Friday’s free practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix followed a slightly different programme to usual for Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow. In fact, the team’s primary aim was to check the efficiency of measures applied to the SF90s of Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc following the Australian Grand Prix.
FP1. During the first 90 minutes of track time, the team carried out a series of tests to check the work carried out in various areas. The two Ferraris ended up fastest of all: Charles did 20 laps and stopped the clocks in 1’30`’354, while Sebastian did 21 laps with a best of 1’30”617. Both drivers did tyre and set-up work.
FP2. The evening session was run in more relevant conditions for simulation runs, with practice starting at 18:00 (16:00 CET) the same time at which qualifying will start tomorrow and just 10 minutes earlier than the race start on Sunday (17:10 CET). As usual in this session, the cars ran in both race and qualifying trim. On low fuel runs, Sebastian was quickest in 1’28”846, slightly faster than Charles who managed a 1’28”881. Both drivers did 32 laps, bringing their daily total to respectively 52 and 53.
Sebastian Vettel #5.
“The car is not yet where it was in Barcelona. Certainly, it’s better today than in Australia. It was a better day overall, but we still need to pick up the pace for tomorrow. I am not entirely happy. It has been quite a tricky day because the track was very slippery and it was difficult to always extract the best from the tyres. We were on a different strategy compared to other drivers and teams, that’s why for tomorrow we still need to improve. I think we have some more potential in the car that we have to unleash for qualifying”.
Charles Leclerc #16.
“I think it was a good Friday and balance wise I think we are definitely looking better than in Australia. Having said that, it’s better to keep our feet on the ground. I’m pretty sure our rivals didn’t show their real pace today, so tomorrow will not be an easy day for sure. Overall I’m satisfied as we were able to run our full programme, including some fast laps in the second session, as FP3 will not be that representative because of the temperatures. I felt more comfortable in the car lap after lap. Now it’s all about putting everything together tomorrow”.
Mattia Binotto Team Principal. “Today we concentrated mainly on the problems we had in Australia, running a programme aimed at checking if the measures we introduced had fixed them. That’s why I think it’s difficult to compare our performance to our competitors today. I think we are in better shape than in Australia. However, I still think our rivals are very strong and that the performance levels in qualifying and the race will be very close.”