Formula 1

Charles Leclerc’s Optimism Fuels Ferrari’s Charge in Las Vegas GP Practice

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz delivered a strong performance in the free practice sessions of the Las Vegas Grand Prix, with Leclerc leading the timesheets. Despite a grid penalty for Sainz, Ferrari’s prospects look promising, reflecting Leclerc’s cautiously optimistic outlook.

Key Takeaways:

  • Dominant Practice Performance: Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz impressively topped the free practice sessions at the Las Vegas Strip circuit, showcasing Ferrari’s strong potential in this crucial part of the season.
  • Adapting to Challenges: The team faced disruptions, including an early finish to the first session and a delayed second session, yet they maximized the extended 90-minute period, completing significant laps and testing various strategies.
  • Focused on Race Preparation: The Ferrari duo used the practice to their advantage, conducting qualifying simulations and race trim tests with different tyre sets, culminating in the fastest laps and effective race pace evaluations.

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz have set a blistering pace in the Las Vegas Grand Prix’s free practice sessions. The newly introduced Las Vegas Strip circuit witnessed Leclerc’s exceptional performance, clocking the fastest lap time of 1’40″909 on Soft tyres, a promising sign for the Ferrari team.

The first session was unexpectedly cut short due to a loose drain cover, causing considerable damage to Sainz’s SF-23 and resulting in a ten-place grid penalty. Despite this setback, the team remained undeterred.

In the second session, which was extended, both Ferrari drivers completed 39 laps each. They utilized three sets of Soft tyres for qualifying simulations and a set of Medium tyres for race trim, setting the two fastest times: Leclerc with 1’35″265 and Sainz with 1’35″782. This rigorous testing was crucial for evaluating their race strategy under varied conditions.

Reflecting on the day, Leclerc emphasized the team’s resilience and adaptability in the Ferrari press release. His statement encapsulates the determination and focus of the team:

“It was a bit of a different day. With FP1 being stopped after just four laps, we didn’t get much mileage in, so we did our best to make up for it in FP2, with 90 minutes and 4 tyre compounds available to us. The session was productive, we put in a solid number of laps and I really enjoyed driving on this track. For now, we look quite competitive, but there is still a long way to go. We have a limited amount of time left to prepare for tomorrow, so we will work hard to keep this momentum.”

Leclerc’s comments reveal a team that, despite facing unexpected challenges, remains focused and adaptable. Their efforts in the practice sessions, combined with their strategic approach, position Ferrari as a formidable contender in the Las Vegas Grand Prix. As the team gears up for the qualifying and the race, their performance in the free practices signals a thrilling competition ahead, with Leclerc and Sainz at the forefront of this high-stakes event.

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