Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz expressed confidence over the pace of the SF21 at COTA despite trailing McLaren during second practice.
Ferrari and McLaren have been locked in a closely-fought battle for third place in the standings through 2021 and the Woking-based team currently holds a slender 7.5-point advantage.
McLaren finished second practice in second and fifth place respectively, with Lando Norris fronting Daniel Ricciardo, while Leclerc and Sainz classified seventh and ninth.
“FP1 was very good, especially on the low fuel runs,” said Leclerc. “And then, FP2 a little less positive on the low fuel runs but the high fuel runs looked good, so this is the most important for Sunday.
“[In qualifying] it will be all about trying to find the fine balance by trying to be a bit conservative in the first sector to have a bit more pace in the last sector and we’re trying to find that right balance.
“It’s also a very bumpy track so it’s tricky to be as precise as we normally are but it makes it challenging for us.”
Sainz also cut an upbeat figure despite classifying towards the lower reaches of the top 10.
“I have enjoyed myself a lot, it’s a great track to drive and every lap that I do here I just enjoy it,” said Sainz.
“It has a really nice flow, a really nice vibe to it and as a driver, I enjoy it a lot.
“And the car, the setup in FP1 was quite tricky with the bumps, some setup tuning and for FP2 we managed to improve it quite a lot, so I was a bit happier in general in FP2 although the timesheets don’t show it, because I had a pretty scrappy third sector with traffic and a mistake.”
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