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06 | 09 | 2019 GP Italien / GP Italia It was a complicated Friday at the Italian Grand Prix for all the teams, as it was a case of keeping an eye on the weather to get as much dry running as possible to prepare for tomorrow’s qualifying, when it is expected to be dry. However, the forecast for the race is less clear and could be changeable. Scuderia Ferrari dodged the rain that fell today, on its way to setting the first and third fastest times of the day with Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel respectively. The times look very close between the teams and qualifying could throw up some surprises.

FP1. The first session began in the wet, with Charles and Sebastian running full wet tyres for their installation laps, before switching to intermediates. There were three red flags when cars went off track which limited the amount of damp track running. Towards the end, it was dry enough for slicks and Charles and Sebastian took to the track to set their best times. The Monegasque did 20 laps, the best being a 1’27”905 whle Sebastian posted a 1’30”507.

FP2. In the second 90 minute session, everyone was on slicks, allowing all drivers to use dry weather tyres and so Charles and Sebastian were able to evaluate all the compounds available, fine tuning the settings and getting to grips with the heavy braking requirements of the Monza track. They worked on preparing for the race and qualifying, which is when they did their best laps. Charles posted a 1’20”978. He was the only driver to get under the 1m 21s barrier, while Sebastian was third quickest with a 1’21”179. The later part of the session was given over to long runs and by the end, Leclerc had completed 37 laps and Sebastian 39.

Saturday. Tomorrow sees the final free practice session get underway at noon CET, followed by qualifying at 15.00. The Italian Grand Prix starts at 15.10 on Sunday.

Sebastian Vettel #5
“The day was ok, but we can still get more out of the car. FP1 was a bit of a scrappy session, with all the teams heading out as soon as the light went green after each red flag. We didn’t have the usual rhythm of a Friday, but the main thing is that we got some decent laps in and we know where our weaknesses are and what to focus on.
For qualifying, we have to see what the conditions will be like, how careful we might need to be on the out lap, and how the tyres will work. Then we will take it from there. It is nice if you get a tow around here, and the priority is to get one perfect lap.
Ahead of the race, you just want to improve the car and make it faster overall, because you need a car that allows you to have a good performance while also saving the tyres. We have some work to do, and I know that I can find more for tomorrow.”

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Foto © www.motorsportpics.de | Jerry Andre

05 | 09 | 2019 GP Italien / GP Italia One day on from the fantastic event in Milan’s Piazza Duomo to celebrate Scuderia Ferrari’s and the Italian GP’s 90th anniversary, our two drivers turned up for work at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza which hosts Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix. Track action begins tomorrow with two free practice sessions, starting at 11 and 15 CET. Following the usual track walk with the engineers, this time joined by Marc Gene and Davide Rigon, one of the simulator drivers, Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc took part in the planning meetings to prepare Friday’s programme. It seems as though changeable weather could be one element to keep in mind, with rain expected at various times during the Monza weekend.

Incredible Milan. This being Scuderia Ferrari’s home race, both its drivers were called to the FIA press conference, where one of the topics was the excellent event in Milan last night. Sebastian had clearly enjoyed it: “It was really great and the Piazza Duomo with its great gothic cathedral which overlooks the square is in itself an amazing place, but yesterday, to see it packed out with a sea of red was unforgettable. In fact, I’m not sure I’d want to go back there, because it could never look as good again!” said the German. Charles echoed his team-mate’s sentiments. “I knew that driving for Ferrari in the Italian Grand Prix would be something special, but what we saw in Milan was fabulous, with so many people… and it was just Wednesday.”

Goals. The Maranello is always expected to deliver a great result in Monza and the drivers did not hold back with the journalists. “I am reasonably optimistic, based on what we saw in Spa-Francorchamps,” said the four times World Champion. “I think this track could suit our car well, but it’s always best to wait until we have been out on track in free practice before saying too much. Plus, the weather could be far from optimal and that could mix things up a bit. What I do know is that I’d like t win here to thank the fans for all the support they always give us. I won here with a Ferrari-powered car, but to make it to the top step of the podium after driving the SF90 would be fantastic.”

Charles. On this topic too, Charles was in agreement with his team-mate. “The fact that I finally got that first Formula 1 win out of way has taken a weight off my shoulders and is a confidence boost,” said Charles. “We have shown that our car can be competitive on low downforce circuits and, if necessary, Seb and I can work as a team, helping one another on track as well as off it, when it comes to comparing different car configurations.”

Programme. After three hours of free practice on Friday, the next part of the Italian GP is the final hour of practice at 12 on Saturday, prior to the grid-deciding qualifying session at 15. The 90thItalian Grand Prix, the 70thto count as a round of the Formula 1 World Championship, gets underway at 15.10 on Sunday.

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Foto © www.motorsportpics.de | Jerry Andre

04 | 09 | 2019 90 Jahre Ferrari, Mailand / 90 Years Ferrari, Milano  Champions and drivers past, present and future on stage in the Piazza Duomo to celebrate 90 Italian GPs, its new contract to 2024 and 90 years since the Maranello team was established

Ferrari past, present and future was on parade in a completely packed out Piazza Duomo, for the “90 Years of Emotion” event, organised by the ACI (Italian Automobile Club) to celebrate the 90th edition of the Italian Grand Prix, with Scuderia Ferrari as the guest of honour, in the year it celebrates its 90th anniversary. The team’s amazing history has made it one of the principal ambassadors of motorsport around the world.

There was plenty going on, with special guests, a static car display and a parade, as well as drivers from the glorious past to the current line-up of Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc, the latter having just won last Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps. Also present were the youngsters from the Ferrari Driver Academy.

Representing the ACI was its president, Angelo Sticchi Damiani, who has worked on promoting motor sport in Italy for many years, while AC Milano and SIAS (Società Incremento Automobilismo e Sport), long-time organisers of the Italian Grand Prix were represented by Geronimo La Russa and Giuseppe Redaelli respectively.

The event in the heart of Milan celebrated the 89 editions of the Italian GP held to date. The race has been held since well before the Formula 1 World Championship was established and the news that the Italian Grand Prix will continue at Monza until at least 2024 was met with great enthusiasm from the crowd.

Scuderia Ferrari was out in force, painting Milan red. Up on stage management from the past, including Luca di Montezemolo and Cesare Fiorio, Jean Todt, Stefano Domenicali and Maurizio Arrivabene, as well as Vice President, Piero Ferrari, the CEO, Louis Camilleri along with the current management and also a gang of former mechanics from the old days, some of them actually taken on by Enzo Ferrari himself.

A whole host of drivers from the past and present also took part. Among the many, Mario Andretti who famously took pole at Monza with Ferrari in 1982, along with Alain Prost, Jean Alesi, Gerhard Berger, Rene Arnoux, Eddie Irvine, Luca Badoer, Ivan Capelli, Giancarlo Fisichella, Kimi Raikkonen, Antonio Giovinazzi and Felipe Massa. On top of that, youngsters from the Ferrari Driver Academy (FDA) were on hand, representing the future in the shape of Giuliano Alesi, Callum Ilott, Mick Schumacher, Marcus Armstrong, Robert Shwartzman, Enzo Fittipaldi and then the aforementioned current F1 line-up of Vettel and Leclerc.

On stage at the Piazza Duomo were some iconic cars from the Maranello marque, including the 1967 312 F1 as raced by Chris Amon, Clay Regazzoni’s 312 B3/74, Gilles Villeneuve’s 126 CK, the first turbocharged Ferrari to win a Grand Prix in Monaco in 1981, the Indycar prototype from 1986, the F2002, and of course, the SF90 just had to be there, fresh from its win in Belgium.

A great hit with the crowd in the Piazza Duomo was a parade of unforgettable cars. Among the jewels, the Alfa Romeo 8C driven in 1934 by Tazio Nuvolari, with Leclerc as a passenger, the 750 Monza with Vettel on board and the 312 T in which Niki Lauda won the 1975 world championship. Apart from the racing cars, four beautiful road-going Ferraris were also there: the Monza SP1 and SP2 as well as an F8 Tributo and 488 Pista Spider.

After the event, Vettel, Leclerc and Team Principal Mattia Binotto went to the Ferrari Store for one more meeting with the fans. As from tomorrow, they will be at Monza for the Italian Grand Prix in which Scuderia Ferrari wants to shine.

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Foto © www.motorsportpics.de | Jerry Andre

01 | 09 | 2019 GP Belgien / GP BelgiumScuderia Ferrari has taken its first official win of the season, thanks to a great performance from Charles Leclerc at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit. The Monegasque managed the 44 lap race to perfection, on his way to his maiden F1 win, the first also for a driver from Monaco. This fantastic result came at the end of what was a very difficult weekend for the world of motor sport, following the tragic death in Saturday’s Formula 2 race of young French driver Anthoine Hubert.

The race. Charles got away well from pole position to keep the lead. Behind him, Sebastian Vettel was overtaken at the first corner by Lewis Hamilton but retook the place getting by again at the end of the Kemmel straight. Shortly after, the Safety Car appeared after Max Verstappen went off and then Carlos Sainz did the same. At the restart, Charles managed to pull away from the group, running at a consistent pace. Sebastian pitted on lap 15 to switch from Soft to Medium, while his team-mate stayed out for a further 5 laps.

Sebastian. On new tyres, Vettel put in a run of very quick laps which saw him take the lead when Leclerc and the two Mercedes pitted. However, the German’s tyres were degrading quickly and his pace dropped off and on lap 27 he let his team-mate through into the lead. Then Hamilton closed in and he and Sebastian had a good duel for three laps. Once he had lost the place, the team changed his strategy, bringing him in for another set of Softs to run for the final ten laps of the race. Sebastian finished fourth, behind Charles and the Mercedes duo and, making the most of his new tyres, brought home the extra point that goes with setting the fastest lap.

Sebastian Vettel #5
“It was not by any means an easy race for me. At the start I managed to retake my position from Lewis but then I began to struggle with the tyres and I had to stop earlier than planned. With the medium tyres at first I managed to maintain a good pace, but then it dropped again.
I tried to keep second place but I couldn’t do it and at that point, the best thing to do was to pit once more for tyres and carry on without struggling so much.
We have to understand why my car had such high tyre degradation and we will do a full analysis of the situation to understand the reasons why I did not feel comfortable. It was definitely not a great weekend for me, but it was a great weekend for the team and that’s the main thing. So congratulations to all the guys in the team and well done to Charles for his first win!”

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Foto © www.motorsportpics.de | Jerry Andre

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