It was a useful first day of practice for Scuderia Ferrari at the Canadian Grand Prix, as both drivers generated plenty of data which will be vital for the rest of the weekend.
Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel were first and second quickest, even if the lap times do not mean much given that the track is still very dirty and one never knows what programmes the other teams are running.
129 laps. In total, Charles and Sebastian completed 129 laps of the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit. This provided the engineers with plenty of data relating to the car’s handling and balance, while they worked on tyre evaluation in qualifying trim and also during long runs in preparation for the race. The track time was also useful for the drivers to progressively get to grips with the need to get close to the walls and make use of the kerbs on the track.
FP1 and FP2. In the first 90 minutes, Charles and Sebastian stuck with the Medium tyre. The Monegasque was third in 1:13.720, doing 24 laps, while the German did 28 laps, the quickest in 1:13.905. In the afternoon, the two SF90s ran the Pirelli Soft tyre as well, the drivers topping the time sheet, Charles in 1:12.177 and Sebastian 1:12.251, after which all the teams switched to long run work.
Charles Leclerc: “It has been a positive day overall. There was quite a bit of concrete dust on the track this morning, which, in combination with high temperatures, gave us a challenge in terms of grip. The conditions improved throughout the day and I felt more comfortable in the second session.”
“We made a good step between FP1 and FP2 and will have to continue working hard to repeat this tomorrow. It is still difficult to say where we will stand in qualifying. We expect our competitors to be strong and will do our best to secure a good result.”
Sebastian Vettel: “It was an interesting session: the track was rather slippery at the start and I know it’s going to improve bit by bit as the weekend progresses. We struggled again with the tyres, especially in terms of performance over a long run. We will have to work on that in the third free practice session, because having a good grid position is vital.”
“At the moment, I’d say we’re not the quickest, especially over a single lap, where our main rivals seem to have a slight edge. We lack grip in the slowest corners and I’m still not getting the feeling I want from the car. We will try changing some settings to find the right balance, which is eluding us at the moment.”