Weather: FP1: cloudy and dry, 20-22°C air, 27-39°C track; FP2: cloudy and dry, 20- 21°C air, 30-34°C track
A smooth day of free practices in Sao Paulo saw Charles Leclerc and Antonio Giovinazzi completing the first session for the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team. With a focus on aerodynamic testing, the team set out to optimise their performance for the upcoming qualifying and race. Both drivers were in strong form, and concluded FP1 in the midfield, with Charles Leclerc finishing in 9th, and Antonio Giovinazzi in 13th place.
Marcus Ericsson returned to his cockpit for the second free practice session, where he and Charles Leclerc tested a different aerodynamic configuration and completed tyre tests across the compounds. The two drivers proved that the team’s potential on this track is good, putting in solid performances in both the short- and long-runs. Again, the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team finished the session in the midfield, with Charles Leclerc in P8, and Marcus Ericsson in P15.
In tomorrow’s qualifying, drivers and teams all down the grid will be challenged to put in perfect laps, as the short track will see minimal gaps between the lap times of all competitors. The unpredictable weather conditions will represent an extra challenge for drivers and teams alike as they take on the demanding track at Interlagos, theatre of many legendary battles in the history of Formula One.
Antonio Giovinazzi (car number 36):
C37 (Chassis 05/Ferrari)
1st practice: 13th / 1:10.685 min (29 laps)
“It was a good session this morning. The programme was quite similar to the previous free practice sessions I have completed so far, and my target was to give the team as much feedback as possible. I enjoyed driving here in Sao Paulo, and now look forward to my next session in Abu Dhabi.”
Marcus Ericsson (car number 9):
C37 (Chassis 05/Ferrari)
2nd practice: 15th / 1:10.532 min (44 laps)
“It was a decent day for me, taking into account that my running time was limited by missing out on FP1. The second practice session went smoothly, and I completed plenty of laps then. The car felt good in terms of the balance and we will work over night to analyse and define what we will do tomorrow. We know that the lap times are very tight here, so it will be about putting everything together in qualifying. In general, it has been a positive Friday and we have a good base to work on for the rest of the weekend.”
Charles Leclerc (car number 16):
C37 (Chassis 02/Ferrari)
1st practice: 9th / 1:10.346 min (28 laps) / 2nd practice: 8th / 1:09.943 (44 laps)
“It was a positive day overall. We were quite strong in our qualifying pace and feel confident for tomorrow. Some work still lies ahead of us in determining where we are in terms of our race pace in comparison to the other teams, but it is looking good so far. The weather was better than expected, and we gathered quite a bit of data in dry conditions, which is positive. I look forward to seeing what we can achieve tomorrow.”