(GMM) Ferrari has the best driver lineup in Formula 1.
That is the view of a driver who spent two separate stints during his long F1 career at the great Maranello marque – Jean Alesi.
He says the Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz duo, which finished first and second in that order in Bahrain, is better balanced than the other top team lineups.
“It’s just a fact that (Sergio) Perez is not often in the fight,” the Frenchman told the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.
“(Lewis) Hamilton still wants to prove that he is the strongest at Mercedes, while (George) Russell will want just as much to beat a champion.
“That won’t work well,” he predicts of Mercedes’ new 2022 pairing.
As for Ferrari, Alesi thinks they may just have the best drivers to go with arguably the best car.
“It’s a car that can perform in all conditions,” the 57-year-old said.
“It’s the nicest car of the bunch. And with Leclerc and Sainz, Ferrari has the best duo on the grid even if they are so different in character.”
Referring to Leclerc and his Bahrain GP victory from pole, Alesi said: “His race was formidable.
“He managed to overtake Verstappen three times and for that, you not only need a good car, but also a monster of a driver.”
Spaniard Sainz’s pace was clearly inferior at the season opener, but Alesi insisted: “He is always a very calm and very consistent driver.
“Sometimes he wants too much and loses a lot of time, but in Bahrain, he drove well to second place.”
F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said he was pleased to see the team he once led get off to a flying start in Bahrain.
“I was so pleased for Binotto, for the drivers and for all the professionals at Ferrari,” he told Italy’s Sky Sport 24.
“It is special for the championship to see such a united team.”