As Ferrari once again start their weekend strong, with both Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc topping FP1 and FP2 respectively, the drivers discuss what Sainz calls an “interesting Friday”.
Sainz continued his impressive form from last weekend’s French GP, finishing FP1 with the fastest time, and putting in a time good enough for P3 in FP2, just over two tenths of a second behind teammate Leclerc. While an optimistic Sainz was impressed with the cars performance from the get go, the Spaniard admits the changes made for FP2 caused him to somewhat lose the feeling.
“It has been an interesting Friday,” said Sainz. “The car felt very good straight out of the garage in FP1 and we could put together some very good laps. For FP2 we tried a couple of changes in the set-up to evaluate which direction is best to take for tomorrow and the race.”
Sainz admits that the changes made for FP2 caused him to lose some confidence in the car, but says the team believes they can revert to their earlier set-up.
“We tried a couple of different set-up directions going into FP2 which made us lose a bit of confidence, and some performance, but we know exactly why. For tomorrow and Sunday we believe we can go back to where we were in FP1 and be more competitive.”
Sainz also discussed his compromised soft tyre runs, saying there is definitely more pace to come as he was unable to set a lap time on his first lap as well as highlighting the traffic which disturbed his run.
“Obviously [I] didn't put the run together on the first lap, which around here should be a bit of lap time and also the lap was full of traffic. So confident that on Saturday and Sunday we can go quicker.”
While Sainz shone in the first session, his teammate Charles Leclerc stole the spotlight in the second, with the Monegasque driver ending the session with a two tenths gap to the McLaren of Lando Norris in P2.
Leclerc admits his FP1 session was tricky, but is confident with the improvement made going into FP2 and.
“It’s been a very productive day,” Leclerc said. “We changed quite a lot of things in the car on my side. FP1 was quite tricky, FP2 we took the right road so [I’m] confident we did the right work for Sunday.”
When his impressive gap to the rest of the field was put to him, Leclerc was quick to draw attention to the potential change in weather, but remains hopeful the team can hold onto their advantage, assuming they can keep the tyres in the right performance window.
“It looks like it’s gonna rain tomorrow so we’ll have to be on top of this, and obviously put the tyres in the right window which is always a difficult thing whenever it’s raining,” he continued. “This will be our main priority for tomorrow.
“Hopefully if we can manage to put them in the right window we can still have this advantage.”