Fridays practice sessions at Miami International Autodrome produced mixed fortunes for Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz. Unfortunately Carlos Sainz went of track in free practice 2 damaging his car. This of course has given him less time to learn this new circuit. There will be one more practice session today, this will be followed by qualifying which takes place at 22 CET.
FP1. Charles and Carlos began the inaugural session on Medium tyres, doing 16 and 15 laps respectively and setting best times of 1’32”555 and 1’32”443. After a red flag brought out when Valtteri Bottas went off the track, the Ferrari duo went back out to evaluate the car’s behaviour on Soft tyres. However, Carlos then switched back to Mediums, following a puncture sustained after a harmless spin. Despite this, the Spaniard managed to improve getting down to 1’32”114 followed by a 1’31”528, which put him sixth fastest as well as being the quickest lap of the session on Medium tyres. Leclerc posted the outright quickest time of the hour in 1’31”098 on the Softs. Between them, they completed 51 laps: 26 for Charles and 25 for Carlos.
FP2. Charles and Carlos began the second hour once again running the Medium tyre as they continued to familiarise themselves with the track and begun work on fine tuning the set-up of the F1-75. On this compound they posted times of 1’31”131 and 1’30”964 respectively, which remained the benchmark on this compound, even though Carlos’ day ended with a spin into the barriers at turns 14-15. The car was damaged and the session was red flagged. When it restarted, Charles went out on Soft tyres, stopping the clocks in 1’30”044, the second fastest time. Towards the end of the session, after it had been stopped again, this time when Nicholas Latifi stopped, the Monegasque did a few laps with a heavier fuel load and Medium tyres. He completed 21 laps, while Sainz did nine.
Programme. Qualifying takes place tomorrow at 16 (22 CET), preceded by the final hour of free practice at 13 (19 CET).
Charles Leclerc #16
It was a good day. We focused on building up our pace little by little and learned quite a bit about this new track. It is challenging and really nice to drive, with my favourite part being the one from turn 11 to turn 16 in the second sector.
Things went smoothly on our side and we tested everything we planned to. It looks like everyone is close together, which should make for an exciting weekend.
The asphalt will spice things up. There is very high grip on the racing line and very low grip off it, which will make it difficult to overtake. It is also rather aggressive on tyres, so it will be important to manage them well throughout the race.
Carlos Sainz #55
Obviously not the best way to start the weekend after a costly snap ended our Friday early. Still, I feel the car was competitive and I have confidence in our performance.
It’s pointless to dwell on today, so we’ll put our full focus on tomorrow and the race.
The extra work for the mechanics is the worst part, so I’ll definitely speak to them and the rest of the team. I look forward to tomorrow.