Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel have revealed that they have no answer why they were so far off the pace on the opening day for the Belgian Grand Prix.
There were glum faces at Ferrari following a dreadful Friday session. After clinching his first Formula 1 victory at Spa in 2019, Charles Leclerc only finished 15th fastest in the afternoon session for this year’s Belgian Grand Prix while his team mate Sebastian Vettel was further down the order in 17th spot.
The SF1000 was always going to struggle around the fast Spa circuit given its straight-line speed deficit to Mercedes that suddenly jumped to the front in the pecking order of the engine manufacturer in 2020, but the gap to the sharp end of the field was daunting for the Scuderia. The faster man of the Ferrari duo Leclerc ended up 1.696s off the pace of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
The Monegasque said that today has been „a very difficult day. I think it’s probably a surprise to be so far back, especially in FP2. We tried quite a lot of things in FP2.”
"At the beginning I tried something quite aggressive in downforce levels but it didn’t really work out so we came back on that, and we are just lacking pace at the moment so we need to work hard to catch back. But I don’t expect miracles for this weekend.
“It doesn’t feel good and it’s sad to see Ferrari so far down,” Leclerc added, “but as always, our work as drivers is to give our best and that’s exactly what I’m trying and what Seb is trying to do in the car.”
“Today it’s mostly problems with the balance. We are really, really struggling with the balance of the car, so we need to try and understand what we can do better to help us drivers to be driving at our best.
The quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel said that he was far from happy with the balance of his SF1000, but the team will figure out how it can change it for the remainder of the weekend.
“The car was difficult and tricky to drive. But that also means we weren’t quite where we should be so we’re looking currently to find options with the set-up.
„We tried a lot this afternoon, but [we need to] reset and try again and try something different. I’m sure tomorrow will be a bit better,” concluded the German.