All Messages 2019

29 | 09 | 2019 GP Russland / GP Russia Sochi – It was a frustrating Russian Grand Prix for Scuderia Ferrari. Charles Leclerc finished third, but Sebastian Vettel had to retire because of a problem with a hybrid component of the Power Unit. The outcome of the race at the Sochi Autodrom was particularly annoying for the Italian team, because what caused Charles to fall back behind the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas was the Virtual Safety Car period called to deal with Seb’s SF90 parked at the side of the track. During this time, the others were able to pit for tyres, losing around half the time that it cost those, including Charles, who had pitted during normal race conditions.

Early stages. At the start, the team strategy worked perfectly: Charles had a great getaway from pole and Sebastian was in his slipstream, which pulled him past Hamilton. The towing effect was so powerful that the German even went into the lead going into the first real corner at the track. Seb then started to push on at a cracking pace and pulled away from his team-mate, who was leaving the pack behind.

Key moment. Charles was the first of the two Ferraris to pit, coming in on lap 22 and switching from Soft to Medium tyres. Four laps later, Sebastian came in, to run behind his team-mate. However, in the third sector, a problem suddenly occurred on the SF90 linked to the hybrid part of the Power Unit and he had to park the car at the side of the track. The Race Director called a Virtual Safety Car, which gave those who had not yet changed tyres the opportunity to do so, losing only half the time of a normal stop, as the Mercedes went from Medium to Soft. This left Hamilton leading from Charles and Bottas. At this point, the Monegasque driver decided to go for a win or bust move, coming in again to switch to the same Soft tyres as his rivals, even though it meant dropping being the second Mercedes.

Closing stages. Over the last 21 laps, Charles tried to attack Hamilton and Bottas, but the performance levels of the cars were so similar that, even with DRS, Leclerc was unable to try an overtaking move, thus crossing the line third, five seconds off Hamilton and under one and a half behind Bottas.

On to Japan. Charles’ third place is his ninth podium finish of the season, the team’s sixteenth. He picked up 15 points today, which puts him ahead of Max Verstappen in third place in the championship, with a total of 215. Scuderia Ferrari is still second in the Constructors’, behind Mercedes and ahead of Red Bull. The next round, the 17th of the season, takes place on 13 October in Japan.

Sebastian Vettel #5
“Today, we are very disheartened. We wanted to finish first and second, but all we got was a third place. It’s not the result we were hoping for. I got a good start and the first stint was pretty quick which allowed me to open up quite a gap.
After the pit stop, I rejoined in second place but shortly afterwards the team asked me to stop the car because there was a problem with a hybrid component on my Power Unit. I hope the engine will be okay for the coming races.
It has definitely been not our day today.”

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Foto © www.motorsportpics.de | Jerry Andre

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GP Mexico / Mexico city
10 | 27 | 2019

Next Event

  • Fri., 25. October 2019, 16:00 - 17:30
    GP MEXIKO / GP MEXICO, 1. Freies Training
  • Fri., 25. October 2019, 20:00 - 21:30
    GP MEXIKO / GP MEXICO, 2. Freies Training
  • Sat., 26. October 2019, 16:00 - 17:00
    GP MEXIKO / GP MEXICO, 3. Freies Training

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