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28 | 07 | 2019 GP Deutschland / GP Germany

In Sunday’s German Grand Prix, Scuderia Ferrari partially made up for the disappointment of a difficult qualifying on Saturday, as Sebastian Vettel managed to go from 20th and last place on the grid to second at the flag. He finished just over 7 seconds down on the winner, Max Verstappen. However, Charles Leclerc’s day was bitterly disappointing as he ended up beached in the gravel having hit the barrier at Turn 16 on lap 28, while lying second.

Good start. From tenth, Charles got off the line well as did Sebastian. At the end of the opening lap, the Monegasque was already sixth, having passed Grosjean, Gasly, Sainz and Perez. Sebastian was also moving up, going from 20th to 14th, eventually moving up to 12th as he disposed of Ricciardo. It was soon time to pit to go from full wets to intermediate tyres, making the most of the Safety Car that came out after Perez crashed. At the restart, Charles got past Hulkenberg and then Magnussen, to take fourth place, while Sebastian went from tenth to seventh.

Turn 16. The race stabilised for a while until it was time to switch from wet to dry tyres. On lap 23, Vettel came in for Softs, as did Leclerc four laps later. Then the rain returned unexpectedly to the Hockenheimring, more heavily than before and at the last corner on the following lap, Charles lost control of his car and ended up in the barriers. Before that, thanks to a perfect strategy from the team, he had moved up to second. His race was over, his SF90 stuck fast in the gravel trap. The team immediately called Seb in to again fit intermediates and he rejoined in eighth place.

Lap 41. On lap 41, the Safety Car came out again, when Hulkenberg went into the barriers at turn 16. Sebastian dashed for the pits to fit new intermediates in order to be able to lap faster than those around him. On lap 47, he made his final stop for Soft tyres as a dry line had by now appeared on the track. At this point he was ninth.

A thrilling fightback. On slicks, Sebastian was able to make the most of the SF90, and started carving his way through the field. The German passed Gasly, then Magnussen and dealing with Albon on lap 56 when the race was neutralised one last time after Bottas crashed. The final restart came on lap 60 as Sebastian dealt with Sainz and set off in pursuit of Stroll. He passed the Canadian for third with three laps to go and on the penultimate lap he even managed to get by Kvyat’s Toro Rosso to take the chequered flag in second place. It was an amazing comeback, with Seb giving it his all, helped by the team’s strategy and the the SF90 which has certainly made significant progress over the past few races.

Tenth podium. This is Scuderia Ferrari’s tenth podium finish of the season, the fifth for Vettel, who was also runner-up in Monaco and Canada and third in China and Azerbaijan. The next round takes place in Hungary next weekend.

Sebastian Vettel #5
“That was quite a race. I enjoyed it even though it was a tricky race, something of a lottery. It was a very long one and I don’t even remember all of it. It was very tough at times, especially on the intermediates in the slippery conditions. I made up a lot of ground immediately after the start and in the first couple of laps, even though it was difficult to see. After that, it was quite hard to get into a rhythm as I did not feel so comfortable on the intermediates and their degradation was quite high. It was hard to tell if the lack of grip was because of the track being greasy or because the tyres were going off.
To be honest in these kind of races you can’t count on anything until the last couple of laps. I think I was about P8 when the last safety car came out. There are so many decisions to make, but overall we stayed on track and in the race. In mixed conditions when it was starting to dry on the slicks I felt comfortable and that’s when we made up the most ground.”

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Foto © www.motorsportpics.de | Jerry Andre

27 | 07 | 2019 GP Deutschland / GP Germany  Hockenheim – Dire is the only way to describe Scuderia Ferrari’s performance in qualifying for the German Grand Prix at the Hockenheimring. Two unrelated problems sidelined Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc, so that they were unable to capitalise on the potential they had shown in free practice.

Sebastian’s qualifying was over practically before it started. On his lap out of the pits, the German felt a drop in power on his car, which was traced to an airflow problem for the turbo. He managed to bring the SF90 back to the pits but it proved impossible to fix the fault in time. Sebastian therefore starts from the back of the grid.

Sebastian Vettel #5
“I was looking forward to having fun this afternoon, as the car has been really competitive all weekend. So what happened is definitely a great shame. I had a good feeling from the car yesterday and it was even better this morning. We had a chance to start from first place, but now we start from last. Of course it is bitterly disappointing, especially that this should happen here at my home race, in front of such a large crowd of fans.
It could not have happened at a worse time. As for the problem itself, I had no warning that anything was wrong and as I exited the pits, I just lost power. But I am still looking forward to the race and I will try my best to make up as many places as possible, in the hope of at least bringing home some points.”

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Foto © www.motorsportpics.de | Jerry Andre

26 | 07 | 2019 GP Deutschland / GP Germany  Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc got through all their planned programme for the two Friday free practice sessions in preparation for the German Grand Prix. They also topped the time sheets on a day when Hockenheim was a veritable furnace with the air temperature reaching 38 degrees, while the track temp hit 52.

FP1. In the first session, Sebastian and Charles ran the Soft tyres, working on finding the best car balance for qualifying and the race. They also assessed various aero configurations, while simulating different phases of the race. Overall, the two drivers did 46 laps, 21 for Vettel, with a best of 1’14”013, while Leclerc did 25, stopping the clocks in 1’14”268.

FP2. In the second 90 minutes, when air and track temperatures shot up, Charles and Sebastian began with a qualifying simulation to set their best times of the day in 1’13”449 and 1’13”573 respectively. The team then began working in race trim, with Leclerc running the Medium tyres and Sebastian the Hards.

Programme. The third free practice session in preparation for qualifying begins at noon, while the grid-decider begins at 15.00 CET, when the forecast is for quite a high risk of a thunderstorm. There is less chance of rain on Sunday (the race will start at 15.10), but the temperatures are due to drop.

Sebastian Vettel #5
“I am happy with how today went. It took me a short while before finding the rhythm. We lost a bit of time in the first session when running the Mediums because of a red flag.
I don’t know what programme our rivals were on, and how much they had to turn down the engine mapping because of the heat. It would be nice to have this weather on Sunday.
Overall, it was a positive day, mainly because we have understood how to manage the car in these conditions. We got through all our programme aimed at having the car in the best possible set up and we have to continue down this route tomorrow, when track conditions and the weather could be very different.”

  Bildergalerie

Foto © www.motorsportpics.de | Jerry Andre

25 | 07 | 2019 GP Deutschland / GP Germany  Hockenheim is currently a cauldron with temperatures hovering around the 40 degree mark, as Scuderia Ferrari embarked on the first day of work at the German Grand Prix. Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc braved the heat and humidity to tackle the usual walk around the track, before starting on the engineering meetings in preparation for tomorrow’s two free practice sessions starting at 11 and 15 CET. Joining Charles on the track walk was his younger brother Arthur, who is racing here in the 3 races that make up this round of the ADAC F4 championship.

With the media. Sebastian was one of the panellists in this afternoon’s FIA press conference and he was asked a lot of questions, the first relating to his expectations for the coming weekend. “I want to win on Sunday, that’s the goal for me, for the team and for everyone who is coming here to see us. Even if we can’t claim to be favourites, I am planning to give it my best shot. Race by race we are learning how to get a better understanding of the car and I think that, here in Germany, we should be able to do well,” affirmed Vettel. “So far this season, there have been times when we managed to be very competitive and others when we were less so. However, what is clear to us is that we have made constant progress and I’m sure that over the course of the rest of the year, that will translate into real results.” Sebastian was also asked about the pressure that goes with racing at home and also with driving for Scuderia Ferrari. “Racing with this team never weighs on you. Rather, it’s an honour and a privilege and I’m not scared of the pressure. I’m the one who puts pressure on myself, because I always try and do everything as well as possible. We are giving it our all, we need to take the last step, the most important one and we will not stop until we have made that final leap” he added.

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Foto © www.motorsportpics.de | Jerry Andre

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