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12 | 07 | 2019 GP Großbritannien / GP Great BritainScuderia Ferrari made the most of Friday’s free practice to acquire data and prepare for the rest of the weekend. Apart from fine tuning the car settings and evaluating tyre behaviour, as per every race, this particular Friday there was also the small matter of understanding the impact of the completely new surface laid along the entire track, to get a picture of grip levels and possible tyre degradation.

FP1. The first session saw the drivers mainly run the Soft tyres, having to deal with one red flag period after Kimi Raikkonen went off track and a second period of inactivity when light rain meant all drivers headed back to the garages, to avoid any unnecessary risks. Charles and Sebastian did some aero testing also, covering 21 laps each, setting very similar best lap times: 1’28”253 for the Monegasque and 1’28”304 for the German.

FP2. In the afternoon, the times dropped steadily as the new surface rubbered in. The Scuderia Ferrari drivers did 30 laps each, working towards tomorrow’s qualifying and Sunday’s race. This time they ran the Soft and Medium compounds, setting similar times while simulating various stages of the race, by running different fuel loads. The entire planned programme was completed. As for their times, Charles stopped the clocks in 1’26”929, while Sebastian did a 1’27”180.

Tomorrow. The cars are back on track tomorrow at 11am (12 CET) for the final hour of free practice prior to qualifying, with the battle for pole position starting at 2pm (15 CET), and Sunday’s race getting underway at 14.10pm (15.10 CET).

Sebastian Vettel #5
“It’s good to be driving at this circuit again and the new surface seems a lot smoother than the old one, with a lot higher grip, which makes it good fun. I would say the lap times don’t mean much today, as usual on a Friday, but it’s clear that our main rivals seem very strong and are the ones to beat.
It looks quite close between us and Red Bull, but as we were trying some new things on our car, it’s a bit hard to judge. We must wait for tomorrow to get a clearer picture of where we are.”

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11 | 07 | 2019 GP Großbritannien / GP Great Britain  Fluctuating temperatures and weather ranging from clouds to sunshine greeted Scuderia Ferrari and its drivers to the United Kingdom for this weekend’s British Grand Prix, the tenth round of the 2019 Formula 1 season.

Meeting the media. Before the track action starts tomorrow, Sebastian and Charles attended the usual planning meetings with the engineers before facing the media in the team’s press motorhome. The first to face the questions and TV cameras was Sebastian, who said he wasn’t going to make any predictions before the cars had even turned a wheel. “This season we have seen results fluctuate from one weekend to another, so I’m waiting to see the data from free practice to get an idea of our potential here at Silverstone,” said the German. “Development is continuing race after race,” added the four times world champion. “Obviously, we continue to push to get closer to our rivals. That’s something we have managed to do over the past three races, so let’s see how it goes here. There’s a new surface, which will be a new challenge for everyone.” Sebastian also said he was happy that Silverstone would host the British Grand Prix for a further five years. “This is a historic track, that has always produced a great show and that all the drivers love, which is why we can only be happy to hear about the renewed deal.”

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Foto © www.motorsportpics.de | Jerry Andre

30 | 06 | 2019 GP Österreich / GP Austria Spielberg – Scuderia Ferrari leaves Austria with a second and fourth place courtesy of Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel, which came at the end of a great race that was closely fought right from the start to the end of the 71 laps.

Start. Charles got a perfect getaway to keep the lead, ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton. Sebastian also shot off the line and by the end of the opening lap he’d already made up three places to cross the line sixth behind Raikkonen and Norris. Sebastian pursued the English McLaren driver and got past on lap 4, then two laps later he also dealt with the Finn in the Alfa Romeo.

Pit stop. On lap 21, Sebastian was the first Scuderia Ferrari driver to pit, replacing the Softs on which he started with Hards. The German’s stop took longer than usual, because of a radio problem, which meant the mechanics were not quite ready in time. This cost Sebastian around three seconds, as he rejoined behind Gasly in eighth place. Charles came in on the next lap, rejoining right behind Hamilton and Verstappen yet to stop.

Mid-race. At the halfway point, when all the leaders had pitted for the first time, Charles had a five second lead over Bottas, with Vettel closing fast on Verstappen and Hamilton. On the hard tyres, the Dutch Red Bull driver was lapping faster than Sebastian and caught the number 5 SF90 on lap 49, getting ahead one lap later. The team reacted immediately, switching Vettel to a more aggressive two stop strategy. Sebastian set off on Soft tyres, seven seconds behind Hamilton.

Close finish. On lap 56, Verstappen caught Bottas, passed him and set off in pursuit of Charles, with fresher Hard tyres. The Dutchman caught Leclerc with six laps to go. On lap 68, he passed Charles at Turn 3, but the Ferrari man made the most of the SF90s good traction to retake the lead on the next straight. One lap later, Verstappen attacked again at the same place, but collided with Charles, which forced him to run wide. At the same time, Sebastian caught Hamilton and passed him a lap later. Verstappen took the flag 2.7 seconds ahead of the Ferrari man. Third was Bottas, just seven tenths ahead of Sebastian. The next round takes place at Silverstone in a fortnight’s time.

Investigation. The incident between Charles and Max was reviewed by the Stewards. Almost three hours after the end of the Grand Prix, the decision was announced that it had been a racing incident and that no further action would be taken and so the classification remained the same.

Sebastian Vettel #5
“I’m always positive and today the team gave me a great car to drive and I think this was a better weekend for us, maybe like in Canada a few weeks back. I’m disappointed about how things went for me yesterday but today’s race was fun for me from the cockpit and I enjoyed some good wheel to wheel battles, pushing throughout.
I’m also disappointed for Charles as he did an excellent job and was very strong all weekend.
All in all, I’m happy in one sense but unhappy in another, because we could have had both cars on the podium this weekend, one of them on the top step.
As for the car, we know what’s needed: we need more downforce. We are strong at tracks like this and the one in Canada and we know what we have to do to improve the car, but it’s not easy and it can’t be done in just one day. I’d like to thank all the team in Maranello because all of them are very passionate about this and are working like mad to improve the car. This year’s Ferrari is definitely good enough to win races.”

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Photo © www.motorsportpics.de | Jerry Andre

29 | 06 | 2019 GP Österreich / GP Austria Scuderia Ferrari took its 222nd pole position courtesy of Charles Leclerc, who will start at the very front of the field in the 32nd Austrian Formula 1 Grand Prix. It was the third pole of the season, following on from the ones in Bahrain – Charles again – and Sebastian Vettel’s in Canada. This fantastic day for the Monegasque driver came in stark contrast to that of his team-mate. Vettel was unable to take part in Q3, even though he had made the cut. A technical problem on the SF90 means he will now start from ninth on the grid.

Q1. As the session started, both Ferrari SF90s were running Medium tyres. Charles and Sebastian did two very good timed laps. Leclerc began with a 1’04”304 getting down to a 1’04”138, while Vettel’s sequence began with 1’04”623 and ended with 1’04”340 to see both of them go comfortably through to Q2.

Q2. In this part of qualifying, both men ran the Softs with just a single run required to get them into the top ten shoot-out. Charles did a 1’03”459 and Sebastian a 1’03”667.

Sebastian. As the 15 minutes of Q2 came to an end, the team noticed a problem with the engine’s pneumatic air supply line and it was not possible to fix it in time for the final part of qualifying. Sebastian, officially tenth therefore, will actually start from ninth, as Kevin Magnussen has a grid penalty.

Q3. Therefore for the final 12 minutes of the afternoon, Charles was the sole Ferrari representative on track. He first did a 1’03”208, before getting down to 1’03”003, which is a new track record. This is Scuderia Ferrari’s eighth pole in Austria, 16 years on from the previous one, set by Michael Schumacher in 2003. The Grand Prix starts at 15h10 CET tomorrow.

Sebastian Vettel #5
“It’s obviously bitterly disappointing on a day like this, when you have the car to fight for pole and you are not even taking part. There was a problem with the car so we lost a part of Q2 and all of Q3. We fairly quickly made a decision but we had to take the bodywork off and it was not easy to get to the faulty bit. The guys did everything they could but we could not fix it in time.
I knew that if we’d fixed it, most likely I would have had only one run, so I was trying to focus only on that but it didn’t happen. As much as this is a pain, it’s good to see that Charles came through and got pole. I am happy for the team, obviously nor happy for my side.
I think our car is quick this weekend, quicker than the people in front of us so I am looking forward to a good day and a good race tomorrow.”

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Photo © www.motorsportpics.de | Jerry Andre

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