Scuderia Ferrari will not be happy with how the team finished Friday, with Sebastian Vettel finishing Free Practice 2 in fourth place and Charles Leclerc finishing ninth.
Free Practice 1 was not much better, as both prancing horses languished on the fringe of the points-paying positions in tenth and twelfth respectively for Leclerc and Vettel.
According to Ferrari, Free Practice 1 was used for tuning setups, and the drivers worked on their long run pace and qualifying pace in Free Practice 2.
Vettel, who will be leaving Ferrari at the end of the 2020 season, was quick to admit that the team were not the favorites going into the race.
“I think we had a decent day. We didn’t have any trouble with the cars. It was good for us all to be back at the track and it was good to see that the team got up to speed fairly quickly and had no problems running through all the procedures,” Vettel said.
“In terms of speed and competitiveness, it was an interesting day. I think we’ve seen that we are not at the top, that we are not the favourites.
“And then there is a lot of stuff going on behind that, and it’s very tight. So, we will see, I think tomorrow will be a big day. I don’t think we will be fighting for pole, but we must try to be the best of those behind that battle.
“We didn’t take much notice of the teams around us to be honest, as it’s always difficult to predict what sort of fuel loads people are running. I think we will see tomorrow, because we haven’t got a clear picture today.
It’s up to us to develop and work so that the car gets faster. We’re lacking grip and downforce compared to others. So it’s a mix of all these things.”
Leclerc shared the same sentiment as the four-time world champion Vettel.
“It’s good to be back in the car after a long pause but on the other hand it wasn’t an easy day for us so it was difficult to enjoy it fully,” he said.
“All the cars are very close, which is exciting to see on the one hand, but on the other hand, we would like to be fighting a bit nearer the front. The balance of the car is not that bad, we need to catch up in terms of overall performance.
“The lack of pace is not down to any one thing in particular so we’ll try different ways for tomorrow and see if we can gain some performance.
Qualifying will be good for the show, as there are quite a lot of teams all close together. We’ll be fighting very hard and it’s crucial we make the right choice tonight to come back with a stronger car tomorrow.”