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Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB14
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Formula 1 Bahrain GP
Analysis

Why Ferrari isn't the team Mercedes should fear in Bahrain

The Bahrain Grand Prix is shaping up to be a fascinating contest based on Friday's running. There's no evidence of Mercedes enjoying the advantage it held in Australia, but it could have a different chief rival come race day.

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A Ferrari one-two in Friday practice, Mercedes off the pace and Red Bull nowhere near on the timesheets? On paper, that looks like bad news for Mercedes, especially with Lewis Hamilton having to serve a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change. But based on a look under the skin of the laptimes there's every sign that Formula 1's dominant force, presumably now led by Valtteri Bottas, should be concerned about something other than Ferrari.

Not because Ferrari doesn't show some promise, but because there's no point in worrying too much about your second biggest threat. For it is Red Bull, third-best of the top three teams in the Australian Grand Prix two weeks ago, that could have the race pace to be the main thorn in the side of the Silver Arrows.

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