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Vettel and Leclerc will "pay more attention" after Covid warnings - Ferrari

Vettel and Leclerc will "pay more attention" after Covid warnings - Ferrari



Vettel and Leclerc will "pay more attention" after Covid warnings - Ferrari

Vettel and Leclerc will "pay more attention" after Covid warnings - Ferrari

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto is confident drivers Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc will be more vigilant with regard to Formula 1's Covid-19 protocols following warnings to both over the past week.

Vettel and Red Bull were initially warned during last weekend's Austrian Grand Prix after the four-time F1 champion was spotted in close conversation in the Red Bull Ring paddock with Christian Horner and Helmut Marko without face masks.

On Thursday, Ferrari and Charles Leclerc were also warned after the 22-year-old returned home to Monaco in between races, with images emerging of him at a gathering with friends.

It is understood that a further breach from anyone inside Ferrari will lead to the matter being referred to the stewards, and possible sanctions being imposed.

Addressing the matter, Binotto said: "The instructions for Charles and Seb, and probably the entire team, [are that] we need really to pay attention, we need to realise how important it is to be here and to race for the entire circus.

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"So being distracted on the protocol is not great. We need really to be strict, to raise our concentration, really paying attention. I think both drivers understood they did something wrong. I'm pretty sure they will pay more attention in the future."

On track, Ferrari spent the day evaluating numerous new parts on the car, notably a front wing, with the updates brought forward ahead of their initially planned released for next week's race in Hungary following a woeful performance in the season opener.

To that extent, rather than posting laps on soft tyres in FP2, as most of the field did on the off-chance there is no qualifying due to forecasted thunderstorms and the grid is set by second practice times, Leclerc and Vettel's best laps were on the medium compound, finishing ninth and 16th quickest respectively.

Leclerc, who struggled with the car's balance throughout the day, said: "It was a difficult day, but on the other hand I think we found a few things on the high fuel towards the end, in the last run especially, so this is positive.

"Let's see whether we can gain the lap times we gained on high fuel also on low fuel."

As to the updates, Leclerc added: "We have to tune it in order for it to work properly. I think there is potential in it, so we need to keep working."

A key concern is that the SF1000 was the slowest through the speed trap, a consequence of the lack of power from the engine, to which Leclerc said: "We are definitely struggling on that. That's why the race of last week was so difficult to overtake.

"We are working as hard as possible with what we've got at the moment, and hopefully we will manage to change it for the next few races."

Vettel, meanwhile, felt the car was "a lot better than last week", adding: "We looked after the upgrade we brought, so step by step we were putting stuff on, and it seems to be positive."

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