MAY 23, 2019
A tricky day
By Dan Knutson in Monaco
Sebastian Vettel wound up third in Thursday's second practice session for the Monaco Grand Prix. His Ferrari was nearly eight-tenths of a second slower than the Mercedes of lead driver Lewis Hamilton. Furthermore, Charles Leclerc was back in tenth in the other Ferrari.
Vettel said he had yet to feel the full level of confidence in the car.
"Overall a tricky day," he said. "Tricky to get the tires in the right window; we struggled maybe a bit more than other people. But it's not the first time we saw this in practice, so looking forward to Saturday we have a bit of time now to try a couple of things and go through some stuff."
"We tried a lot of things," Vettel added. "They didn't really work so not that productive of a day. Overall struggling a bit, obviously lacking a bit of pace compared to Mercedes, struggling a bit to get the tires to really work, so a bit of work ahead of us."
Were there problems with the balance of car?
"It's a bit of everything," Vettel replied, "so not exactly what you'd like around here. You'd like to know what the car is going to do so you can anticipate a bit more. But I'm sure come Saturday things should calm down. Maybe it's a bit warmer as well, could help us."
Vettel is wearing a special helmet livery this weekend.
"It's to pay tribute to Niki, to him as a person, to his career," he said. "The design is based on his last Ferrari design, and I think it actually looks quite cool. Obviously, I'd have liked to have used my helmet, but given the circumstances and his passing it felt like a nice thing to do, a nice gesture. That way at least his helmet design can enjoy some last laps around Monaco."