Marcus Ericsson said his C37-Ferrari felt good after finishing inside the top ten in the afternoon session at Spa-Francorchamps, and he is confident that this can be translated into a strong performance on Saturday and Sunday.
The Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team racer had finished fourteenth in the morning session before advancing to ninth in the afternoon in Belgium, and should he match that in Qualifying, it would be his first top ten start since 2015.
“It is nice to be back in the car after the summer break – especially on a track like this,” said Ericsson. “The day was trouble-free for us. We went through the planned program, and the car felt good.
“We tried some different set-ups and will analyse the data tonight to decide which direction to go in for the rest of the weekend. We are competitive and confident that we will stay in the fight tomorrow and on Sunday.”
Team-mate Charles Leclerc finished thirteenth in the morning session but joined Ericsson inside the top ten in the afternoon, with the Monegasque racer feeling there is still potential to get even stronger this weekend if they can make their usual step up from Friday to Saturday.
“It was a positive day for us,” said Leclerc. “The car feels good and I am happy with our performance as we finished the two free practice sessions in the midfield.
“We still have some work ahead of tomorrow and will work tonight to make the step we usually do from Friday to Saturday. It is good to get back to racing after the break, and I look forward to being in the car again.”