Grand Prix – With the fans in the heart
The Friday of free practice of the 71st Italian Formula 1 Grand Prix saw the SF1000s of Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel complete a total of 109 laps as part of the work schedule ahead of qualifying tomorrow and Sunday’s race.
Silent cheering.The Scuderia began its Friday morning shortly after 11 am, when Charles and Seb went out for an installation lap on their respective SF1000s equipped with the low-load aerodynamic package developed for this track. In a National Autodrome with no public, unable to enter as it has always happened so far this season, the large heart-shaped banners and the huge Scuderia Ferrari Club tricolor were still present in the stands, which did not want to miss the their support. Charles completed 25 laps in the first 90 minutes, one more than Seb. The team sent Leclerc on the track with Hard tires and Sebastian with Medium compound. At the first attempted lap the Monegasque achieved 1’22 ”666, while the German stopped the clocks at 1’23” 150. After a ride in the garage, Charles also switched to Medium tires with which he achieved his best response in 1’21 ”904. Seb in turn lowered his time to 1’22 ”988.
Afternoon. In the session which began at 3 pm, the team continued its cross-evaluation program for Pirelli tires. Charles started the session on Medium tires while Sebastian took to the track with Hard compound. Leclerc initially stopped the clocks at 1’22 ”579, then improved to 1’22” 011, a time however canceled due to the exceeding of the track limits at the Parabolica. Vettel instead scored 1’22 ”861. In the central phase of the session, the Monegasque and the German simulated qualifying on Soft tires, obtaining respectively 1’21 “503 and 1’21” 733. In the last part of the shift the team began to work in a race perspective with the classic long runs to simulate different phases of the race with different fuel loads.
Program. Saturday morning the cars will be back on track starting at 12 CET, when the third free practice session is scheduled in preparation for qualifying at 3 pm. The Italian Grand Prix is scheduled for Sunday at 3.10 pm.
Charles Leclerc # 16
“It was a difficult day. On the one hand I was positively surprised by our pace in the qualifying configuration, on the other I was expecting a better performance with fuel load. This means that we need to find ways to improve our race pace.
In the long run the car was very complicated to drive: we are not yet in place from the point of view of balance or from the point of view of tire wear.
We have to make sure that we are as competitive as possible in both configurations. I doubt that we can expect anything more from qualifying than today’s position, while I am convinced that there is room for improvement in terms of the race ”.
Sebastian Vettel # 5
“Today we used all the time available to try to optimize the SF1000 and find ourselves in a better position tomorrow. The car was quite difficult to drive but it is not the first time this year. As expected we are losing a bit on the straights but we also have to work on the balance because we have to improve our performance in the second sector.
Even when loaded with petrol, the car is not easy to drive, partly due to the minimum pressures we have to comply with. I think there will be a group of cars very close to each other who will fight on the edge of a thousandth in qualifying and I think that in the race the situation will not be too dissimilar. It will undoubtedly be a complicated weekend ”.