Ferrari were expected to struggle at the Sakhir International Circuit and it proved to be the case in qualifying. Sebastian Vettel outqualified Charles Leclerc, but they could only manage P11 and P12. They both missed out on Q3 by just over a tenth of a second.
Vettel wasn’t happy with his middle sector as he had dirty air from the Williams of George Russell.
"It was very tough and tight," said Vettel. "I think Sector 2 wasn't ideal, I was too close to George [Russell], maybe that didn't help, and I was struggling after the stop and go in the final sector to get the fronts really to work.
"Maybe there was a little bit more [time], so Sector 2 was for sure not super clean. Overall I think it's more or less where we belong this weekend.
"Tomorrow is the race, and in the race it's not about one lap, so we'll see what we can do."
High degradation is expected to be the main story of tomorrow’s race and Vettel hopes a good strategy from Ferrari could end up seeing him grab some points.
"This track is very rough, very tough on tyres, and that will be the key tomorrow to manage those," Vettel said.
"I think if we are sly as a fox, we have a good chance. If not, then it will be a long race. I still believe that there is a good chance to score some points."
Charles Leclerc has been struggling to find a good balance with the SF1000 all weekend and was narrowly shaded by his teammate in qualifying. The 23-year-old's biggest headache came with the mediums in Q2.
“It’s been a difficult weekend on my side, I’ve been struggling with the car since FP1 and it didn’t really get any better,” he said.
“Maybe [it got] a little bit [better] in Q1, then Q2 with the medium [tyre] I struggled a bit again, I haven’t been driving very cleanly this weekend but I’ll try to sort everything out for tomorrow.”
On a small positive note for Leclerc and Vettel, they’ll be the first two drivers on the grid to have a free choice of tyres for the first stint.
“P11 and P12 at the end is not that bad as we have free tyre choice,” he said.
“I don’t know how different we will be able to do compared to the others in terms of strategy but we at least have the freedom to think of something else.
“We are closer to top 10 compared to yesterday, that is a good step forward but yeah I can’t hide that I’m a bit disappointed in not being in this top 10.”
P11 & P12 for the team today. Not a great weekend until now but we’ll try to turn the things around in the race tomorrow 👊 pic.twitter.com/gg5RDIoT8B— Charles Leclerc (@Charles_Leclerc) November 28, 2020