F1 testing: ‘Typical Mercedes’ – Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz suspicious of German team at Bahrain Day 2

Carlos Sainz believes that Mercedes are driving within themselves at Bahrain and will be much improved at the season opener.

Mercedes caused ripples when they arrived in the Middle East with a much-changed sidepod, far smaller than those employed by other teams.

Speaking after the first session, Red Bull rider Sergio Perez said there was not enough evidence yet to make any predictions, saying: “The track is changing so much from one hour to the next so it’s difficult to make any predictions.”

Ferrari’s Sainz agreed, claiming: “It is very difficult to take conclusions in Bahrain even when you are testing things that you want to make conclusions from, because the track keeps changing and evolving every half an hour.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has praised Ferrari, McLaren and Alpine.

“It is impossible to tell. What you can say is that it’s only going to be next Saturday (in qualifying) you’ll get the first snapshot, when the fuel comes out, people run as close to the weight limit as they can,” Horner offered.

“I don’t think Mercedes have shown their hand yet. Ferrari look the form team. Hopefully we can be in there as well. It looks like McLaren have a strong car. Alpine have a strong car.”

Sainz is wary of the praise coming his team’s way, with George Russell also praising them early on.

“It is typical Mercedes,” he said, “typical George – hype up the others and then come to the first race and blow the competition away.

“If it was the first season they did it I would maybe believe them, but they have done it for five, six years now and they keep surprising us in the first race. So as you can imagine I don’t believe much. Already in GPS we can also see what they are doing and, yeah… I am not going to say much.”