Ferrari Lacking Pace With Vettel and Leclerc Looking To Improve On Sunday

by Craig Edwards
Scuderia Ferrari

Scuderia Ferrari had a tough Friday at the Japanese Grand Prix as they were slower than their closest rivals.

Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton were both well clear of Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel and if qualifying doesn’t take place due to the conditions, the two Ferrari’s will be lining up in fourth and fifth place.

Leclerc says the team “made the most of the day” as he said everyone approached the session differently due to the change in format this weekend due to the incoming typhoon.

“We made the most of our day.

“Knowing that qualifying has been postponed to Sunday due to the weather conditions, everyone approached free practice a bit differently to usual, especially for the second session.

“There will be no FP3 this weekend and if we can’t drive on Sunday morning for any reason, the results from FP2 will count for the starting grid.”

Leclerc, who has been on pole for the last four races, admits he is unsure where he is losing the time but is focused on finding where he can improve before Sunday.
“Our competitors were very strong today and we are not yet where we would like to be.

“I am not entirely sure where we are lacking in terms of our pace, but I know that some of the improvements will come from me working on my driving.
“Sunday will be busy, but in the end you always have the same routine before you get into the car, the same mindset.

“So we will go ahead as usual, working hard on improving in all areas and doing the best job possible to bring home a strong result.”

Vettel believes the day went better than it perhaps looked on paper as he admits that they are missing a bit of pace compared to the two Mercedes AMG Motorsport and the Red Bull Racing of Max Verstappen.
“Today, was not too bad, at least it was better than it looked.

“We are in reasonable shape, but maybe we are lacking a bit of pace overall.

“Our rivals looked very comfortable right from the start of practice and they confirmed that pace in FP2.

“I think we have a bit of room for improvement as it wasn’t an ideal session, in terms of how we made use of our tyres.”

The German admits he is unsure how he is going to spend his day off on Saturday but is already questioning what state the Suzuka International Racing Course will be on Sunday.

“I’m not sure what I’ll do tomorrow: relax and maybe do some indoor sports.
“On Sunday there will be a big question mark over the state of the track as tomorrow’s wind and rain will have an effect.”

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