Belgian Grand Prix – Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel says that his team are wary of their relative lack of race pace compared to single lap pace.
While Ferrari claimed all the headlines with their laptimes during practice on Friday, with Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel both finishing more than half a second clear of the Mercedes on the same Soft compound tyres during FP2, Vettel says that he thinks Ferrari have work to do to be competitive in the race.
While the single lap pace of the Ferrari proved strong, meaning the team are favourites for qualifying, the longer stints during FP2 were less favourable and showed that Mercedes were able to match the red car’s pace. Ferrari’s straight line speed advantage is quite large through the first and third sectors, but Mercedes are quicker through the second sector – made up of medium and high speed corners.
As a result, Vettel says that the team need to do a bit more work to fettle the car properly for the second sector of the car: “[We’re] less competitive in sector 2 and then when it’s straight again, we’re more competitive. We knew this, but we have to work on sector 2 and the feel of the car there. The race has more than one lap. We are quite good on Friday over one lap but we won’t get blinded by that.”
“We are sliding a bit too much in the middle sector and so for the race it will be important to optimise the tyre behaviour.”
With Friday and Saturday seeing air temperatures in the high 20s and early 30s, Sunday is expected to be cooler. However, Vettel says that expected temperature drop isn’t particularly concerning for the team: :We’re not concerned by the temperature drop, as it will drop for everyone. Might be difficult to carry Friday into Sunday, but it was good to do the laps and we’ve got some homework to do during FP3″.