All Messages 2019

21 | 06 | 2019 GP Frankreich / GP France It was a very busy free practice Friday for Scuderia Ferrari in preparation for the French Grand Prix. Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel worked on evaluating various updates brought to the Le Castellet circuit, as well as getting on with the usual qualifying and race preparation.

FP1. In the first session, the two SF90s took to the track for a few laps before pitting to have fitted some new components introduced for the French race. Charles and Sebastian then returned on track running just the Soft tyres, doing 21 and 22 laps respectively. The man from Monaco had a best lap of 1.33.111, which put him third, while the German was fifth in 1’33”790.

FP2. At the start of the afternoon session, Sebastian went out first on Medium then on Soft tyres while Charles ran the Medium compound. Both men then did some low fuel runs during which they set their fastest lap times. The number 16 SF90 stopped the clocks in 1.31.586, while in car number 5, Sebastian did a 1.31.665. In the second half of the session they also did some high fuel load runs to simulate some sections of the race, while assessing the behaviour of the car and tyres when track temperatures were in excess of 50 degrees.

Programme. The final free practice session starts at noon tomorrow, while qualifying gets underway at 3 pm. The 60th French Grand Prix begins on Sunday at 15.10.

Sebastian Vettel #5
“I would say we have a lot of work ahead of us since not all the new parts we have here performed exactly as expected. I think we have a lot of data to analyze overnight, to possibly have a bit better performance tomorrow. On the Canada matter I would say we felt that we didn’t share the opinion of the stewards during the race in Canada and we thought that we could bring something new. It is disappointing that the matter is not going any further but that is what we have now and so we have to move on.”

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Photo © www.motorsportpics.de | Jerry Andre

20 | 06 | 2019 GP Frankreich / GP France The 60th French Grand Prix to count towards the Formula 1 World Championship takes place this weekend at the Paul Ricard circuit near the commune of Le Castellet in the south of France. It is the eighth round of this season and the 16th time the circuit has hosted the race. The French Grand Prix dates back to the earliest days of motorsport and the very first Grand Prix motor race was the 1906 French Grand Prix. The name of the race, “Grand Prix” translating as “Big Prize” proved to be true as the winner was presented with 45,000 Francs, equal to approximately 13 kilos of gold. This race has been held at seven different venues and Scuderia Ferrari has won it 17 times.

Reims and Rouen. In 1950, the first year of the world championship, the French round was held at Reims, but the Scuderia’s first win came when the race had moved to Rouen in 1952. Alberto Ascari did the honours at the wheel of a 500. The following year, the Maranello marque duly won at Reims, with Englishman Mike Hawthorn taking his first win. There were four more victories at Reims, Peter Collins (1956), Hawthorn again (1958), Tony Brooks (1960) and Giancarlo Baghetti who amazingly took an incredible win in the 156F1 on his debut in the category in 1961. The very last win for Ferrari at this track came in 1968, courtesy of Jacky Ickx.

Le Castellet. The Paul Ricard circuit first hosted the French Grand Prix in 1971, but Scuderia Ferrari had to wait for its first victory in the hills of the Var region until 1975, when Niki Lauda did the honours. Today, the track offers no fewer than 167 different configurations. Its most famous feature is the very long Mistral straight and the extremely high speed and challenging Signes corner: in the old days, journalists would spectate from there to listen out and decide which drivers were taking it flat out.

In 1990. Scuderia Ferrari’s second win at Le Castellet came in 1990, with Alain Prost giving the Maranello team its one hundredth Formula 1 victory. The French Grand Prix had been absent from the calendar since 2008, when it returned at Le Castellet last year.

At Magny-Cours. From 1991, the race moved from the south coast to the very centre of the country, at Magny-Cours. Scuderia Ferrari had a great track record here starting in 1997: Michael Schumacher took six wins in ten years (1997, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2006). The team also won the following two years, in 2007 with Kimi Raikkonen and in 2008 with Felipe Massa.

Timetable. The cars will take to the Paul Ricard circuit for the first time on Friday at 11 o’clock for the first free practice session, with the second one scheduled for 3pm. The final hour of preparation comes on Saturday at noon, while qualifying gets underway at 3pm. The French Grand Prix starts at 3.10om on Sunday 23 June.

Sebastian Vettel #5
“Last year’s French Grand Prix was our first at the Circuit Paul Ricard for many years, so returning this year we have more data to work with. The circuit has long straights and low-speed corners, although there is a wider range of corner speeds there. Most of the corners have been resurfaced since last year.
We have a one step harder tyre selection than in Montreal and it is likely to be another one-stop race. The weather can be unpredictable here and is often very hot and windy.Last year our race was compromised by the first lap incident but I think our car can have the pace to do quite well there.”

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Photo © www.motorsportpics.de | Jerry Andre

09 | 06 | 2019 GP Kanada / GP Canada  Scuderia Ferrari finished second and third in the 50th Canadian Formula 1 Grand Prix, after Sebastian Vettel was given a five second penalty which dropped him behind Lewis Hamilton, even though the German was first across the finish line. Sebastian produced a masterly performance following on from yesterday’s pole. He led from start to finish, keeping the reigning world champion behind him. Charles Leclerc took the second podium of his career, following on from his third place finish in Bahrain.

Start. Sebastian maintained his pole advantage at the start over Hamilton, while Charles got alongside the Englishman in Turn 1, but he had to give best to avoid a probable collision. From lap 2 onwards, it was a close fight between the German Ferrari driver and the Englishman’s Mercedes and it went all the way to the chequered flag.

Pit stop. Sebastian pitted on lap 26, switching from the medium to the hard tyres, rejoining third. Two laps later, Hamilton came in, rejoining behind Charles and Sebastian who was back in the lead at this point. The team tried to lengthen the stint at this point to try and make the most of any Safety Car situation that might arise, as it often does in Montreal, which would have allowed him to close up the ten second gap, meaning he could again fight for the win. On lap 33, Charles stopped to go from mediums to hards, coming out behind Max Verstappen, who had started on the hard tyres on a different strategy. Leclerc took a lap to warm up his new tyres and then on lap 35, he retook third place.

Key moment. The key incident of the race came on lap 48, when Sebastian lost the rear of his SF90 at Turn 3, rejoining at turn 4 having gone off on the grass, but keeping the lead. The stewards however decided that Sebastian had rejoined unsafely forcing Hamilton off track and thus came the 5 second penalty to be added to his total race time. Sebastian crossed the finish line ahead of Hamilton and Leclerc, but the penalty swapped the order of the first two drivers on the podium.

Sebastian Vettel #5
“I think we had a great race and the stewards’ decision is too harsh. In turn 3, I lost control of my car and I had to run long onto the grass, rejoining at turn 4 ahead of Lewis. I couldn’t see where he was, as I was too busy trying to keep my car on track without crashing and I didn’t squeeze him on purpose.
I think given the way things went this weekend and even though our rivals’ race pace was very strong, we deserved the win, and I get the impression that lots of the spectators here today at the circuit agree with me. It’s always nice to race in Canada, I feel a lot of support from the people and it would have been wonderful to have given all our fans the first big result of the season.”

  Bildergalerie

Foto © www.motorsportpics.de | Jerry Andre

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GP Belgium / Spa-Francorchamps
09 | 01 | 2019

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