A “positive Friday” for Ferrari at Suzuka, despite the difficulties


Discreet and studious Friday on the side of Ferrari at Suzuka. The Scuderia was absent from the top of the table during Free Practice 2 of the Japanese Grand Prix, contested in wet conditions with intermediates. With a 6th place for Carlos Sainz and an 11th position for Charles Leclerc, the Italian team found itself far from its usual standards in EL2.

Not enough to worry the two drivers, starting with the Monegasque. Victim of a mishap in the gravel outside the hairpin, the triple winner this season has long complained of an uncomfortable car to drive. However, at the end of this first day, Charles Leclerc did not seem so preoccupied. “EL1s were fun! The EL2, I had no more tires, so I took less pleasure. But overall it was a pretty good day. The feeling with the car is good, we just have to put everything together tomorrow (Saturday). »

Out of the top 10 during the second free practice session, the Scuderia driver expects improvements with milder conditions on Saturday and Sunday. «  The 2nd session was very difficult because the tires were completely worn out, but there is a lot to learn from today for the race in particular. It’s a positive Friday and we’ll see tomorrow, because the conditions will change a lot. The EL3s will be about adapting to these new conditions as quickly as possible. »

Red Bull advantage according to Ferrari

On the other side of the garage, Carlos Sainz was able to chain the laps by completing 26 loops of the Japanese layout. Lacking confidence in Singapore, the Spaniard was able to get his bearings on the wet track at Suzuka. « It’s not ideal, but at least the conditions were pretty consistent today when it was wet.said the Ferrari driver at the end of EL2. This allows us to do some tests that we never have the opportunity to do in these conditions, it’s always interesting. I always drive in the wet because I think you can always learn something and you can always learn something from the car, from the driving. »

Sainz, however, maintained that Red Bull still held an advantage at Suzuka. Ferrari would therefore be in an outsider position before qualifying. “I think Red Bull is fast everywhere: wet, dry, slow, fast circuits, straights, slow corners. They are fast everywhere with the package they have now. But we’re also very fast, so it’s going to be about who nails the weekend and who gets that last tenth ahead of the rest. » In Japan, Ferrari will aim for the pass of two after Charles Leclerc’s pole position in Singapore.

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