

"Despite that, I'm sure it will still be very close with Ferrari, who look very good on the long runs. Generally, though, it's been a positive start."

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