The first day on the track of the French Grand Prix saw the Scuderia Ferrari drivers set the best two times with Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc respectively. It was a busy Friday, made even more complicated by the sweltering heat of the transalpine hinterland, in which the drivers completed a total of 84 laps, differentiating the program in the second session in order to collect as much information as possible on behavior. Pirelli tires on the demanding asphalt of Circuit Paul Ricard. The day’s program also provided for the drivers to try out some aerodynamic updates prepared at Maranello for this race. The fact that Sainz,
FP1. In the first session both Charles and Carlos worked on fine-tuning starting the session with Soft tires with which they set the first reference times in 1’35 ”821 and 1’36” 042. Shortly after, Sainz mounted a new set of Soft tires with which he achieved 1’34 ”268. In the middle of the session, Charles did the same, dropping first to 1’34 “104 and then to 1’33” 930. In the final on the F1-75 the fuel load was increased to run in race configuration. The Monegasque completed 22 laps, two more than his teammate.
FP2. In the second session, the two Scuderia drivers waited a few minutes before getting on the track, differentiating the program: Leclerc came out of the pits with Medium tires, with which he immediately obtained a good 1’34 “182, while with Sainz he opted for a set of Soft tires with which he stopped the clocks at 1’33 ”322. The Monegasque then simulated qualifying with the Soft bikes, hitting 1’33 ”136, a time greatly improved by Carlos who set a new 1m32” 527 with a new softer compound train. Charles then launched once again down to 1’32 ”628, the second fastest time. In the last 15 minutes of the session, both cars were finally loaded with fuel to start working in the race configuration, where there still seems to be room for improvement.
“It was a positive day: the updates we tried seem to work well and I felt at ease in the car, especially in the fast laps. The long runs, on the other hand, were less positive because we suffered a lot from graining, also due to the high temperatures, which are a factor to always keep in mind here. We need to look at the data carefully to understand how we can best protect our tires. Given the penalty that I will have to serve, we will focus mainly on preparation for the race. There is room for improvement and we will continue to work hard for it. “
“The sessions today went pretty well. Our pace in the qualifying configuration is promising and now we need to work more on race pace. Tire management will be the key to this Grand Prix, given the high temperatures expected over the weekend, and I am confident that we will be well prepared for Sunday as we know where to improve. “