Carlos Sainz said he felt “my rhythm was back” when the conditions turned wet after his last difficult show in Singapore.
The Spaniard may have finished third at the Marina Bay circuit, but he looked well off the pace of teammate Charles Leclerc and race winner Sergio Pérez.
Given Sainz’s history of performing in wet conditions, the performance was puzzling, but for some reason he seemed to struggle, finishing ten seconds behind his teammate.
The first day of free practice at Suzuka offered the Ferrari man a quick chance to get back into the groove when rain forced conditions like this that restricted both sessions to intermediate or wet tyres.
Sainz finished second in FP1 6th place finish in FP2 And he said he felt “coming home” in this situation.
“It’s always interesting to drive in the wet because I feel like I can still learn something and I think you can always learn something from driving, especially after wet Singapore,” he told F1.com. Told.
“I love it [the wet conditions]So after a difficult race in Singapore in these conditions it was important today to really get back on top of the car and see if I can get my rhythm back.
“I managed it. It was fast and I feel at home again.”
Sainz was told Red Bull could make the wet track more difficult and Ferrari could gain an advantage.
“I think Red Bull are fast everywhere. Wet, dry, slow, fast circuits. Straights, slow. They are fast everywhere with the package they have now.
“But we are so fast that it will be a question of who makes the weekend and who has the advantage of the other two-tenths.”
Sainz’s team-mate Leclerc skidded into the barriers in FP2, successfully avoiding the crash. He later joked that FP1 was good but FP2 was “not very fun”.
“FP1 was fun, but FP2 was not fun because we had no tires left,” he said. “But overall it was a pretty good day.
“I think FP2 was very difficult because the tires had just been completed, but there is a lot to learn from today, especially for the race.
“Today is a positive Friday. Conditions are going to change a lot so let’s see tomorrow. FP3 is all about adapting to those conditions as quickly as possible and we’ll see what’s possible.”