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Emilia Romagna GP: Practice team notes - Ferrari

NEWS STORY
16/04/2021

Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow had a busy Friday at the Enzo e Dino Ferrari circuit, home to the Made in Italy e dell'Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix. It was clear that both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz seemed to be at ease on the Italian track and the SF21 appeared well suited to it too, even if the real pecking order will only emerge tomorrow.

In the first free practice session in the morning, Charles was fourth fastest and Carlos was sixth. Between them, they completed 39 laps of the Enzo e Dino Ferrari circuit, 26 for the Spaniard and 13 for the Monegasque, the latter having to spend a few additional minutes in the garage while checks were carried out on his car. Towards the end, both SF21s went out on Soft tyres to set their fastest times: 1:16.796 for Charles and 1:16.888 for Carlos.

In the second hour, both drivers started the session on the Medium tyre before switching to the Softs for the qualifying simulation. It was in this configuration that they set their quickest times, the Spaniard stopping the clocks in 1:15.834, while the Monegasque posted a 1:16.371. Earlier, Leclerc had done a 1:15.367, which would have been the fastest time overall but the time was disallowed as he had exceeded track limits by just a few centimetres at the Piratella corner. Towards the end of the session, as usual, both men ran in race trim. Carlos completed a total of 30 laps, while with just two minutes of the session remaining and having completed 28 laps, Charles went off into the barriers at Rivazza 2, damaging the front right suspension on his SF21.

Carlos Sainz: It was an important day for me as I was looking forward to driving the car for the first time somewhere other than Bahrain. The different corners, tarmac, temperatures, etc. made it an interesting day for sure. It seems we could be a bit more competitive this weekend and, in general, the feeling with the car was positive as the conditions suits us better.

You can feel some more grip and I am enjoying it out there, building up the confidence lap by lap trying to find the limit around the entire track. I'm not quite there yet, but today was a good start to the weekend and we still have FP3 to fine tune everything ahead of Qualifying tomorrow.

Charles Leclerc: This was definitely a good day, despite the time lost in the first session and the incident just at the end of the second one. The car is quick, the balance is good and I felt at ease immediately. Of course, it's only tomorrow that we will find out the pecking order, because maybe someone hasn't shown their full potential.

This afternoon, I made a mistake while pushing flat out in race trim. I'm sorry for the guys but at least there were only two minutes to go. I was pleased with my quick lap: the time that was cancelled because of a couple of centimetres would have been quickest overall and even over a long run I think we have found a good balance. The track is really great and I can't wait to get back in the car tomorrow for qualifying, when I think a good result can be within our grasp.

Check out our Friday gallery from Imola, here.

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