Ferrari drivers pin hopes on rain

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Following the first day of the Styrian Grand Prix, Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel have revealed that a rainy Saturday could boslter their chances for a good starting position for the second round of the revised 2020 F1 season.

Ferrari endured a rather difficult season-opening Austrian Grand Prix last weekend after the Leclerc and Vettel qualified seventh and eleventh respectively. Although the Monegasque secured an unexpected second-place finish in the race, his success was only possible with several retirements and safety car periods.

The Scuderia has decided to fast track a significant upgrade package it had originally planned for the Hungarian Grand Prix to react to its dismal performance at the season-opener.

Leclerc said that Ferrari’s day was rather difficult with the Scuderia lacking outright pace in qualifying trim. However, the two-time race winner hopes that the upgrades can deliver a step forward once the team fine-tune them.

"We had a difficult day, even though towards the end, we made some progress on high fuel load runs. Let’s see whether tomorrow or on Sunday, depending on the weather, we can also make progress in low fuel conditions.

„There’s potential in the updates we’ve brought here. We need to keep working on them to tune them and define all they can deliver. I am happy about the prospect of rain, so let’s see what tomorrow brings. Hopefully, if it rains, it won’t be too hard, so we’ll still be able to take on the track and see where we can be on the starting grid,” Leclerc said.

Vettel said that his car felt very different compared to last weekend, but the lap times have not shown any improvements in terms of speed yet.

"Today the car felt a lot better than last week. Right from the start, it was a different car and I was just able to get on with it. Now I hope it stays like this. If you look at the time sheet, I got my best lap deleted so obviously it wasn’t a great day for lap times, but there will be rain tomorrow, so we are just preparing in case quali is on Sunday.

Reflecting on the new parts, the German has revealed that Ferrari mounted the new upgrades step by step on the car. He added: „For us, the main thing was testing the upgrades that we brought. We put them on the car step by step and they seemed to work well. We still need to have a look and find the best window where the car is happiest. We tried quite a few things on the brakes and I still need to find the rhythm. Apart from that, we did our usual Friday homework. Let’s see how wet it’s going to be tomorrow, it might mix things up."