Red Bull Racing had a straightforward Friday at the Bahrain International Circuit but Mark Webber said that the teams must now focus more on the race rather than qualifying on Friday’s.
The Australian finished seventh in practice one before setting the second fastest time in practice two. Meanwhile his team-mate was within the top five in both Friday sessions, his best effort in the first session being good enough for fourth. The German finished third in the second session, behind Webber and the Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen.
Webber discussed the importance of the race for pole position in a post-practice team statement, saying: “I would have liked to have got some more running in P2, but I still think we learned what we expected today. Saturdays are perhaps becoming less important overall than they used to be, but they’re still important in terms of traffic. You don’t want to be in too much traffic on Sunday, as the tyres don’t like being disturbed and wear more which will shorten your first stint – so you still need to be in a good position.”
He added that there are still area’s for the team to improve on despite being consistent at the front of the field, “We still have areas to improve on the car.” The Aussie cited Lotus and Ferrari as the teams main rivals, saying “Lotus and Ferrari look strong and Mercedes is there too.”
Vettel elaborated on the close margins, saying “It’s pretty close. If you look at the opposition then Ferrari and Lotus were strong today and I think it will be close in qualifying.”
He continued: “It’s important to work with the tyres around the track. I wasn’t so happy with my short runs today – but that’s why we have the Friday practice sessions I guess; I was happier with the longer runs. The tyres still seem to be the dominating factor. The car seems quick, so we have to make sure we use that and then we should be on the right page.”
Red Bull seem to still be lacking in long run pace in comparison to Ferrari but particularly Raikkonen in the Lotus. Both drivers were happy with their day overall and it certainly bodes well for Qualifying and the Race.