Scuderia Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc lead with way with the overall fastest time in today’s free practice for Sundays Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Leclerc and team mate Carlos Sainz spent a lot of track time evaluating the choice of tyre compounds and chassis set up. Tomorrow will see one more free practice session, followed by qualifying at 18.00 (16.00CET).
FP1. In the first hour, Charles and Carlos started out on Hard tyres, with which the Monegasque did a 1’46”999, while the Spaniard managed a 1’48”116. At the midway point, they switched to Softs on which they set their best times of the session, Leclerc stopping the clocks in 1’45”603 and Carlos getting down to 1’46”012. Charles completed 21 laps and Carlos did 22.
FP2. Both drivers ran the new rear wing from the start of the session, while continuing to evaluate the available tyre compounds, from the C3 to the C5. On the Mediums tyres, Charles managed a 1’43”806, while Carlos stopped the clocks in 1’45”118, before getting down to 1’44”274. In the second part of the hour, both F1-75s went out on Softs, with Leclerc ending up with a lap in 1’43”224, fastest overall. Sainz encountered traffic and yellow flags and could not improve on his time set on the Mediums and thus stayed fifth on the time sheet. Towards the end, Charles and Carlos ran with heavier fuel loads with Soft and Medium tyres respectively, so as to acquire as much data as possible: 24 laps for the Monegasque, 25 for the Spaniard.
Charles Leclerc #16
We had a solid first day. The progression we made from FP1 to FP2 was good and we worked well as a team.
The lap times are not representative, because no one put a proper lap together in the second session. There is still quite a bit of room for improvement.
Our race pace looked quite strong and I felt good in the car. In terms of tyres, I felt comfortable on the long run and didn’t have any graining, which is another positive.
Carlos Sainz #55
It’s been an interesting Friday, as always here in Baku. There were quite a few challenges during FP1 and I was struggling a bit too much with the bottoming and the bouncing, which made the session quite uncomfortable.
We worked in the right direction for FP2, improving competitiveness and feeling. Overall, it was a smooth second session despite not being able to close an entire flying lap on the Softs due to yellow flags. We look forward to making another step forward tomorrow and having a clean qualifying.