Sebastian Vettel felt it was a positive day that went in the right direction, even though he was fastest in the opening free practice session at Spa-Francorchamps but only fifth in the second session.
The Scuderia Ferrari driver was using an upgraded engine for the first time on Friday and he felt it did everything it was supposed to do across the day, with the German leading the way in the morning session with a time of 1:44.358, 0.151 seconds faster than Aston Martin Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen.
A mistake on his flying lap in the afternoon session prevented him from setting a representative time compared to those around him and left him more than three-quarters of a second down on the best lap of the session, set by team-mate Kimi Räikkönen.
“Overall, I think it’s going the right way,” said Vettel. “Today it was a bit difficult to figure out where we are and I think we’ll have to wait for tomorrow to have a better idea.
“The new engine has done what it was supposed to do. Today everything was working well. Now we’ll see about tomorrow: rain shouldn’t give us any more problems and, should we have wet conditions, it would be quite nice to have confirmation that we found the right things to do.
“On this track everything seems to happen faster, so it should be a lot of fun and if we have dry conditions tomorrow for qualifying, we should be ok.”
Vettel says there is some excitement at Spa this weekend due to the cornering speeds, although there is some work to do to get the SF71H to be truly competitive this weekend.
“There are still some special tracks on the calendar and for sure this one in Spa is very exciting in terms of cornering speeds,” said Vettel.
“We still need to do some work, but we have time to do it”.