The Formula 1 season has begun again, with faster cars, new rules, and new line-ups. Friday saw the Free Practice sessions of the Australian Grand Prix, the first race on the calendar. The first session ended in the five time world champion Lewis Hamilton topping the chart at 1:23:599, with Sebastian Vettel being just +0.038 seconds behind in his Ferrari.
Charles LeClerc, the second youngest driver for Ferrari in history, was only just a brush off the top spot, lapping +0.074 behind Hamilton. Red Bull showed immense pace with their new Honda units in the RB15, with Max Verstappen just 0.193s adrift of the ultimate pace.
There was little to differ between Ferrari and Mercedes until the second session kicked off, with both the cars looking equally competitive.
As the second session kicked in, Ferrari seemed to struggle when whilst Mercedes continued their form with both their cars right on top, with the prancing horse being 8 tenths behind their arch rivals.
Vettel found his car behaving a bit differently than it did in the pre-season winter testing. Although, Vettel did not seem to be worried at all saying there was plenty of lap time still to be found in the car.
“We were not as fast as we maybe would like, but it’s Friday so it doesn’t matter,” he said matter of factly.
“It was a tricky day for us – it was probably a tricky day for everyone. I think for us we’re not yet where we want to be. Not so much in terms of lap time but more in terms of car feel and handling.
“We didn’t really get into the groove, into the rhythm, and that’s quite important round here. I’m hoping that tomorrow is a better day, and if we can get that confidence and groove back then there is a lot of lap time in that around here.”, said the four time world champion.
Vettel thinks there’s a lot of room to cover and there are bots which will be worked upon. His teammate LeClerc, spun around in his Ferrari at the turn four during the dying moments of the session.
Ferrari hope to work out the problems and get their bolted to the ground version of the SF-90 that we saw in the winter testing, setting their eyes on Qualifying on Saturday.