Charles Leclerc says Ferrari’s “radical approach” to its downforce issues has elevated its car’s single-lap performance at Silverstone but left it trailing its rivals in race trim.
Leclerc ended FP2 fourth, just 0.296s short of the fastest lap set by pace-setter Lance Stroll, but the Monegasque says the performance failed to reflect the significant balance issues of the Scuderia’s SF1000 on long runs.
2020 British Grand Prix Free Practice 2 – Results
“The race pace we have been struggling massively, so we definitely need to work on that,” said Leclerc at the end of a hot day. “The quali pace is a bit better than what we expected to be honest. This is good.
“We’ve taken quite a radical approach with our downforce level, so it seems to pay off in quali, but it doesn’t in the race, so we need to analyse the data, and see what we’ll have to do tomorrow.
“We can still change quite a lot of things, so we’ll try to understand what we can change to maybe sacrifice a bit more the quali pace to be better in the race.”
Leclerc stressed the importance of getting on top of the SF1000’s balance issues on long runs to avoid a complicated afternoon come Sunday.
“The balance was extremely hard to drive and very, very difficult not to do a mistake,” he added.
“We definitely need to change something on that. Otherwise doing that many laps during the race with this balance will be a huge challenge.”
Sebastian Vettel suffered a set-back at the outset of FP1 when Ferrari uncovered an intercooler issue on the German’s car that required a lengthy repair job.
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Vettel tried to play catch-up in the afternoon but a brake pedal problem put paid to that plan.
“It was a disrupted day,” said the four-time world champion. “We had an issue with the brake pedal and we had to stop and fix that, so a bit difficult to get into a rhythm.
“I think overall, still little bits to learn from and take away for tomorrow. I think we need to improve the car. We’ll see where we are tomorrow.”
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