Sebastian Vettel concedes that the competitive order during Friday practice for the Spanish Grand Prix has produced a “fair picture”, with Ferrari trailing Formula 1 rivals Mercedes.

Mercedes duo Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton concluded running on Friday by finishing over three tenths clear of the Ferrari pair headed by Charles Leclerc, with Vettel less than a tenth behind his teammate.

Ferrari has introduced a host of new updates this weekend, including its first engine upgrade of the year, which has been brought forward by two races.

“Engine-wise we are happy, obviously it’s Friday so it’s difficult to know what we are doing compared to other people," Vettel said.

“Overall, happy. Car-wise we put everything on the car that we expected to put on the car but feeling-wise it has been a different story and I think it’s fair picture that we haven’t been the quickest today.”

Ferrari’s drivers were often quicker than the Mercedes pair throughout the opening two sectors, but appeared to lose time in the twisty final sector. Vettel says improvements will be key to enable Ferrari to challenge for pole come qualifying on Saturday.

“It’s not the first time this year that we are losing in these sort of corners,” he explained.

“If it was easy we would just fix it but currently we are all working very hard and trying still to just understand why we are losing out in these types of corners, sometimes more than other times.”

Leclerc concurred with his teammate’s comments, adding: “That is where we are losing the most so that is where we are going to put our main focus on to try and improve in this last sector.

“On the other hand, we don’t know what are their plans and sometimes like that when they are doing a massive step on the Friday, you need to push to understand a new car.

“We don’t know what they are doing, we are focusing on ourselves and hopefully we will improve more.

“That’s what we are here for. We are trying to give everything, try and to make the balance right for tomorrow and then hopefully improve for qualifying.”

 

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