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2019 | 04 | 11 GP China The Chinese Grand Prix weekend began with an intense day away from the track for the Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow drivers. In collaboration with Shell, Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc took part in a series of promotional activities with the media, while the Monegasque driver also pitted himself against a world short track ice-skating champion in an unusual race.

Vettel at the launch. Sebastian was one of the key players in the launch of a new Shell product in Shanghai city centre and met with the media to talk about the importance of the partnership between the fuel and lubricant manufacturer and the Maranello-based team. The German also spoke of the upcoming Chinese Grand Prix, which will be the one-thousandth race in the history of the category and one in which he expects to be one of the key players.

On the track. From tomorrow Sebastian and Charles will focus solely on the race weekend. Both will be at the Shanghai International Circuit for meetings with technicians, journalists and the classic track walk to take a detailed look at the circuit the two will first drive in their respective SF90s in Friday’s free practice, starting from 10 am (4 am CET).

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Foto © www.motorsportpics.de | Jerry Andre

IMG 7755Sebastian Vettel #5 The Chinese GP has been on the calendar for quite a while and it’s held on one of the most technical and difficult tracks of the year. Two of the corners are especially important: the first one and the one leading to the very long straight, over a kilometre in length. They’re both very technical and it’s difficult to find the right line because the track there is also very wide. They are challenging, not only in qualifying when you need to do just one lap, but also in the race. Looking after tyres is one of the key points in Shanghai, it’s the most important job to do on Sunday in order to be fast for the whole race. In the past I’ve had some good races here with Ferrari, coming very close to winning. Maybe this time we’ll get that little bit of luck, so that we can really celebrate the thousandth Formula 1 race.

03 | 04 | 2019 Test Bahrain Sebastian Vettel wrapped up the two days of the third Formula 1 test of the year at the Bahrain International Circuit. The Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow driver was back at the wheel two days on from Sunday’s race and completed a total of 103 laps, 47 in the morning and 56 after lunch. Over the course of the test, the SF90 therefore completed 159 laps, starting with Mick Schumacher’s 56 on Tuesday, equivalent to 860 kilometres.

The weather was a definite improvement on yesterday and that helped Sebastian get through the planned programme with the team working on set-up and car balance. Before the lunch break, the German did several short runs under 10 laps, to assess the handling of the car in different configurations.
In the afternoon, Sebastian did some race simulation work, so as to analyse in depth the behaviour of the tyres. His fastest lap was a 1’29”319, set in the morning, good enough for third position on the time sheet.
Now, Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow sets its sights on China, which hosts the third Grand Prix of the season next week. This race will also be the one thousandth in the history of Formula 1, the first dating back to the race at Silverstone on 13 May 1950. Ferrari has taken part in more of those races than any other team.

Sebastian Vettel #5 Today we made the most of the time available thanks to good and consistent track conditions. We were able to try various set-up configurations and evaluate the behaviour of the tyres. I’d say it was a pretty positive day: in the morning, we concentrated on some short runs, while in the afternoon, we simulated various phases of a race. It was an interesting session, because we managed to gather even more information which could be useful in the upcoming Chinese Grand Prix.

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Foto © www.motorsportpics.de | Jerry Andre

31 | 03 | 2019 GP Bahrain Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow leaves Bahrain with a feeling of regret after the second round of the Formula 1 World Championship, thinking about what might have been. All weekend long, the SF90 clearly demonstrated it had the potential to win, having rediscovered the competitive pace it had lost in Australia. However, in the end, it had to settle for a third place courtesy of Charles Leclerc and a fifth with Sebastian Vettel.

Sebastian got the better of his team-mate at the start to lead at the first corner. Charles found himself in third behind Valtteri Bottas in the Mercedes, but on the second lap, the Monegasque driver got past the Finn and closed on his team-mate. Charles had a better pace and passed Sebastian on lap 5 to take the lead.
On lap 13, Charles came in for his first pit stop, switching from the Soft to the Medium tyres, as did Sebastian on the following lap, the German rejoining behind Hamilton in the Mercedes who had stopped one lap earlier. The German took eight laps to attack and overtake his rival at Turn 4.
On lap 35, Sebastian made his second stop, once again duelling with the Englishman. The German ended up spinning and flatspotted his tyres which resulted in the front wing coming off due to the strong vibrations. He then had to pit again for a new one. Charles also came in again, on lap 36, but kept the lead setting the fastest lap with 1’33″411.
After his unscheduled stop, Sebastian rejoined ninth and charged up the order, passing Kimi Raikkonen then Lando Norris, Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg, to claim fifth place.
With 15 laps remaining, Charles’ car suffered a power unit problem which meant his pace slowed dramatically, The two Mercedes thus managed to pass him, but with two laps to go, the Safety Car came out to deal with two cars stopping on track at the same time, which froze the positions, so that Leclerc was at least able to enjoy the satisfaction of his first ever F1 podium finish. He thus equals Louis Chiron, the only other driver from Monaco to have made it to a Formula 1 podium, which he did in his home race in 1950, the race in which Scuderia Ferrari first took part in the World Championship.
Formula 1 is back in action in two weeks time with the Chinese Grand Prix, which will also be the one thousandth Grand Prix in the sport’s history.

Sebastian Vettel #5 Not the race we wanted. We started first and second and we didn’t finish there. A disappointing evening. I had a good start but already halfway through the first lap I realised that the car was extremely difficult to drive. I think Charles struggled less as he had no difficulties in passing me. It was quite tough out there. Then we lost P2 at the pitstop but came back. In the second stint on the medium tyres maybe it was a bit better but overall we didn’t have the pace we should have had today. While battling with Lewis I made a mistake at turn 4, which is one of the trickiest corners on the track. I suddenly lost the car and I spun. In doing so, I damaged the tyres so much that I had quite a lot of vibrations, which eventually led to the failure of the front wing. It was Charles’ race today, he got very unlucky. I am sorry for him and for the team.

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Foto © www.motorsportpics.de | Jerry Andre

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