Ferrari News – Daniel Ricciardo fumes as Ferrari, Charles Leclerc stun
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc stormed around his hometown track with the fastest time in second free practice for the Monaco Grand Prix on Thursday while Daniel Ricciardo had a worrying start to the weekend.
Ricciardo was only 15th fastest during the day’s two practice sessions, while McLaren teammate Lando Norris was seventh and sixth in the two sessions.
“I felt that I had confidence, it was just not translating to lap time,” Ricciardo explained.
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“From behind the wheel it was quite frustrating because I would cross the line and think it had been a decent lap, and it was like you are P12 or P15, and even at one stage P17.
“So frustrating because it is a long way off. There is a lot of time to find. Luckily we have tomorrow off, but right now it is like, yeah, trying to figure out where all the time is.”
Ricciardo was left fuming at one point after a lap-time was spoiled by Leclerc and Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel.
“I don’t know what the f*** the Ferrari’s doing,” he said on team radio, while he was later seen giving the finger to his former teammate Vettel.
‘IT’S A CONFIDENCE THING’
Norris spoke about Ricciardo’s struggles after the session, saying he’s likely struggling with a lack of confidence in his McLaren.
“Daniel is very, very fast when he has a car around him, and when everything’s suited,” the Brit said.
“But as soon as there’s a couple of problems, just as most drivers do, he tends to lose that bit of confidence.
“Then you just struggle a little bit more. I don’t think that’s just with him.
“That’s just something that some drivers have more than others. It’s a confidence thing.
“From what I’ve seen so far, he wants a car that really suits him, maybe that little bit more.”
‘TOO GOOD TO BELIEVE’
Meanwhile, Leclerc only managed a handful of laps in the morning after gearbox problems, but under crisp blue skies showed he can’t be discounted in Sunday’s fifth GP of the season.
“I want to wait until Saturday,” Leclerc said.
“For now, it’s looking good, but a bit too good to believe it, so let’s wait and see. Saturday, we will know exactly where we are in qualifying, and then we will go from there for the race.”
It was an impressive performance from Ferrari as new boy Carlos Sainz was second fastest, with seven-time world champion and current championship leader Lewis Hamilton in third for Mercedes.
The 23-year-old Leclerc has yet to finish an F1 race in Monaco. This season he has still to get on the podium with two fourth-place and two sixth-place finishes.
His team, meanwhile, haven’t won a race since 2019 while last season was their worst since 1980.
“Two years ago we did not have a good qualifying, we made a mistake as a team (Leclerc qualified 16th), so it’s important here to do well for Charles,” Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto told AFP.
Hamilton, targeting his 99th win on Sunday, leads Dutchman Max Verstappen by 14 points after four races in the chase for the drivers crown.
“The Ferraris look really strong, which is great, it means more competition,” said Hamilton.
Verstappen was hot on Hamilton’s heels in the second session, placing seven hundredths of a second behind him in his Red Bull.
“We’re too slow. And not just a little, but a lot. We really need to find some rhythm,” said a disappointed Verstappen.
Monaco’s iconic street circuit will welcome 7,500 fans to its grandstands as the race returns to the schedule after a coronavirus-enforced cancellation in 2020.
There will be no on-track action Friday with the next practice session on Saturday morning before qualifying.
SECOND MONACO FREE PRACTICE TIMES
1. Charles Leclerc (MON/Ferrari) 1:11.684 (30 laps)
2. Carlos Sainz (ESP/Ferrari) 1:11.796 (32)
3. Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes) 1:12.074 (28)
4. Max Verstappen (NED/Red Bull-Honda) 1:12.081 (27)
5. Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Mercedes) 1:12.107 (32)
6.Lando Norris (GBR/McLaren-Mercedes) 1:12.379 (24)
7. Pierre Gasly (FRA/AlphaTauri-Honda) 1:12.498 (28)
8. Sergio Perez (MEX/Red Bull-Honda) 1:12.708 (24)
9. Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA/Alfa Romeo-Ferrari) 1:12.746 (28)
10. Sebastian Vettel (GER/Aston Martin-Mercedes) 1:12.982 (26)
11. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN/Alfa Romeo-Ferrari) 1:13.065 (31)
12.Fernando Alonso (ESP/Alpine-Renault) 1:13.175 (27)
13.Lance Stroll (CAN/Aston Martin-Mercedes) 1:13.195 (26)
14. Esteban Ocon (FRA/Alpine-Renault) 1:13.199 (28)
15. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/McLaren-Mercedes) 1:13.257 (26)
16.George Russell (GBR/Williams-Mercedes) 1:13.509 (31)
17.Nicholas Latifi (CAN/Williams-Mercedes) 1:13.593 (31)
18. Nikita Mazepin (RUS/Haas-Ferrari) 1:14.407 (26)
19. Mick Schumacher (GER/Haas-Ferrari) 1:14.416 (25)
20. Yuki Tsunoda (JPN/AlphaTauri-Honda) 1:14.829 (11)