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Italian GP: Practice team notes - Ferrari

NEWS STORY
04/09/2020

Friday free practice for the 71st Italian Formula 1 Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel completed a total of 109 laps in their SF1000s, in preparation for tomorrow's qualifying and Sunday's race.

The Scuderia took to the track shortly after 11, with Charles and Seb completing an installation lap, running the Monza-specific low downforce aero package. There are no spectators at the Autodromo Nazionale, as this race, like all others so far this season, is being run behind closed doors. However, the grandstands were decorated with the giant heart banners and the huge flag of the Scuderia Ferrari Clubs that wanted the team to feel their support.

In the morning session, Charles did 25 laps, one more than Sebastian. Leclerc first went out on Hard tyres and Sebastian used the Medium compound. Charles' first quick lap produced a 1:22.666, with Sebastian doing a 1:23.150. After a change in the pits to the Medium tyres, Charles set his best time of 1:21.904 and Seb got down to a 1:22.988.

The second session got underway at 3pm and the team continued to work on testing the Pirelli compounds back-to-back with Charles going out on Mediums and Sebastian on the Hards. Leclerc's first run produced a 1:22.579, improving to 1:22.011, although that time was cancelled for exceeding track limits at the Parabolica. Vettel then produced a 1:22.861. In the middle of the session, the Monegasque and the German did a qualifying simulation on the Soft tyres, setting times of 1:21.503 and 1:21.733 respectively. Towards the end, the focus switched to race preparation with the usual long runs to simulate different stages of the race with various fuel loads.

Charles Leclerc: "It was a difficult day. On the one hand, we were positively surprised by our qualifying pace, on the other, we expected to do a bit better on the high fuel runs, so we need to find something to improve our race pace.

"The car was very difficult to drive in race trim, where we struggled quite a bit with the balance and the overall degradation of the tyres.

"Our target is to be as competitive as possible in both fuel conditions. I don't think that we can expect much more for qualifying than what we've shown today, but I believe there's still room for improvement on our race pace."

Sebastian Vettel: "Today we used the time to work on the SF1000 in order to be in a better place tomorrow. The car was quite difficult to drive but it's not the first time this year. As expected, we are losing out down the straight, but we also have to work on the balance to have a better performance in sector two.

"Also, on heavy fuel the car is not easy to drive, partly because we have to run with set tyre pressures. I think there will be a big pack of cars fighting to the hundredths in quali and I can image it will be quite similar in the race. It will definitely be complicated."

Check out our Friday gallery from Monza, here.

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