First day of running in Monaco looked quite good for Scuderia Ferrari who closed the day in front of everyone in this afternoon’s FP2, with home driver Charles Leclerc setting the pace in both free practice sessions.
Despite the timesheets the Monegasque believes a better performance is needed for tomorrow’s Qualifying.
“It was not great in FP1; a bit better in FP2,” he commented at the end of the day.
“But I really think that we need to do another step for tomorrow because I’m pretty sure that everyone has got quite a bit of margin on a Friday and also as drivers, so it’s a bit of the unknown for now.”
The F1-75 is looking rather competitive so far around the Monte Carlo circuit.
“The car looks strong, also in the race pace we seem to be good even though there was quite a bit of traffic. But the initial feeling is good. Hopefully we can do the step that we want to do from tomorrow, and have a great weekend from that.”
And what could that step be in such a demanding street track that sees drivers going into the barriers quite frequently?
“Overall, mostly driving. Driving – I took it step by step and for now it’s all going well, but yes, once you put the last step in, that’s where the risks are becoming higher and this we will only do in qualifying tomorrow,” said Leclerc.
“It’s very tricky because the track is very very bumpy, a lot of kerb riding too, so you can really feel it’s a big difference compared to last year’s car, for everyone. And yes, it makes it even more challenging than before.”
But, he concluded, “we are competitive, so I’m happy.”
Competitive and ready to fight for a front row spot on Sunday’s starting grid to close the gap opened last weekend in Barcelona from championship leaders Max Verstappen and Red Bull racing.
First day home : Done ✅— Charles Leclerc (@Charles_Leclerc) May 27, 2022
First in both free practices but it doesn’t count. Let’s just do the same tomorrow 💪 pic.twitter.com/kObUxGt2jL
“Qualifying will be tight tomorrow by the looks of today, but so far we’re happy with the job we’ve done and the way we’ve been improving every time we went out on track. Now it’s all about the small details and finding the perfect balance for qualifying tomorrow," said Carlos Sainz.
“The important thing is we are competitive, we are feeling pretty good for the challenge that it is. These cars are a lot more all over the place, a lot trickier with the bumps, with the kerbs,” he continued.
“But yes the important thing is it seems the others are struggling even more so yeah, good challenge ahead of us.”
The Spaniard sounds definitely optimistic given the performance of the car and the fact that everyone is encountering the same problems along the way, as it was visible in Free Practice where only in the second session two cars ended up in the barriers and as many struggled around the circuit.
“I guess we seem to be working the tyres well, and at the same time we seem to have a decent level of grip which is the important thing around here, no? And it seems like the ride, the bumps, the kerbs, seems like it is a challenge for everyone.”