Charles Leclerc ended Friday practice session at the Australian Grand Prix ahead of Dutchman Max Vesterpan with Carlos Sainz Jr in the third place ahead of Fernando Alonso Alpine who impressively was fourth.
The Ferrari of Carlos Sainz who was 0.398secs off the pace in the third place ahead Fernando Alonso showed character of a driver who could pull a surprise in the upcoming main race. The top drivers for Mercedes George Russel and Lewis Hamilton finished 11th and 13th respectively.
With the race back after a two year absence due to the pandemic the Melbourne’s Albert Park track has been modified for F1’s return to Australia.
Mercedes drivers could struggle as their performance at the practice wasn’t too impressive, though Mercedes had lowered the ride height of their car to try to gain performance but it’s thought further problems with “porpoising”.The high frequency bouncing suspected airflow under the car is believed disrupted since it first hit the track.
Hamilton had complained describing it as tricky car, obviously making effort to push and catch, especially when you do a decent lap it’s 1.2seconds down”. This definitely will affect the confidence of the Mercedes drivers, especially in high speed.
While the track in the main race is already enhanced we await to see if the Mercedes team can pull a surprise despite the challenges.
The Red Bull who had impressive practice session with Sergio Perez in fifth will equally have a tough challenge in the main race with Mclaren Lando Norris another top driver to watch-out in the Race in Australia, obviously everyone is happy the race is back after two year absence.