With Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly ending up 6th and 12nd after the second free practice session, it appears clear that Red Bull needs to make a step forward.
Despite being happy about how the RB15 performed on the medium Pirelli, the drivers explained that Red Bull needs to work hard to fully understand how to improve with the soft compounds.
Verstappen, ending up behind Hulkenberg (5th) in FP2, said: "It has been OK but there is still quite a bit of work to do. I am still not happy with how the car is behaving.
"We will look into the data tonight to see what we can improve.
"On the medium tyre, we were really competitive. We should have been fast, but out of the last corner I had a little issue so I lost a few tenths there.
"But then on the softest tyre, I didn't feel the grip like I should have. We need to look into that."
Asked about Ferrari’s competitiveness, the Dutch driver underlined how he is not surprised to see the Italian Team standing at the first positions.
"I don't know what went wrong in Melbourne but now they are very competitive again," said Verstappen. "So that is what we expected."
Gasly, who terminated his session out of the top 10, remarked the same problems as his team-pair:"FP1 was good. FP2 was good as well, but with the soft tyres we tried something and it didn't really work.
"We are still lacking a bit of pace with the soft tyres, but we will work tonight to find out for tomorrow."
He continued, confirming Verstappen’s expectations over Ferrari’s performance in Bahrain: "We knew they would be fast, especially on this track. They have been fast every year and I think Australia was weird. But they clearly look very strong this weekend."
Bahrain GP | FP2 | Sebastian Vettel heads a Ferrari 1-2