Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel remain wary of the threat Mercedes will pose through the remainder of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix race weekend despite leading practice on Friday in Baku.

Leclerc and Vettel were the only two drivers to set a time in FP1 as a loose manhole cover resulted in the session being abandoned, but managed to replicate their one-two finish in FP2.

Leclerc finished nearly seven-tenths of a second clear of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in third place, putting Ferrari clear as the fastest team on Friday in Baku.

Despite being pleased with the initial feeling from the Ferrari SF90 car at the Baku City Circuit, Leclerc said he was confident Mercedes would have more pace in hand through qualifying on Saturday.

“I’m quite confident with the car, quite confident with the track, so overall it’s a good day,” Leclerc said.

“But looking at their pace in the race run, I expect quite a lot more from them tomorrow in qualifying.

“I’m absolutely sure there is more to come from Mercedes. They were very quick on the long runs, so there is no reason they are slow on the short runs.

“I am sure tomorrow when they put everything together, it’s going to be very tight.”

Vettel echoed his teammate’s comments, saying: “Mercedes will be the ones to beat. Red Bull also looked fast at times so I think it will be close tomorrow.

“Here, to be honest, it’s mostly about having the confidence in the car with so many big stops after high-speed braking and very little reference. It’s easy to do mistakes over the bumps and go straight.

“Overall I think it will be decisive tomorrow to have a good feel with the car and that’s what we are working towards.”



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