Ferrari won’t be "deluded" by Baku F1 practice form

Ferrari will not be “deluded” by its impressive performance in Friday’s Formula 1 practice for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, believing its target remains to lead the midfield in Baku.

Ferrari won’t be "deluded" by Baku F1 practice form
Listen to this article

After taking a shock pole position and second-place finish in Monaco two weeks ago, Ferrari arrived in Baku expecting to go “back to reality” given the high-speed portions of the track.

But the slow-speed strength of the Ferrari SF21 car again shone through as Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc ended Friday’s running P3 and P4 respectively.

Both drivers were quick to downplay suggestions they could again factor in the battle for pole and victory in Baku, believing Mercedes - which failed to get either car in the top 10 in FP2 - would bounce back on Saturday.

Ferrari sporting director Laurent Mekies was adamant that the Friday performance had not changed the team’s goals heading into the rest of the weekend, tipping both Mercedes and McLaren to recover.

“Of course Red Bull will be very, very strong, they are not the target this weekend,” Mekies said.

“We have no doubt that Mercedes will be back up there tomorrow. So we are not deluded by the classification.

“I think what we are looking at is to be best of the rest right now. There are a lot of good guys fighting for that position - the two McLarens which we anticipated would be very strong here. We still think they are very strong here.

“There were many, many cars that are targeting those positions. But that’s what we are trying to get. A P5, a P4 is probably the best position we could have.”

Read Also:

Ferrari managed to excel in Monaco thanks to the slow-speed nature of the circuit, with the strength of the car in the tighter corners again being clear in the second sector of the Baku City Circuit.

Mekies explained that the GPS data Ferrari had showed a “pretty good picture in very slow-speed corners”, pushing the focus on improving the car to the medium- and high-speed corners.

“This is where our strong point is right now,” Mekies said.

“As a result of that, the focus for improvement is where medium and high-speed corners are, which luckily for us there are not many of in Baku, which also explains why we are not too bad at least for Friday.

“On the other hand, there are very long straights here, and we know we’re not yet where we want to be for the power unit.

“The strong points right now are the slow-speed corners. We have been confirming that at different tracks.

“Thinking about the race, you need to add the layer of getting the tyres to work and behave and to degrade, so that is pretty much where we are focusing right now.”

shares
comments

Related video

Mercedes braced for "very difficult" Baku F1 qualifying
Previous article

Mercedes braced for "very difficult" Baku F1 qualifying

Next article

Pirelli pressure hike adds to Baku tyre challenge

Pirelli pressure hike adds to Baku tyre challenge
Load comments
The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move Prime

The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move

OPINION: Uncertainty over Lewis Hamilton's future has persisted since the race direction call that denied him an eighth world title in Abu Dhabi last month. But while walking away would be understandable, Hamilton has time and again responded well in the face of adversity and possesses all the tools needed to bounce back stronger than ever

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2022
What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility Prime

What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility

OPINION: The first stage of the 2022 Formula 1 pre-season is just over a month away, but the championship is still reeling from the controversial results of last year’s finale. The FIA acknowledges F1 has had its reputation dented as a result, so here’s how it could go about putting things right

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2022
The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins Prime

The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, We pick out six other key elements to follow this season

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2022
Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1 Prime

Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades.

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up Prime

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. We break down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems Prime

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway, but instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022