Sebastian Vettel: “Not all the new parts we have here performed exactly as expected”

by Paul Hensby

Sebastian Vettel says Scuderia Ferrari has a lot of work to do in order to beat Mercedes AMG Motorsport this weekend after the updates to their SF90 did not work as they would have hoped during Friday practice for the French Grand Prix.

The German ended the morning session fifth fastest, and although he was able to improve in the afternoon, he was still only fourth fastest behind the two Mercedes drivers, Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton, as well as his team-mate Charles Leclerc.

Vettel was more than a second off the pace of Hamilton in the morning session and despite his improvements in the afternoon, he was still more than seven-tenths of a second off pacesetter Bottas, with the German saying a lot of work needs to be done overnight to improve the pace of the car.

“I would say we have a lot of work ahead of us since not all the new parts we have here performed exactly as expected,” said Vettel.  “I think we have a lot of data to analyze overnight, to possibly have a bit better performance tomorrow.”

Team-mate Leclerc was in better spirits after finishing third fastest in both sessions, although the Monegasque racer agrees with his German team-mate that there is a lot of work still to do in order to put them in a better position for Qualifying on Saturday.

“I am generally happy with how our sessions went today,” said Leclerc.  “The feeling in the car was good and we tested some new parts.

“We are confident but we still have a lot of work ahead of us to put the car in the best condition for a strong qualifying. Our competitors are strong and we must focus on ourselves to really put everything together for tomorrow.

“It was fun to drive on this circuit again. It is a bit of a different track to the others because the walls are so far away that you can push and try more during practice. I look forward to being back in the car tomorrow morning.”

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