Carlos Sainz the first to test the updates
The first free practice sessions for the 2023 Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix held a double significance for Carlos Sainz, both from an emotional and technical perspective. The Ferrari driver, in addition to completing the first day of the weekend in front of his home fans, was also the first to take to the track in FP1 behind the wheel of the SF-23 equipped with the new updates for this Montmelo weekend.
However, he then returned to using the “old” version of the car in the second free practice session at the Circuit de Catalunya, swapping cars with Charles Leclerc as planned by the Maranello team.
The results of the practice sessions
In the first session, the Spaniard tested the new sidepods and floor of the car, finishing in 9th place just behind his Monegasque teammate and slightly over a second behind Max Verstappen, who set the fastest lap. However, these results are not entirely reliable due to the unknown fuel loads carried by the teams. The same goes for the second free practice session, although the situation slightly improved for the Italian side. This applies not so much in the internal and direct challenge with Charles Leclerc (who is still ahead of the #55 Ferrari), but more in terms of final positions, with Carlos Sainz setting the seventh fastest time, three tenths behind the reigning world champion, once again dominating the session.
A positive day
At the end of Friday, Carlos Sainz did not provide detailed comments regarding the impressions after driving the updated SF-23 single-seater. He simply evaluated the work done at Ferrari positively and thanked the numerous Spanish fans who flocked to the Montmelò stands to support him. “We had many new parts to test on the car today, and we were busy making several setup changes to analyze the differences between the various components during the two sessions,” he commented. “We also ran with all three tire compounds, so I would say we completed a good day of preparation for the rest of the weekend. I want to thank all the people who were in the stands today. It was great to see so many supporters already at the track on Friday.” – the Ferrari man concluded.
Show your support for Scuderia Ferrari with official merchandise collection! Click here to enter the F1 online Store and shop securely! And also get your F1 tickets for every race with VIP hospitality and unparalleled insider access. Click here for the best offers to support Charles and Carlos from the track!