Today's free practice at Silverstone for the British Grand Prix resulted in mixed fortunes for Scuderia Ferrari. Charles Leclerc had a more or less normal day, without any problems, as he worked his way through the programme laid out by the engineers. Sebastian Vettel however was very unlucky, losing the entire morning session and around a third of the one in the afternoon.
In the first 90 minutes, after two installation laps, Sebastian was called back to the pits to check the car for a suspected problem with the intercooler. Not wishing to take any risks, the team decided to remove the engine to carry out an in depth check and that meant the German was unable to get back out on track during the session. The problem on the SF1000 was fixed and Sebastian went out as soon as the pit lane was open on Hard tyres and did eight laps, the best in 1:30.955. However, not long after, he noticed a problem in the pedal area and so he returned to the pits. Having checked the car, the team decided to change the pedal assembly as a precaution and so Seb lost even more track time, eventually getting out again when the other drivers were focussing on high fuel runs. On his only qualifying simulation run, the German made a small mistake and could do no better than 1:28.869, 18th fastest in the session. Vettel then also switched to running in race trim. Therefore, over the two sessions, Seb completed 25 laps.
Both sessions went off according to plan for Charles who did 22 laps in the morning, gathering plenty of useful data as he also worked on fine tuning the set-up. The Monegasque ran Hard and Medium tyres setting a best time of 1:28.221, fifth fastest in the session. In the afternoon, Charles did a further 30 laps, bringing his total to 52 and on his qualifying simulation he did a 1:27.570, fourth overall. In the second part of the session, he too concentrated on running in race configuration on Medium tyres.
Charles Leclerc: "It has been a reasonably good day as far as quali performance is concerned, but our race pace seems to be less strong. In the long run the car was extremely hard to drive, balance wasn't great and it was difficult not to make mistakes.
"Tomorrow and on Sunday, the temperature is going to be quite different and I believe we can still change quite a lot of things to see how to gain some race pace, probably by sacrificing some quali pace."
Sebastian Vettel: "It was a disjointed day and a shame to lose the morning session. Then in the afternoon, there was an issue with the brake pedal and that cost us some time so it was a bit difficult to get into a rhythm. All the same, even though we didn't do many laps, we learned a little bit that will be useful to help us improve the car for tomorrow and then we can see where we are. The track should be cooler tomorrow and we should also have a better day.
"Hulkenberg? There was a time when there were maybe six or seven German drivers around, so it's nice that I'm not the only one! It's good for Nico but for sure we also hope Sergio (Perez) gets better soon."
Check out our Friday gallery from Silverstone, here.