Charles Leclerc struggled in the United States on Friday due to high temperatures and a bumpy track surface, while Carlos Sainz believes tyre degradation will be crucial in Sunday’s race.
Due to the challenges offered by the Circuit of the Americas, Charles Leclerc believes Ferrari has some work to do in order to optimize their setup.
The Monegasque driver finished FP2 in 7th position, only 0.011s behind Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll. According to Leclerc, the rough track surface, combined with high track temperatures, made it difficult for him to establish an appropriate balance.
Nonetheless, he is eager to have things figured out before qualifying on Saturday.
“In terms of our sessions, we ran through the planned programme, testing a bit of everything,” Leclerc said after FP2. “What was challenging were the bumps on the track which made it very tricky to drive.
“With temperatures running quite high, tyre management was a key factor. Tyres overheated, especially in the third sector. You have to find a perfect balance between pushing in the first sector while losing time in the last one, or saving the tyres in the first part to be quicker at the end of your lap.
“We will do some more work in FP3 to understand how to optimise this ahead of qualifying.”
Carlos Sainz, who finished seventh in FP2, believes tyre degradation will make things difficult on Sunday.
“We tried different setups today and improved a bit from FP1 to FP2,” said Sainz. “Overall, I’m happy with our Friday and the pace is promising, taking into account I got traffic in Sector 3 of my fast lap and couldn’t close an otherwise good looking lap.
“Track temperature was very high and that obviously had an effect on the long runs, where degradation appeared quickly on the Softs. That could make things tricky come Sunday, so we’ll keep an eye on it.”
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