Ferrari suffered a slow start to the second Barcelona winter testing week, after the car underwent a number of additional checks in the morning. The Maranello-based squad decided to split the bulk of the work, into both drivers today, fielding Charles Leclerc in the morning and putting Sebastian Vettel on driving duties in the afternoon.
The programme of the Monegasque was altered and drastically shortened, as extensive checks were performed on the SF90’s cooling system. It turned out to be a normal procedure after the issue surfaced, but Leclerc’s running was irreversibly compromised and limited to a mere 29 laps. The driver nailed a 1’18’’651 as his fastest time throughout the morning, before lending the cockpit to his teammate. At the end of the day he finished in P7, nearly one second off the pace set by Lando Norris.
“This morning we did fewer laps than planned -he commented- but I’m sure we can make up for lost work in the coming days. Track conditions were slightly different today compared to the first test, so it took a moment to adapt to them”.
However, if this may act as a cold comfort for the Italians, Ferrari was not the only team that hit trouble today. The rivals from Mercedes, after shaking down a completely different car, did not manage to end the day on a high after Bottas' car was forced to an early stoppage. The German team actually displayed numerous issues thus far, involving multiple areas of the race car.
Lewis Hamilton scores 87 laps, Bottas stops after 7 laps
The schedule for tomorrow features Vettel in the morning, whereas Leclerc will be taking over for the afternoon. Obviously their main aim will be racking up as much mileage as possible, in order to bounce back following today’s loss.