Sebastian Vettel says the SF1000 now feels like a “different car” and is trying to get to grips with it in Austria.
Although Vettel’s team-mate Charles Leclerc was able to finish the season-opener in Austria in P2, it was generally accepted that Ferrari didn’t have the overall pace of teams like Mercedes, Red Bull or even Racing Point ahead.
Upgrades weren’t set to arrive until Round 3 in Hungary, but the team pushed through some new parts for the second round of the season, the Styrian Grand Prix.
And Vettel was looking beyond his lowly P16 finishing position in FP2, saying the SF1000 now feels like a “different car”, forcing him to figure out where its ideal operating “window” is.
“All day it was straight away a different car and then I was just able to get at it,” he said.
“It is not really possible to compare the two because there was such a big difference and now obviously I hope it stays like this.
“If you look at the timing sheet obviously I got the lap deleted and it was not a great day for lap times but I think some people anticipated maybe rain tomorrow and prepared in case it rains for qualifying.
“I think on our side the main thing was to look after the upgrade we brought so step by step we were putting stuff on and it seems to be positive.
“I think we still need to have a look and now find the window where the car is happiest.
“We tried some stuff so we have the usual homework and I tried a lot of stuff on the brakes, still need to get into a better rhythm, especially after the last weekend, but I felt a lot better already.”
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) July 10, 2020
Leclerc said he had seen positive gains on the “high-fuel” runs, so hoped to see that carry over to the low-fuel runs of qualifying.
“I think we found a few things on high fuel towards the end of the day, the last run especially, so this is positive,” he said.
“Let’s see whether tomorrow, or after tomorrow depending on the weather, if we are able to gain the lap time we gained on high fuel also on low fuel.”