After the Friday practice sessions, Ferrari drivers Kimi Räikkönen and Sebastian Vettel were left puzzled over the way the pecking order is shaping up at Barcelona, the first European round of the 2018 F1 Championship.
Ferrari dominated the last three GP weekends, securing the pole position each time with Sebastian Vettel. The Scuderia, however, seemed to be less competitive on the aerodynamically demanding Barcelona-Catalunya circuit on Friday where their SF71-H proved to be less powerful compared to Red Bull and Mercedes during the winter test sessions.
Sebastian Vettel played down the significance of the lap times, but conceded work is needed to unlock more potential if Ferrari wants to keep up with the strong pace of its two rivals.
“If you trust your car, there is no reason to try to push over the limit at this stage. Let’s hope we have the same trust as in Baku where I could get everything out of the car when I had to. Today it was quite slippery and gusty and it was a mixed day. We can still work on the car and I think we should be stronger tomorrow”.
As for Ferrari’s developments, the German sounded confident that the new parts delivered the expected results.
“Everything we put on the car seems to work and that’s important,” said Seb. “As for the changes you saw with the rearview mirrors, it is no big deal. Before, it was quite difficult for us to look at the cars behind. Now they are in a better position and I can see a little bit better below the rear wing.
Vettel’s team-mate Kimi Räikkönen stressed that the day was tough due to the technical glitch he suffered during the second practice session, but the tricky weather conditions forced the teams to build up the ideal setup from scratch.
“Today the session was a bit messy” Kimi commented “but overall I think it was not too bad. The wind made it a bit tricky, but we know that, at this time of year, it can be like that. The tarmac was the same as we had in testing, but obviously the weather conditions are different. We all know this track very well but every time we come here it’s like starting from zero.”
“We tried different things and learned from them and it was pretty ok most of the times. Maybe it was not the most straightforward Friday, but I think that more or less we know what we should do. Tomorrow morning we might get a better idea and know where everybody is. I’m sure it is going to be close,” concluded Räikkönen.