Sebastian Vettel will be aiming for his third successive Bahrain Grand Prix win on Sunday as Ferrari seek to show their lack of pace in Formula One's Australian season opener was a one-off.
Tipped as pre-season favourites, the German and new team mate Charles Leclerc finished fourth and fifth in Melbourne, nearly a minute behind the dominant race-winning Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas. Albert Park can be seen as something of an outlier but Ferrari hope the more traditional layout of Bahrain's 5.4-km Sakhir desert track will allow them to unlock the full potential of the SF90 car.
The most successful team in Bahrain, with six wins overall, can draw encouragement from last year when Mercedes were faster in Australia only for Ferrari to turn the tables with a front-row lockout and victory for Vettel. That also started a streak of three straight pole positions for the German. "In Bahrain, we expect to see the effect of the corrections we have made ...," said principal Mattia Binotto, who replaced Maurizio Arrivabene at the helm before the start of the season. "We are well aware that our competitors will once again be very strong. With that in mind, we are keen to get back on track and face up to them."