Thirsty Ferraris confirmed Pre-season rumors that Ferrari's engine is the thirstiest on the grid have been unofficially confirmed with the team reported to have started the Bahrain GP 10kgs heavier than rivals Red Bull.
Although a fault with Red Bull's Renault engine ultimately meant Seb Vettel was unable to win the race, the revelation that Ferrari were significantly heavier at the start of the grand prix prompted renewed belief that Fernando Alonso would have overtaken Vettel even if a loss of power hadn't compromised the German's pace.
According to BBC pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz, Williams technical chief Sam Michael has confirmed that Renault, who supply Red Bull with their engines, have the most fuel-efficient unit on the grid, 'followed by Mercedes and Cosworth, with Ferrari the thirstiest'.
As a result, it is reckoned that 'the Red Bulls started the race with 10kg less fuel than the Ferraris. That would have been worth nearly 0.4 seconds a lap in the early stages of the race around the extended Bahrain track. Averaging out at 0.2secs per lap, reckoned Michael, Renault's fuel efficiency would have given Red Bull a 9.8-second advantage on Ferrari over the whole race distance.'
Given the difficulties every driver encountered when trying to overtake, it remains debatable whether Alonso would have found a way past Vettel for the lead of the race but for the loss of power the Red Bull suffered on lap 33. However, Kravitz argues that Alonso would have been at his most potent in the final ten laps of the race as only then would he have been chasing Vettel with a similar amount of fuel onboard.
'Had Vettel not had his problem, we would likely have enjoyed a fight for the lead between Alonso, who had been nursing his tires throughout the race, and Vettel, with his rear tires starting to fade. At any other stage of the race, it would not have been a fair fight, as Vettel would have been significantly lighter on fuel. We should bear this in mind in the inevitable debates about the first race being boring,' he contends.