Scuderia Ferrari worked through its planned programme for the Friday of free practice for the Russian Grand Prix. Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel completed 68 laps each over the three hours of track time.
FP1. Sebastian and Charles both started on Soft tyres, a choice dictated by the fact the track was very dirty and track and air temperatures were not particularly high. Leclerc set his best time, good enough for 11th in 1’36”896 on this compound, before switching to the hard tyre for the second part of the 90 minute session. At this stage, he also did some long runs in race trim. Sebastian set his best time using the Medium tyres, stopping the clocks in 1’36”323, ninth fastest.
FP2. In the second session, Charles and Seb did 35 laps each. Once again, the team opted to send the drivers out on different tyre compounds: Charles ran the Medium tyres and Seb was on the Hards. The Monegasque’s first quick lap was a 1’36”338, while Sebastian stopped the clocks in 1’36”516. Halfway through the session, they both switched to Softs for a qualifying simulation and naturally, they set their best times on this compound: 1’35”052 for Charles and 1’35”183 for Seb. The final 35 minutes of track time were devoted to working in race configuration, running with different compounds and fuel levels to simulate different stages of the race.
Programme. The cars are back on track for the final hour of free practice at 12 tomorrow, prior to qualifying at 15 (14 CET.) The race gets underway at 14.10 (13.10 CET) on Sunday.
Charles Leclerc #16
"We struggled quite a bit today, but our lap times were better than we expected. 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."
Sebastian Vettel #5
"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."
Mattia Binotto Team Principal
"This is an important day for our sport, with the announcement from Liberty Media that Stefano Domenicali will take on the role of President and CEO of Formula 1. On behalf of Ferrari, I would first like to thank Chase Carey. There have been many positive changes made to the sport under his leadership, in particular the promoter’s relationship with the teams. Very important decisions have been taken concerning the future of Formula 1, such as the new Concorde Agreement and the creation of an operational structure that will help the sport grow in terms of its audience and its appeal to the youngers generations. And let’s not forget that Formula 1 has managed to put on a World Championship this year under very difficult circumstances. We very much appreciate the fact that continuity is assured as Chase stays on as the non-executive Chairman of Formula 1.
We are very pleased that Chase’s role will be entrusted to Stefano as from 1st January. His talents as a manager and especially his knowledge of the sport, combined with his experience and personal qualities, make him the ideal choice to carry on Chase’s reforms. Personally, it will be a pleasure for me to work with a good friend, as we came through the ranks at Ferrari together. I look forward to working along with all the other stakeholders in this sport and with him to make Formula 1 even stronger and more spectacular."