October 16, 2021

Ferrari “shouldn’t get carried away” after second-fastest time – Leclerc | RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Charles Leclerc played down Ferrari’s prospects after setting the second-fastest time in practice on Friday.

In brief

Leclerc downplays Ferrari pace

Leclerc, the only driver other than Lewis Hamilton to lap below a 1’24 in practice yesterday, said he was optimistic about Ferrari’s pace but was eager not to overplay it.

“It’s been looking good, so everything looks positive for now,” said Leclerc. “But again, it’s only Friday.

“So for now I want to keep my head down, keep working as hard as we can to try and and fine-tune the car to to have a perfect quality tomorrow.”

Leclerc said he was comfortable with the car’s balance, unlike many drivers who struggled to find a setup in the afternoon session. “I feel quite happy with that whenever the rear is moving like that, I am quite at ease with it and I like to play with the rear of the car to rotate the car, and it seems to work pretty good for now.

“I mean, we are very competitive, so I wouldn’t change that much on on that side. But I think on the race run, we still have a bit of work to do.”

“We shouldn’t get carried away because I feel like the top teams have have more to show,” he added.

Alonso “happy I was not here last year”

Fernando Alonso, Alpine, Istanbul Park, 2021
Alonso found a familiar groove on his return to Istanbul

Fernando Alonso said his first experience of the Istanbul Park circuit in a decade felt much like it did before. The work to pressure-wash its surface, which gave very little grip when F1 returned to the track last year before his comeback, had paid off.

“I think it was as I remember in the past,” Alonso said. “So I’m happy that I was not here last year because apparently it was very different and the lap time is very different as well. But today was a much more normal feeling.”

Ricciardo sees little difference between tyre compounds

Daniel Ricciardo was surprised the soft tyres did not yield significantly quicker lap times in practice. “The tyres, they’ve brought different compounds here this year, a step softer, and there wasn’t a whole lot of difference between the three we felt, at least today,” he said.

“So that was maybe a bit of a surprise, I thought the soft would have been miles quicker, I don’t think that was the case. What that means for tomorrow, I’m not sure. So we’ll do our homework tonight.”

But the McLaren driver, who set the 14th quickest time, isn’t concerned about his place in the order.

“I didn’t put the lap together but I’m actually pretty relaxed,” said Ricciardo. “I think where we know where we are, I think we’re definitely… I wouldn’t say we’re there but we’re thereabouts. A bit of fine-tuning tonight.”

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On this day in motorsport

Bobby Unser, Penske, Indianapolis, 1981
It took 138 days to confirm Bobby Unser as the winner of the 1981 Indianapolis 500
  • 40 years ago today Bobby Unser was finally declared the win of the Indianapolis 500 which was held in May. A one-lap penalty originally handed to the on-the-road victor, which temporarily resulted in Mario Andretti taking his second win in the race, was overturned.

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