It was a busy Friday for Scuderia Ferrari at the Albert Park circuit, which is hosting the first race of the 2019 Formula 1 season. During the three hours of free practice, Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc carried out a full evaluation programme on their SF90s.
The drivers worked on set-up and tyres to check the handling of the car in much warmer conditions than those experienced at the Barcelona tests. Sebastian and Charles then ran with different fuel loads to simulate different phases of the race. In the first session, both drivers did 18 laps: Vettel was second fastest in 1’23”637, fractionally quicker than Leclerc’s 1’23”673. In the second session, both men competed 35 laps; the German was fifth quickest in 1’23”473 and the Monegasque was ninth in 1’23”754.
The third and final free practice session takes place tomorrow afternoon at 14:00 local time (04:00 CET) with the first qualifying session of the year getting underway at 17:00 (07:00 CET.) The Australian Grand Prix starts on Sunday at 16h10 (06:10 CET.).
Scuderia Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto reflects on the first two practice session in Melbourne, ahead of the 2019 Australian Grand Prix: “For the first day of free practice of the season, the most important part of the programme was getting an understanding of the car and its behaviour so as to prepare it for Saturday and Sunday. The track is very bumpy and today, the wind was very strong, which was inconvenient. The drivers are still looking for the right feeling with the car here. Now we just have to work on the set-up and get ready for qualifying.” – Ferrari’s Team Principal explained, as reported by the Maranello team’s official website.