It was a relatively subdued first day of free practice in Montreal for Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel who was fifth fastest at the end of day one of the Canadian Grand Prix weekend and admitted that he was still searching for the sweet spot around Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
With Mercedes delaying their engine update due to quality issues, Ferrari are expected to capitalise on their own updated version-two power unit but for now, it appears that the Reds are keeping their powder dry for the serious stuff.
Although Kimi Raikkonen had a stab at some fast times and was second quickest, Vettel was notably restrained and said at the end of the day, “We’re not far off but I’m not entirely happy yet. There’s still some work to do.”
Ferrari mechanics spent large chunks of time tinkering with the SF70-H in the pit garage and as a result the German completed about half the mileage his main rivals were able to accumulate during the three hours of track time on Friday.
Vettel acknowledged. “In the end, I didn’t do many laps and I think we were running a bit late. It is difficult to get to know all the answers, I think we need some more time to get everything together and then we’ll see what happens.”
“We tried various things, but there’s still something we have to work on. I didn’t get into the rhythm but tried to go through as much of the programme as we could. In the end, we need more time to get a better picture of the situation.”
“Hopefully, putting everything together can help us [in qualifying]. Now we’ll stay focused on the work to do,” added Vettel who lies second in the championship and is seeking his second victory at the venue.
Raikkonen echoed his teammate’s sentiments, We’ve been improving during the day and that proves that we’re going in the right direction. For sure we have some work ahead of us, but I was a bit happier at the end of the session.”
Big Question: Were Ferrari sandbagging on Friday in Montreal?