Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz dominated Friday practice for the 2022 British Grand Prix – but it wasn’t a smooth day for the Scuderia as Charles Leclerc revealed an engine hitch had slightly hampered his run in FP2.
Leclerc finished fifth in the second practice session, 0.255 seconds behind his rival Max Verstappen of Red Bull, after the Monegasque driver finished fourth in the opening practice session in the rain which saw a maximum of 10 laps completed by any driver.
WATCH: Climb aboard as Sainz sets fastest lap in Friday practice for 2022 British Grand Prix
“Yeah, a tough day,” he said. “I mean, the first session, we didn’t get a lot of data, just because of the weather and very few laps, and in the second, in FP2, we had quite a few problems from my side, so hopefully tomorrow we can have a bit cleaner day and get things moving.
“I don’t know if there were any radio messages on the cover, but overall there were just a few powertrain bits that made it very difficult to ride. But that’s fine. I mean, that are more tweaks than issues, so we’ll change it for tomorrow,” he explained.
Charles Leclerc reflects on a ‘delicate day’ but thinks ‘the performance is in the car’
When asked if powertrain issues had prevented him from setting a faster lap on soft tires in FP2, Leclerc replied: “Yes. With softs it was again very, very tricky for some reason. It didn’t feel as good as it did on the stand and again we had these little issues which weren’t easy to deal with as well.
“But overall I think the performance is in the car, so that’s positive, and hopefully tomorrow we can put everything together and have a good day.”
His teammate Sainz set the tone in FP2, his lap of 1m 28.942s keeping Lewis Hamilton 0.163s clear. After Verstappen said it was “not surprising” that Ferrari was quickest on Friday, Sainz was asked to respond.
READ MORE: Red Bull ‘miles’ around Silverstone, says Perez – while Verstappen says it’s ‘no surprise’ to see Ferrari lead FP2
The Spaniard said: “I think we expect to be competitive on all circuits this year because the car is certainly a very competitive car, just like the Red Bull, just like the Merc when there’s a little less bumps, and there’s a bit more at high speeds, so yeah I think we all knew heading into this weekend that it was going to be a close battle and again it looks like it’s the same thing here.
Sainz added there was “no reason” Ferrari couldn’t replicate their lead pace on Saturday, with FP3 and qualifying ahead – and the clouds looming over Silverstone.
READ MORE: ‘We’ve definitely made an improvement,’ says Hamilton after pleasing crowd in second practice session at Silverstone
“It will be interesting to see; today in the soft tires we were certainly quite competitive, so there is no reason not to think that tomorrow we can do a good job,” he said. .
Ferrari faces a 76-point deficit to Red Bull in the constructors’ championship while Leclerc is third in the drivers’ standings, three points behind Perez, ahead of the 2022 British Grand Prix.
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