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07 | 06 | 2019 GP Kanada / GP Canada It was a useful first day of practice for Scuderia Ferrari at the Canadian Grand Prix, as both drivers generated plenty of data which will be vital for the rest of the weekend. Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel were first and second quickest, even if the lap times do not mean much given that the track is still very dirty and one never knows what programmes the other teams are running.

129 laps. In total, Charles and Sebastian completed 129 laps of the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit. This provided the engineers with plenty of data relating to the car’s handling and balance, while they worked on tyre evaluation in qualifying trim and also during long runs in preparation for the race. The track time was also useful for the drivers to progressively get to grips with the need to get close to the walls and make use of the kerbs on the track.
FP1 and FP2. In the first 90 minutes, Charles and Sebastian stuck with the Medium tyre. The Monegasque was third in 1’13”720, doing 24 laps, while the German did 28 laps, the quickest in 1’13”905. In the afternoon, the two SF90s ran the Pirelli Soft tyre as well, the drivers topping the time sheet, Charles in 1’12”177 and Sebastian 1’12”251, after which all the teams switched to long run work.

Saturday and Sunday. The cars will be back in action tomorrow at 11 (17 CET) for the final hour of free practice. That is followed by qualifying at 14 (20 CET.) The 50th Canadian Grand Prix gets underway on Sunday at 14.10 local time (20.10 CET.)

Sebastian Vettel #5 “It was an interesting session: the track was rather slippery at the start and I know it’s going to improve bit by bit as the weekend progresses. We struggled again with the tyres, especially in terms of performance over a long run. We will have to work on that in the third free practice session, because having a good grid position is vital.
At the moment, I’d say we’re not the quickest, especially over a single lap, where our main rivals seem to have a slight edge. We lack grip in the slowest corners and I’m still not getting the feeling I want from the car. We will try changing some settings to find the right balance, which is eluding us at the moment.”

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Foto © www.motorsportpics.de | Jerry Andre

06 | 06 | 2019 GP Kanada / GP CanadaThe sun shone down on Montreal today, as the Canadian Grand Prix weekend at the Gilles Villenueve circuit got underway. For this the seventh round of the World Championship, Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc tackled the usual Thursday task of meeting the media to talk about the upcoming event, one day ahead of the start of free practice.

Sebastian. Sebastian was the first one to meet the press and said he was feeling confident going into the weekend. “There’s no point in making predictions when we’ve yet to go out on track. It’s better to wait until after the first practice, but the characteristics of the Montreal track should, on paper, be well suited to the SF90. So far, we have not been as competitive as we would have liked, but the team has never stopped working and our aim is still to give our competitors a hard time. We continue to work on improving our tyre management and generally on improving grip. On this topic, I believe the next few races will be important in order to understand how much our car can improve.”

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Foto © www.motorsportpics.de | Jerry Andre

26 | 05 | 2019 GP MonacoSebastian Vettel finished second in the 66th Monaco Grand Prix, less than three seconds behind Lewis Hamilton, after driving a solid race during which he was always a front runner. This was Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow’s fourth podium of the season. Charles Leclerc had an unlucky race, forced to retire after 16 laps, following a collision with Nico Hulkenberg.

Start. At the start, Sebastian got away cleanly, running behind Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen, maintaining fourth place. Charles had a strong start from 15th, immediately making up one place, setting off on his bid to move up the order. On the second lap at the hairpin, the Monegasque driver passed Lando Norris and closed on Romain Grosjean. Five laps later, he got alongside the Frenchman at Rascasse and then passed him. At this point, Nico Hulkenberg was ahead of him. On lap 9, Charles tried a repeat of his Rascasse move but he hit the barrier and collided with the German, picking up a right rear tyre puncture. He had to complete a whole lap with the wheel dragging on the ground, thus damaging his floor. He pitted for fresh tyres and got away again, but shortly afterwards he was called back in for one final attempt on Soft tyres and major set up changes to the front wing to try and balance the car that was lacking downforce following the incident. It was in vain, as the car was too badly damaged and it was deemed too dangerous to continue.

Safety Car. The lap he drove with the puncture left debris on the track and that brought out the Safety Car. The four leaders pitted and Sebastian took on Hard tyres, as did Bottas and Verstappen, these last two colliding in pit lane as they drove out. The Finn picked up a puncture because of this and had to pit again. The Stewards declared that Verstappen had to take a five second penalty added to his final race time, for the unsafe release.

Restart. At the restart, Hamilton led from Verstappen and Sebastian, who was now a virtual second. The German thus played a waiting game, matching the pace of the two drivers in front of him, ready to make the most of any collision or mistake. But the positions remained the same to the flag, so that Sebastian made it to the second step of the podium.

Next race. Now the championship heads to Canada for the seventh round of the season, at the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit, on Sunday 9 June.

Sebastian Vettel #5
“It was a tough race today but, in the end, second is a great result and I am happy for the team that we got a podium finish on such an iconic track as Monaco. We were also able to benefit from mistakes of other people today, but that’s part of this game. When I was following Lewis, who was struggling with his tyres, and Max chasing him very closely, I saw that they touched and for a brief moment I even kidded myself I might win it!
We know we have a lot of work to do so today we are happy, but not entirely happy. On the other side, it’s a pity for Charles. Not the best weekend for him”.

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Photo © www.motorsportpics.de | Jerry Andre

25 | 05 | 2019 GP MonacoQualifying for the 66th Monaco Grand Prix proved to be very difficult for Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow. Sebastian Vettel will start from the second row, having set the fourth fastest time. Charles Leclerc will start from sixteenth on the grid, as he failed to make the cut out of the first part of the session.

Q1. Sebastian went out on track immediately to check his SF90, which had required repairs after hitting the barrier in the third free practice session. He started off with a lap in 1’16”624, before getting down to 1’13”188 and 1’12’601, finally posting a 1’12”335. As for Charles, he did a 1’12”825 on his first run, getting down to 1’12”149, despite encountering traffic. At this point, Sebastian was in danger of being excluded, so he went back out with a new set of tyres to get into Q2 with a time of 1’11”434. Leclerc was kept in the garage to save a set of tyres, which proved to be the wrong decision as track conditions evolved and times steadily improved. This meant that several drivers were able to improve, which left the Monegasque driver unable to make the cut to Q2.

Q2 and Q3. Sebastian started off Q2 with a 1’11”922, getting down to a 1’11”227 on his second quick lap, thus making it comfortably into the final part. In the top ten shoot-out Sebastian immediately posted a 1’10”947 but was unable to improve on his second attempt. The German will therefore start behind Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen.

Race. The 66th Monaco Grand Prix, with this year being the 90th anniversary of the first one, starts tomorrow at 15.10 over a distance of 78 laps.

Sebastian Vettel #5 “It was a difficult day for the whole team. I ended up in the barrier in the third free practice session, but the guys did a great job to fix the car and get me out for qualifying. Unfortunately, we struggled to get the tyres to work properly in Q1 and that meant I had to use an extra set. I managed to get through, but Charles didn’t while he was in 15thplace, which would have been good enough. Unfortunately, these things can happen in Monaco, if you don’t have a margin, you have to take risks and it doesn’t always go the way you want. We were not as competitive as we would have liked to be in qualifying, but the race is a different matter and in Monaco, anything can happen.”

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Foto © www.motorsportpics.de | Jerry Andre

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