On the eve of his home Grand Prix on the Barcelona-Catalonia track, Science took second place in the starting practice on Friday and then finished fourth in FP2, finishing the day three-tenths of a second from the control time of his teammate Charles Leclerc.
But now Ferrari has revealed that a problem with the fuel system on Saints ’car has forced it to complete a chassis change before Saturday’s launch in Spain.
The switch was announced by FIA technical delegate Joe Bower in his latest update on Saturday morning, confirming that the car inspection declaration form was completed after the chassis was changed.
Ferrari later confirmed that this was “due to a fuel system problem”. There is no penalty or sanction for changing the chassis.
Ferrari debuted a series of upgrades for its F1-75 car on Friday on the Barcelona-Catalonia track, in which Saines believed it “definitely has potential” when the team was looking to return to fight Red Bull in the front.
“We’ve seen some changes in the car’s behavior, which is good if you’re bringing upgrades because you want to see some real change,” Science said.
“Yes, yes, [I’m] happy to see their work and happy to see their performance. At the same time, I think we didn’t make the right moves in FP2 and we made ourselves a little slower.
“Maybe we know which direction not to go and we need to get back to what I had a better feeling in FP1.”
Although Ferrari’s FP2 peaked, Leclerc was worried about the team’s long-term pace, complaining that his tires could. After FP2, he said he hoped Ferrari would be able to “find quite a bit of pace for tomorrow” and that “at the moment we just aren’t strong in the pace of the race”.
Science is not the only driver who underwent a chassis change before his final workout in Spain on Saturday.
McLaren was forced to switch the survival cell on Land Norris ’car as a result of damage the team found on the underside of the car after hitting the curb.
The FIA also confirmed that both Ferrari and McLaren violated the curfew to complete the shift, each using the first of two exceptions this season.