Today’s work in Sochi was useful in both the short and long term for Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow. Over the two hours of free practice the drivers got through their programmes with no problems of any sort. It was a particularly busy day as Carlos and Charles had two separate work programmes. The former did the usual jobs of preparing for both qualifying and the race, while the latter focussed almost exclusively on the race, given that he is having to start from the back of the grid.
Trouble free debut. One of Charles’ tasks was to gain experience with the new hybrid system. He only used the Soft tyres in the first session, covering 22 laps with a best time of 1’35”117. In the afternoon, he tried all three Pirelli compounds, starting with the Soft, before moving on to the Hard and Medium, so as to evaluate them under similar track conditions. He did 24 laps in the afternoon, the best being a 1’34”925.
As normal. Sainz’s programme was more in line with that of the other drivers. He began the first session on Hard tyres, before switching to Softs in the second part of the session. He did 25 laps, the best in 1’35”811 in the morning and then 22 in the afternoon, with a best of 1’34”678 when running the Soft and Medium compounds. In tomorrow’s sessions, drivers and engineers will have to deal, not only with the threat of rain, but also the wind which occasionally caused the drivers a few problems today, as well as track evolution which improved lap after lap as the cars put rubber down on the surface.
Programme. The final hour of free practice takes place tomorrow at 12 local (11 CET) with qualifying following on at 15 (14 CET). The Russian Grand Prix gets underway on Sunday, again at 15 (14 CET).
Carlos Sainz #55
"A positive Friday for us in general, mainly coming from a decent balance right from the beginning and the car performing a bit better on this kind of track. There’s still a lot of work to do on the long run side as it looks like there’s some graining on the front tyres. Hopefully we can find a way to work around it for tomorrow, although we are expecting rain and things can change quickly. We’ll see."
Charles Leclerc #16
"We ran different programmes across our two cars today and my focus was on race simulation rather than on qualifying pace as I will start from the back of the grid on Sunday. The track evolution was quite significant over the course of the day. It started out being very slippery this morning and then improved with every run. Graining was not an issue, which was positive. In terms of driving experience, I enjoyed the last sector the most."