You know times are dire at Ferrari when better than expectations for the Reds is the heart of the midfield, as was their plight during the three hours of free practice on day one of the 2020 Russian Grand Prix weekend.
Leclerc’s best time 1:35.052 was good for eighth place at the end of FP2, 1.5 seconds shy of the benchmark time set by Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas; with Sebastian Vettel a further tenth of a second adrift in tenth
“We struggled quite a bit today, but our lap times were better than we expected,” ventured Charles in his team report, “The main thing we have to focus on is the balance because I think there’s room to improve both in terms of performance and driveability.
“At this track, it is a completely different situation from qualifying to the race and this makes it very difficult to find the right setup. We have plenty of work to do for tomorrow.” quote
Sebastian summed up his day in the sister SF1000, “This was not such a bad Friday and our car seemed to perform a bit better than in recent races. There is still room to improve and find more lap time. However, leaving aside the top two in the standings, you can see this was a decent day for us.
“Qualifying will be very tight tomorrow and it is not easy to put everything together on one lap. Therefore, it will be very important to put in clean laps without any mistakes and with everything running smoothly,” added Vettel whi has scored three podiums in Sochi over the years but unlikely to be paying it a visit on Sunday.