Charles Leclerc expressed optimism over Ferrari’s long-run pace during practice in Germany, but cautioned that anticipated cooler conditions may negate the team’s advantage.
Ferrari took a 1-2 in both practice sessions at Hockenheim on Friday, with Sebastian Vettel ahead in FP1 and Leclerc top in FP2, as the ambient temperature peaked at 38Ëšc, the hottest of the year.
However, the spell of hot weather is expected to end this evening, with showers forecast through the remainder of the weekend, and air temperature peaking at 27Ëšc.
“I think the feeling is good because the high-fuel runs were good which is quite difficult from the beginning of the season on our side, so this is very positive,” said Leclerc.
“We need to keep working because I’m pretty sure Mercedes will be very strong tomorrow, potentially Red Bull if the weather is bad.
“If it is raining, we always know they are very, very quick, so it’s going to be challenging.
“I think [the heat is] working quite well with our car at the moment. We need to understand what to do better, when the conditions are cooler and to try and improve in these conditions.
“But I think any time it has been very warm this season, we have been very quick.”
Vettel reckons Ferrari still had sufficient margin within its SF90 and could have gone quicker.
“I think it was a better day, a few hiccups here and there to find the rhythm,” he said.
“We lost a bit of time as I had a flat spot on the Medium tyres in the afternoon but all in all it felt good, the car felt good. I think there’s quite a bit of margin to go faster.”