Leclerc warns Friday sessions not the ‘real picture’

Date published: September 6 2019

Charles Leclerc looking a bit pensive

He topped the timesheets of both Free Practice sessions at Monza on Friday, but Charles Leclerc is taking the results with a pinch of salt as he expects Mercedes will hit back strongly.

Fresh from winning his maiden race during last weekend’s Belgian GP, Leclerc carried that form over to the Friday sessions at the Italian GP as he was fastest in the rain-hit morning FP1 and again in FP2.

The Ferrari driver posted a 1:20.978 in the afternoon, but Lewis Hamilton in the Merc was just 0.068s slower in P2.

The Monegasque racer admits he is not getting carried away.

“It’s nice to be quickest, but I don’t think it’s the real picture of everything,” he said.

“I expect Mercedes to be very strong tomorrow when we’ll be in the same conditions. They did their fastest lap time in difficult conditions, so they are very quick and we need to work for tomorrow.”

Sebastian Vettel finished the day in third place, 0.201s off Leclerc’s pace, but he is confident Ferrari can extract more pace out of their SF90 over the course of the weekend.

“I think it was okay but we can still get more out of the car,” he said. “[FP2] was a bit of a scrappy session with everybody jumping out when the light went green because of the conditions.

“Not the usual rhythm you have but I think the main thing is we got some decent laps, we know where the weaknesses are and that’s what we try to focus on.”

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