New chassis not giving Vettel ‘all the answers’

Jon Wilde
Sebastian Vettel serious

Sebastian Vettel admitted his new Ferrari chassis had not provided “all the answers you want to get” in Friday practice for the Spanish Grand Prix.

The German’s final season with Ferrari has been little short of disastrous so far with a series of spins during races and only 10 World Championship points collected from the first five weekends.

Well off the pace produced by his team-mate Charles Leclerc up to now, Vettel has been given a new chassis for round six at Barcelona and it seemingly only made a significant difference in FP1, in which he finished P5, before ending P12 for FP2.

“A bit of a mixed day,” was the four-time former world champion’s take.

“I think it was generally a bit better in terms of one-lap pace. In the afternoon I struggled a bit more to put the laps together, but we should be in a better place so let’s see where we get tomorrow. We’ve tried a couple of things and we know a bit more for tomorrow.”

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Having recently said he was “out of answers” about how to improve the car, Vettel was asked by F1 if the new chassis had given him those answers.

He replied: “Not all the answers you want to get, but overall things were making a bit more sense. Friday is always difficult if you’re trying a lot of things so we’ll see when things calm down, hopefully tomorrow.

“(In qualifying) Providing I put the laps together – in the afternoon I struggled a bit to do that – then it should be okay. Then obviously managing the race will be a key point to address. With the temperatures we have it will be difficult, but it’s the same for everyone.”

Leclerc has been outperforming the competitiveness of the Ferrari this term with two podium finishes and a P4 at last week’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.

He was encouraged by his pace in practice despite feeling the heat of the mid-August temperatures in Barcelona.

“Quite a good day, better than we expected,” said Leclerc. “The quali pace was quite good and for now it’s quite positive.

“(On the heat) When I’m out on the track it’s not that hard because there is some air at least, but in the box it’s a nightmare – it’s like a sauna!”

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