Vettel shrugs off Friday mishaps, targets Saturday pace

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Aston Martin F1 Team AMR21. 18.06.2021. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 7, French Grand Prix, Paul Ricard, France, Practice Day.
© Aston Martin F1

It wasn't the most straightforward of Fridays for Sebastian Vettel, who started the day rear-ending the barriers at turn 11 which cost him track time in the first practice session.

The Aston Martin driver completed just 16 laps before lunch, and while he was able to add 25 laps in the afternoon he still found himself off the pace in 15th in the timesheets by the time the chequered flag came out.

“The track conditions were hot and very windy, which caught me out this morning when I had a small off," he said afterwards. "It cost us some track time, but we recovered well in the afternoon.

"My performance run was not the best and I made a mistake, but today is about getting a feel for the car to make sure we perform in qualifying.

"The long run was clean and we managed to get some consecutive laps together, which was important," he continued.

"I think we know where we can find gains and there are some things we can do better, which is where we will focus our energy tonight.”

Vettel finished the day just ahead of his team mate Lance Stroll, who explained that the hot and gusty conditions hadn't worked to Aston Martin's advantage.

Lance Stroll (CDN) Aston Martin F1 Team AMR21. 18.06.2021. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 7, French Grand Prix, Paul Ricard

“It was really hot out there today, and very gusty at times, which made for some tricky conditions because it is a low-grip track surface," he said. "It was particularly windy early in the day

"But we were able to get into a rhythm and work through our programme," he continued. "We have learned some useful things about the car balance and done some important homework.

"I think we are leaving some pace out there, so we will go away tonight, look over everything and try to come back stronger tomorrow.

"The midfield is already looking very close this weekend, so small gains can certainly make a difference. That's what we will be aiming to find for qualifying.”

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