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    Over the 100 lap mark

    Sakhir 29 febbraio 2024

    Scuderia Ferrari completed 101 laps during Thursday’s free practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix at the Sakhir circuit. In the first of the two hours of track time, Charles and Carlos only ran the Medium compound tyre and then only Softs in the second one. Both drivers worked on fine tuning the car with an eye to both tomorrow’s qualifying and Saturday’s Grand Prix. When evaluating how the day went, several variables had to be taken into account, including strong winds during the daylight session and then lower than expected temperatures in the second one, run under floodlights.

    FP1. As mentioned, in common with many other drivers, Charles and Carlos ran only with the Medium tyres, their best times being a 1’33”268 for the Monegasque, eighth quickest, just six hundredths off the fastest lap on the same compound and a 1’33”385 for the Spaniard, good enough for eleventh on the time sheet. In the final part of the session, both SF-24s were run with heavier fuel loads so the drivers could run in race configuration to the chequered flag.

    FP2. In the second, more representative session, as it was held at around the same time and in similar conditions as qualifying and the race, the Ferrari duo ran through a similar programme to the first hour, but this time using the Soft compound. They first tackled qualifying runs, the quickest of the pair was Carlos, fourth overall in 1’30”769. Charles was held up by traffic and ended up ninth with a 1’31”113. In the second half of the session, the two Ferrari drivers took on a heavier fuel load to run in race configuration.

    Tomorrow. This evening, the team will study all the data to fine tune the set-up on the SF-24, which has room for improvement over a single flying lap, as well as in terms of race pace. For the Friday of the Bahrain Grand Prix, the drivers take to the track at 15.30 local (13.30 CET) for the final hour of free practice, prior to qualifying at 19 (17 CET).

    Carlos Sainz #55

    It was a trickier practice day compared to testing with lower temps and higher winds, which made it more difficult to be consistent on track. We obviously don’t know the run plan of the others, but in terms of competitiveness it looks like we’re more or less where we expected to be. Apart from that, I feel we have had a good Thursday, completing all our programme and tyre testing. Now it’s time to analyse the data and get ready for tomorrow’s quali. I look forward to it, it looks like it’s going to be tight!

    Charles Leclerc #16

    First day done. Not much to say, as it’s very difficult to read our competitiveness for now but there were no big surprises. It was good to be back in the car alongside all the other drivers to kick off the season. Now we have quite a lot of work to do, especially in terms of balance. Let's see where we stand tomorrow