Sebastian Vettel says his Ferrari SF1000 felt like a “different car” during Styrian Grand Prix practice, compared to the package he raced last weekend, and played down his lowly ranking on the timesheets.
Vettel struggled in qualifying and the race at the Austrian Grand Prix, lacking confidence in the SF1000, and sought a remedy ahead of the second event at the Red Bull Ring.
Ferrari accelerated its update package, introducing some new parts to evaluate on Friday, while Vettel reckoned he had “found a couple of things” to address compared to last weekend.
Ferrari again shied away from the front-running times, with Leclerc ninth and Vettel only 16th, but the four-time champion was buoyed by the progress made.
“All day it was straight away a different car and then I was just able to get at it,” he said compared to Formula 1’s season-opening round.
“It is not really possible to compare the two because there was such a big difference and now obviously I hope it stays like this.
“If you look at the timing sheet obviously I got the lap deleted and it was not a great day for lap times but I think some people anticipated maybe rain tomorrow and prepared in case it rains for qualifying.
“I think on our side the main thing was to look after the upgrade we brought so step by step we were putting stuff on and it seems to be positive.
“I think we still need to have a look and now find the window where the car is happiest.
“We tried some stuff so we have the usual homework and I tried a lot of stuff on the brakes, still need to get into a better rhythm, especially after the last weekend, but I felt a lot better already.”
Leclerc added that “I think we found a few things on high fuel towards the end of the day, the last run especially, so this is positive, let’s see whether tomorrow, or after tomorrow depending on the weather, if we are able to gain the lap time we gained on high fuel also on low fuel.”