Formula 1

Charles Leclerc: “I don’t think our times are representative”

2 Mins read
Credit: Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Charles Leclerc does not feel Scuderia Ferrari’s pace was representative on Friday, particularly in the afternoon session when the Monegasque racer ended sixteenth fastest.

Leclerc was an encouraging second in the morning session behind Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen, but he was compromised at the end of the afternoon session by drizzle just as he was about to start a qualifying simulation.

Leclerc, who has two pole positions to his name in 2021, says the team are feeling positive about their chances of having a strong Qualifying on Saturday, while also believing they have a strong car for race day.

“It was a busy day, because of the packed programme we ran,” said Leclerc.  “We still have lots of things to work on, and I don’t think our times are representative.

“The main improvement we need to find is on the rears and we also have to tune the car better for tomorrow. We used the C5 compound for the first time, and have to understand how to extract the maximum from it.

“Looking at our race trim, I’d say it looks solid. In terms of qualifying pace, we still haven’t found the small step we need in order to be further ahead.  We will keep working on it and hopefully secure strong starting positions tomorrow.”

“We have been trying different things” – Carlos Sainz Jr.

Team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr. was also caught out by the conditions late on during the afternoon session, and after finishing third in the morning, he was only thirteenth in the second session.

The Spaniard says Ferrari have been trying out different things during the two sessions and were not focusing too much on lap time, and they were playing around with set-up in order to learn things prior to Qualifying and the race.

“An interesting day at the office,” said Sainz.  “Today we went on track with a very similar car to last week’s, but it felt completely different due to the wind and the change in track conditions.

“We have been trying different things, and we were not focusing on the timesheet. Our main goal was refining our run plan, playing with the set up and trying to understand both the new Soft compound and the new tyres Pirelli will introduce at Silverstone.”

Carlos Sainz Jr. was third in first practice in Austria – Credit: Scuderia Ferrari Press Office
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