Sebastian Vettel downplayed Ferrari’s start to the German Grand Prix weekend due to the mixed weather forecast at Hockenheim on Saturday and Sunday.
Ferrari recorded one-two results in both practice sessions, with Vettel fastest in FP1 and Charles Leclerc setting the pace in the second 90 minutes. Friday’s running took place in extremely hot conditions — with the air temperature exceeding 100F — but the forecast is for cooler temperatures and rain on both Saturday and Sunday, and Vettel admitted he’d rather the heatwave continued.
“It was a good day and I think we are quite happy,” Vettel said. “There is margin to go faster and it’s good to know where it is. We’ll see how the conditions are, I think that’s the main thing. We tried to do the job today and do our homework and carry that into tomorrow but it will be different.
“It’s hard to say (where we’ll be) because I don’t know how much Mercedes and Red Bull had to compromise for the heat. I think it impacts everyone — you saw that everybody was opening the cooling to the maximum. So I think it would have been nice to have a really, really hot race. It’s also fun inside the car and I quite like it when you break into a sweat. I don’t know but I think the forecast says it won’t be like today.”
Leclerc agreed with his teammate’s outlook, saying at least one of Mercedes or Red Bull are likely benefit from different conditions over the weekend.
“It’s obviously looking good, but on the other hand it’s only Friday, and we know Mercedes sometimes is hiding a little bit until Saturday, so it’s not going to be easy,” Leclerc said. “Also it’s going to be cooler tomorrow, which will help the other teams. We are always very strong when it’s sunny, and if it’s raining, we also know that Red Bull is very, very quick in the rain. So it’s not going to be easy, but a positive day anyway.
“I think (heat) is working quite well with our car at the moment. We need to understand what to do better when the conditions are cooler and to try and improve in these conditions. But I think any time it has been very warm this season, we have been very quick.”