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Ferrari drivers fear they won’t be in the fight at Silverstone with McLaren ‘in a different league’

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NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JULY 05: Carlos Sainz of Ferrari and Spain  during practice ahead of the F1

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz were left to praise the pace of their rivals after the first day of practice for the British Grand Prix, with Red Bull and McLaren appearing to be “a long way ahead”.

Leclerc ended Friday’s second session at Silverstone six-tenths off the pace in fifth position, having also been caught on TV cameras sliding his way around the track on several occasions, while Sainz wound up eighth fastest.

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Assessing his FP1 and FP2 when speaking to the media, Leclerc said: “It’s been a tricky day, but we’ve learnt a lot and I hope… I mean now, it’s going to be all about analysing the data of both cars and taking the best decision for tomorrow.

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JULY 05: Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving the (16) Ferrari SF-24 on track

Leclerc had a couple of wild moments as he tested the limits during Friday practice

“Obviously there’s a lot of data to look at, and everybody is flat-out to try and take the best decision for tomorrow. But it’s been a very productive day, not particularly fast unfortunately, but a very productive one.

“Now we are in the process of looking at everything, so I cannot really give you the direction we’ll go into yet, but we’re on it and I’m confident that we will take the best decision for us tomorrow.”

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Pushed if he feels that Ferrari are in the fight, he signed off: “I don’t feel like it’s the case personally. Unfortunately, it felt like Red Bull and McLaren are a long way ahead this weekend, but let’s wait and see. I hope I’m wrong.”

Sainz, who was a tenth slower than Leclerc, offered similar feelings to his team mate as he explained Ferrari’s approach across the pair of 60-minute practice sessions.

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“I think we’re both obviously testing things to try and improve the car,” he said. “Some tests are going to go in the right direction, others are not. But it’s Friday, so let us test whatever we want, and we’ll see how it goes.

“Definitely McLaren seems to be a step ahead, like over the last couple of weekends. McLaren has been a clear one or two steps in front of us, and I feel like it’s the same this weekend.

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“Obviously we’re trying to do everything we can to understand this package and how we can make it quicker, but McLaren is in a different league.”

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