“Our rivals look very fast, certainly faster than us” – Sebastian Vettel

by Vince Pettit

Heading into the Singapore Grand Prix weekend, Scuderia Ferrari knew it was going to be a tall task to live up to the form they have shown in the last two races.

The opening day of the weekend proved challenging for the two-time winner Charles Leclerc who suffered gerabox problems to end the first session in a unrepresentative eighteenth place.

Second practice saw the Monégasque driver’s run disrupted by a snoozing Lance Stroll, despite this he managed to set a time good enough for sixth place as he wrestled with the balence of his car.

“It was a rather tricky day on my side. We had an issue in Free Practice 1, so we couldn’t complete as many laps as we had planned, which was unfortunate,” said Leclerc.

“In the second session, I didn’t feel fully comfortable with the car balance or the track yet, and I think that there is also quite a bit of lap time to be gained by me improving my driving.

While it was a tough day for Leclerc, he remained positive for the second day, “We will analyse the data and make sure that we take a good step forward for tomorrow.

Coming to Singapore, we knew that our competitors would be strong and that it would not be the easiest weekend for us. But it’s not finished yet. We will give our all to come back stronger tomorrow.”

Credit: Scuderia Ferrari

Teammate Sebastian Vettel had a better day in comparison, ending the first session in second place, 0.167 seconds off of Max Verstappen.

The second session saw the German finish in third place, 0.818 seconds down on the lead time of Lewis Hamilton.

“Hungary is the reference circuit for this track but today is maybe not the right day to compare and tomorrow will be a lot more straightforward,” explained Vettel.

“It was not the smoothest of Fridays for us and I think there’s still a margin for improvement on the car. However, our rivals look very fast, certainly faster than us.

“The soft is the tyre we don’t use so much, it has greater grip but doesn’t last so long. Today was not that bad and the medium tyre was not much better.

The former champion knows what it takes to win in Singapore having claimed the chequered flag four times previously.

However, tomorrow we focus on the softs and when it comes to the race, as usual here, we will all be trying to survive on just one stop and manage the race.

As I said we can still improve, because the car is not yet doing exactly what I want, and in terms of balance we know where we can find some lap time. All the new parts that we brought seem to work, so let’s see how close we can get tomorrow.”

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