Charles Leclerc acknowledges that Scuderia Ferrari may have to sacrifice some of their Qualifying pace if they are to be strong during Sunday’s British Grand Prix.
The Monegasque driver ended fifth fastest in the morning session at Silverstone and improved that to fourth in the afternoon, but the longer run pace was not as strong, so it could mean the Italian outfit will have to change the set-up to help their race pace.
Much like many drivers up and down the grid, Leclerc said the balance of the car was not that great on Friday as strong winds made for mistakes, with the twenty-two-year-old suffering a spin in the afternoon session.
“It has been a reasonably good day as far as quali performance is concerned, but our race pace seems to be less strong,” said Leclerc. “In the long run the car was extremely hard to drive, balance wasn’t great and it was difficult not to make mistakes.
“Tomorrow and on Sunday, the temperature is going to be quite different and I believe we can still change quite a lot of things to see how to gain some race pace, probably by sacrificing some quali pace.”
Vettel Suffers ‘Disjointed Day’ but Remains Confident in Ferrari Pace
Whilst Leclerc was enjoying his position inside the top five in both sessions, team-mate Sebastian Vettel had a far from easy day, with the German losing the whole of the morning session due to a technical issue on his SF1000.
An intercooler issue left him in the garage in the morning, while more issues in the afternoon, particularly with his brakes, left him firmly on the backfoot, and he could only manage eighteenth fastest overall. However, Vettel is confident that Saturday will be a better day for him when the conditions are expected to be cooler.
“It was a disjointed day and a shame to lose the morning session,” said the German. “Then in the afternoon, there was an issue with the brake pedal and that cost us some time so it was a bit difficult to get into a rhythm.
“All the same, even though we didn’t do many laps, we learned a little bit that will be useful to help us improve the car for tomorrow and then we can see where we are. The track should be cooler tomorrow and we should also have a better day.”
Whilst Vettel wished Sergio Pérez a speedy recovery after his positive test for coronavirus, the four-time World Champion admitted it was nice to have another German on the grid in Nico Hülkenberg for this weekend.
“Hülkenberg? There was a time when there were maybe six or seven German drivers around, so it’s nice that I’m not the only one!” said Vettel. “It’s good for Nico but for sure we also hope Sergio gets better soon.”