With slightly warmer track temperatures expected at the Sakhir International Circuit, Ferrari’s race pace is expected to be superior to that of the Mercedes. Red Bull are looking about a second down on the top two teams, and the midfield is genuinely a massive scrap between Williams, Force India, Haas, Renault, Toro Rosso and even McLaren.
The lack of running for Carlos Sainz in FP2, the session in which track temperatures and general conditions are most similar to the climate of the Bahrain Grand Prix, the Spaniard is at a huge disadvantage for qualifying and the race. Jolyon Palmer has had his smoothest Friday of the season having previously only completed 10 laps in the opening two Fridays in Australia and China. These small, but effective factors are worth considering when predicting the duel in the desert ahead.
The honeymoon period of the Hamilton/Vettel rivalry is going to end when both drivers start to whiff the Drivers title and it starts to become about points rather than conjecture. Both are enjoying their racing and both will be billed to be protagonists in this race, but their teammates could steal the limelight in Bahrain Grand Prix.