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30 | 08 | 2019 GP Belgien / GP Belgium  The first Friday following the summer break went off smoothly for Scuderia Ferrari, as the team got through its planned programme over the course of free practice for the Belgian Grand Prix, the thirteenth round of the season. Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel completed 98 laps between them over the three hours of track time and were quickest in both sessions. However, lap times don’t mean much until tomorrow afternoon when it’s time for qualifying.

FP1. Sebastian and Charles did 20 laps each, starting on the Soft tyre. They both worked on set-up before tackling some runs aimed at evaluating performance. The first to set a significant time was Leclerc with a 1’44”788. Shortly after, Sebastian posted a 1’44”574, which turned out to be the best of the session, with his team-mate second.

FP2. In the afternoon, the two Scuderia Ferrari drivers got back to work, running the Medium tyres to complete an evaluation of the compounds brought here by Pirelli, before going back to the Softs for a qualifying simulation. Charles did a 1’44”123, which turned out to be the quickest of the day. Sebastian was next up with a 1’44”753. The Monegasque and the German then began working on race preparation with the usual long runs, on different fuel loads.

Tomorrow. The final hour of free practice gets underway at noon local time, prior to qualifying at 3pm. On Sunday, the Belgian Grand Prix gets underway at 15.10.

Sebastian Vettel #5
“It was a positive day and it’s great to be back in the car, especially at a track like this. The feeling from the cockpit was good, but I think there is still room for improvement. Let’s not forget it’s only Friday and it will only get serious tomorrow afternoon and then Sunday when it matters. On a quick lap, the performance was okay, but the race is not just one lap and so we have to work on improving our race pace, especially in the second sector. In today’s two sessions, we were sliding a bit too much in the middle sector and so for the race it will be important to optimise the tyre behaviour. We still have work to do tomorrow.”

  Bildergalerie

Foto © www.motorsportpics.de | Jerry Andre

29 | 08 | 2019 GP Belgien / GP Belgium Formula 1 is back in business today at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium, which hosts the thirteenth round of the season on Sunday. After a well deserved break for all the teams, Scuderia Ferrari and its drivers Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc have been hard at work in preparation for this race. As usual, they carried out their track walk and met with the engineers to plan the programme for tomorrow’s two free practice sessions which start at 11 and 15 CET.

With the media. In the afternoon, Sebastian and Charles met the journalists at the team’s media motorhome, with the German first to face the microphones. “I’m happy to be back on track, especially as Spa-Francorchamps is one of the most exciting circuits of the season and it’s great to be back here. Who are favourites? I don’t think it can be us, because recently our rivals have clearly improved a lot. As for ourselves, we have nevertheless never stopped working, because sometimes, the slightest change can produce a big improvement. We have not given up, as that’s not our style. We want to win and we will keep trying right to the end.”

  Bildergalerie

Foto © www.motorsportpics.de | Jerry Andre

04 | 08 | 2019 GP Ungarn / GP Hungary Scuderia Ferrari picked up its eleventh podium of the season thanks to a third place finish for Sebastian Vettel in today’s Hungarian Grand Prix, held at the Hungaroring. Charles Leclerc came home fourth right behind his team-mate, the two drivers having run different tyre strategies.

Start. The two SF90s got away cleanly when the lights went out and, on the short uphill straight prior to turn 4, Charles made the most of the battle between Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas to pass the Finn and move up to third. The two cars touched at this point and Sebastian also got past.

Strategy. Charles was third until lap 27, when he pitted, as his Mediums were degrading significantly at that point. He took on Hards with the aim of going all the way to the chequered flag. As for Sebastian, he managed to complete 39 laps on the Mediums and that meant, unlike his team-mate, he was able to take on Soft tyres at his one and only stop.

Overtake. From then on, the German did an excellent job of managing his tyres in the opening lap of this stint and towards the end of the race, so that he closed down a gap of almost 20 seconds to Charles. Sebastian caught up to him with four laps remaining, overtaking him next time round. This is Sebastian’s sixth podium of the year. The championship now takes its usual summer break before the action resumes with the Belgian Grand Prix on 1st September.

Sebastian Vettel #5
“We leave Hungary and for a few weeks we can console ourselves with the fact that we made it to the podium in a race in which we knew we were going to struggle.
Today, we simply could not match the pace of our rivals. In terms of strategy, the idea was to come up with something different to try and do better than fourth. I managed to extend the first stint to 39 laps and that allowed me to fit Softs and have a stronger pace than Charles in the closing stages.
Now we can recharge our batteries and prepare to battle once more in Spa and Monza, tracks where we ought to be more competitive. We know there is still some performance to come from the SF90 and we have to work on that, but I am convinced that there is a margin to get better results.”

  Bildergalerie

Foto © www.motorsportpics.de | Jerry Andre

03 | 08 | 2019 GP Ungarn / GP Hungary The Scuderia Ferrari drivers will start the 34th Hungarian Grand Prix from the second and third rows of the grid, when the race gets underway at 15.10 CET tomorrow. Charles Leclerc was fourth fastest in 1’15”043 and Sebastian was fifth with a lap that was just 28 thousandths of a second slower than his team-mate’s.

Q1. In the first part of qualifying, the Monegasque and the German easily made the cut to Q2 with time of 1’16”337 and 1’16”452 respectively. But on his second run, Charles made a mistake, crashing into the barriers on the outside of the final corner. The driver of the number 16 car managed to get back to the garage where the mechanics rushed to change the rear wing, and made repairs to other parts that had also sustained minor damage.

Q2. Charles was therefore able to carry on as normal in the second part and both he and Sebastian fitted medium tyres. Leclerc’s first run produced a 1’15”807, which he then dropped by 15 thousandths to 1’15”792. Sebastian made it through to the top ten shoot-out with a 1’15”885 set on his first attempt. It means that both drivers start the race on the Medium compound.

Q3. For the final part, both drivers went out on Softs aiming for maximum performance. Leclerc’s first attempt was a 1’15”437, while Vettel beat it with a 1’15”346. Pitting for fresh rubber, they set out again, Charles improving by almost four tenths to 1’15”043, which was 28 thousandths quicker than Sebastian’s 1’15”071.

Sebastian Vettel #5 “Today went pretty much as we expected and reflects what we have seen in the last few races. Our car is very quick down the straights but it’s not the best through the corners and that means we struggle to keep the tyres alive right to the end of the lap when we are trying for a quick time. You can see that from the fact we are quickest in sector 1 and then we suffer over the rest of the lap.
In fact, it will be a very difficult race in terms of tyre management and given the characteristics of our car, it would suit us to see high temperatures tomorrow, because we would then be able to put our competitors under pressure. If that’s not the case, then it will be a one stop race and it’s less likely that we can be in with a chance. Overtaking is difficult here, but not impossible, so let’s wait and see how things go tomorrow.”

  Bildergalerie

Foto © www.motorsportpics.de | Jerry Andre

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27 | 10 | 2019

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