Home driver Carlos Sainz set the second fastest time in Friday’s first free practice at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and was good for P4 in second practice, more than 0.3s behind his teammate and fastest man Charles Leclerc. After practice, Ferrari encountered a fuel system problem in the Sainz F1-75, requiring the driver to have a new chassis for the remainder of the weekend. There is no penalty for this.
Ferrari has brought several updates to the F1-75 to Barcelona. Sainz says they have “some potential”. “We noticed a change in the behavior of the car. That’s good when you bring upgrades because you want to see change,” said the 27-year-old rider from Madrid. “I’m glad the updates are working. We didn’t take the right steps leading up to FP2, which slowed us down a bit. Perhaps now we know which direction not to go. We have to go back to the feeling I had in the first session, that was better.”
Team-mate Leclerc wasn’t entirely satisfied despite his best time in second free practice. According to the world championship leader, Ferrari still has to improve on the long runs. The team is struggling with the tyres. “I hope we can find a decent dose of speed before Saturday. At the moment we are not strong in terms of race pace,” said Leclerc.
Sainz is not the only driver to get a new chassis. The same goes for Lando Norris. The Brit needs a new survival cell after McLaren discovered damage to the underside of the car. This was the result of running over a curb.