Scuderia Ferrari drivers Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc ended the first day of free practice for the Miami Grand Prix second and third fastest. The team got through plenty of work on several fronts, evaluating the updates introduced for this race on the SF-23, although the main focus was on setting up the cars. All available tyre compounds were also tried while the overall programme was designed to give the drivers as much track time as possible to get a feel for running between the walls and to assess the new track surface on this unusual Floridian circuit. Between them, the two drivers completed 92 laps.
FP1. At first the track was very dirty and evolving constantly as the drivers started off on the Hard tyre, before switching to the Soft towards the end of the session. Charles set a time of 1’30”449 and Carlos stopped the clocks in 1’30”724. They each completed 23 laps.
FP2. In the second session, Leclerc and Sainz left the garage on Medium tyres before switching to the Softs and going quicker. Carlos stopped the clocks in 1’28”315 and Charles did a 1’28”398. For the final 20 minutes, they both ran with a heavier fuel load in race trim, Sainz on the Soft compound and Leclerc on the Medium. Then, with eight minutes remaining, Charles hit the barrier at turn 7, damaging the front right suspension on his SF-23, which brought out the red flags. The session resumed with just four minutes left, during which time Carlos tried the Medium on a high fuel run. He completed 26 laps and Charles did 20.
Tomorrow. There was not much time today to run with a heavy fuel load and so race preparation will be one item on the agenda for tonight’s work in order to make the most of the third and final free practice session tomorrow at 12.30 local (18.30 CET) prior to qualifying at 16 (22 CET).
Carlos Sainz #55
Today in Miami was, as expected, an intense Friday with high temperatures and a lot of running. The tarmac is very different to last year so it was important to get a good feeling for the new conditions. We completed the whole programme, we tried all three compounds and we’ve got plenty of data for tonight.
Charles Leclerc #16
The feeling in the car is good on one-lap runs. In terms of race pace, we are still lacking compared to our competitors and are focused on closing that gap. Let’s see what is possible tomorrow.