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Leclerc puzzled by Turkish GP surface yielding similar feel to 2020 'ice rink'

Leclerc puzzled by Turkish GP surface yielding similar feel to 2020 'ice rink'

F1 News

Leclerc puzzled by Turkish GP surface yielding similar feel to 2020 'ice rink'

Leclerc puzzled by Turkish GP surface yielding similar feel to 2020 'ice rink'

Charles Leclerc has suggested the feeling of the track surface at the Turkish Grand Prix is akin to that of last year's event despite lap times radically falling during Friday practice.

The 2020 race at Istanbul Park was plagued by a lack of grip from asphalt laid only weeks beforehand as oils rose to the surface, drawing comparisons to an ice rink.

The surface was water-blasted ahead of this weekend and has seen an increased level of grip result in lap times eight seconds faster than last year's best.

Ferrari driver Leclerc, however, was left puzzled by what he experienced.

"There is much more grip but the feeling is still relatively similar which is a bit strange," said Leclerc.

"[I'm] Still sliding around quite a bit to do the lap time but there is more grip and the lap time is much quicker."

The Monégasque finished second to Lewis Hamilton in FP2 by just 0.166secs and even outpaced the Mercedes driver on medium tyres to begin the session.

"The feeling has been good all day but again, we shouldn't get carried away because I feel like the top teams have more to show," he added.

"On high fuel, it has been looking good. Everything looks positive but it is only a Friday so for now, I want to keep my head down, keep working as hard as we can to try and fine-tune the car to have a perfect quali tomorrow."

Ferrari "still have work to do" ahead of qualifying

Whilst much of the field struggled with understeer throughout the day's running, Leclerc eluded to a slippery rear-end on his SF21.

"I feel quite happy with that," he insisted. "Whenever the rear is moving like that I am quite at ease with it.

"I like to play with the rear of the car to rotate the car, it seems to work pretty good for now, we are pretty competitive. I wouldn't change much on that side but on the race run, we still have work to do."

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