Fernando Alonso and McLaren will struggle to maintain their winning form in Bahrain this weekend.
That is the belief of two engineers who worked alongside the reigning world champion and current championship leader when he drove for Renault.
“I believe that Ferrari underestimated what Fernando is able to do at Sepang; one of his favourite circuits,” Denis Chevrier, Renault’s engine chief, told the Spanish newspaper Diario As.
“For that reason they made some bad decisions, made worse by their drivers’ bad starts (to the race).
“But I think Ferrari will be much more competitive in Bahrain,” Chevrier said.
Indeed, Maranello based Ferrari dominated the last test of the 2007 pre-season, which was held at the venue for the Bahrain grand prix, Sakhir.
Remi Taffin, Alonso’s former engine race engineer at Renault, agrees with Chevrier that the Sepang winner is simply a better driver than many of his rivals on the Malaysian layout.
“Another point is that the McLaren is very good aerodynamically,” the Frenchman said. “But here, at Sakhir, there are few fast corners; only slow ones.
“In my view that gives Ferrari the advantage. At Spa, Fernando could be unbeatable, but some of the circuits coming up will not be so easy for him.”