Scuderia Ferrari‘s Sebastian Vettel had a mixed day on Friday during practice for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
The championship leader was down in sixth after the first practice session, which included a spin at Becketts, but he was able to jump up to fourth in second practice session.
Vettel became the first driver to test the brand new “Shield” cockpit protection in the opening minutes of free practice 1. The German only managed to complete a single lap with the shield on before entering back in the pits for the protection to be removed.
Vettel has voiced his opinion about the shield after his only lap in today’s sessions.
“The vision is not very good and I think it’s because of the curvature that creates a bit of distortion. We had a run plan but I didn’t like it too much. I couldn’t see much, but at the end it was fun to drive”.
A new engine has been fitted in the back of both Ferrari SF70H’s today but both Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel took the first session without any engine issues. Vettel had that spin at the exit of Becketts but suffered no damage and was able to carry on with the session to finish sixth fastest.
The second session in the afternoon looked like standard procedure from Ferrari as they turned up the engine and were closer to the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team cars. Vettel finished the second session fourth fastest overall, only 0.128 seconds behind team-mate Raikkonen.
“Today for us it was a bit mixed of ups and downs,” said Vettel. “This morning we had difficulties with the balance to start with, but overall I think we improved the car at the end of the session.”
“On Friday you don’t seek much the performance and this new engine has a lot of miles to do, so we try to save it. It’s working well and we didn’t have problems. But we still have to do more and to improve. We have a lot of things to look at. Mercedes looks quick but it’s not a surprise.
“The track today was too slippery and tricky, but I think we can get better tomorrow”.