Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez were forced to retire from the Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday. However, Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto still considers the Red Bull cars to be the favourites and says they need to be taken very seriously.
After an intense rivalry with Lewis Hamilton in 2021, Max Verstappen brought another world championship title to Red Bull. However, the 2022 season has not started as well as hoped for the Austrian team.
At the Bahrain Grand Prix, Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez were unable to finish the race and were forced to retire. As a result, it was Ferrari that fared best in the first race of the season with Charles Leclerc winning and Carlos Sainz Jr. finishing second. However, Mattia Binotto believes that Red Bull should still be watched, as they remain very competitive despite their poor start last Sunday.
Binotto still sees Red Bull as the favourite
“Red Bull? They proved they were very strong in qualifying, and it came down to details. In the race they could have been stronger, but they probably had some reliability problems or something that was not perfect on their car, from what we understood from the radio messages.
“Without that, they would have been very fast. And if I look at Max [Verstappen]’s first stint on worn tyres, he was keeping pace with Charles [Leclerc]. We mustn’t forget that they are World Champions, they are still favourites, and I think we can only do our best.
“Jeddah, in a week’s time, can be completely different, and I think we’ll have to wait four or five races to see the real hierarchy,” revealed Ferrari’s Director of Sporting Management at Motorsport.com.