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Sainz: "Confident for qualifying, a little less so for the race"

"The innovations tried are working, however, the great heat has made everything more difficult." Hamilton: "We are working hard to progress and now we have everything to say our piece." Norris: "The temperatures didn't help, but with just a few adjustments we can do it."

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While the F1 paddock in Barcelona found itself rocked by a new scandal, this time concerning alleged sabotage on Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes by the German team itself, in response,he pulled out a 1'13"264 good enough to lead Free Practice 2 by taking a marked step up from the seventh place he got in the first round.

"We struggled a bit at the beginning,but we learned a lot and in the afternoon the car was definitely better. Because of the high temperatures it was not easy to manage the tires, especially in the long runs. We are working hard and now the direction is clearer, this is leading us to progress and I think we can be closer to our main rivals in qualifying," the Stevenage champion's analysis.

Just 22 thousandths behind the Briton, Carlos Sainz gave Ferrari a smile. "It was a challenging day because the track was very slippery, it was hot and it was very difficult to put the lap together. Basically, like in 2023 here we are stronger on the dry lap than on the distance. We will see what can be done for Sunday. The updated package? It seems to be working. Even a small change can make a difference," highlighted the Spaniard

Good news also came from the McLaren house with Lando Norris sticking to his two rivals. " Given the heat that made it complicated to find the right balance, I felt comfortable in the cockpit. We still have some things to review, but not many. I am confident that we will be able to put ourselves in a good position. I expect a close battle," the Bristol driver finally confided.

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