F1 Belgian Grand Prix: Vettel sees progress as Ferraris set pace
Vettel sees progress as Ferraris set pace
Sebastian Vettel was pleased with the progress he saw from Ferrari at the Belgian Grand Prix on Friday as he and team-mate Kimi Raikkonen set the fastest times.
Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes lead the way in the title race, but at Spa-Francorchamps, where Ferrari have thrived historically, the Italian outfit showed their speed early on.
Vettel, Hamilton's nearest challenger, topped the FP1 leaderboard with a best time of one minute and 44.358 seconds, before Raikkonen led the way in FP2 in one minute and 43.355 seconds.
Despite impressing on a largely dry day, Vettel still feels there is more work to do as Ferrari look to begin the second half of the season in style.
"I think it's going the right way. It was a bit difficult to figure out where we are and I think we'll have to wait for [Saturday] to have a better idea," the German driver said.
"The new engine has done what it was supposed to do. Everything was working well. Now we'll see; rain shouldn't give us any more problems and, should we have wet conditions, it would be quite nice to have confirmation that we found the right things to do.
Raikkonen roars to P1 @Charles_Leclerc and @Ericsson_Marcus star for @SauberF1Team
Watch all the best bits from FP2 at Spa #BelgianGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/Mu3XCFb0vS
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"On this track, everything seems to happen faster. It should be a lot of fun and, if we have dry conditions tomorrow for qualifying, we should be OK.
"There are still some special tracks on the calendar and, for sure, this one in Spa is very exciting in terms of cornering speeds. We still need to do some work, but we have time to do it."
Hamilton came third and then second in the two sessions and he too was pleased with how the return to the track went.
"I'm happy to be back in the car again," the Mercedes man said. "These are the fastest F1 cars we've ever had, and you really feel it at this track. You go almost flat through Pouhon - it's crazy.
"We've brought a new engine and everything was running smoothly. It's really close between us and Ferrari; it seems like we've both been bringing new updates at a similar rate."