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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.”

  Imagegallery

Photo © www.motorsportpics.de | Jerry Andre

28 | 06 | 2019 GP Österreich / GP Austria Spielberg – Just four days on from the French Grand Prix, the Scuderia Ferrari drivers are back on track, this time in Spielberg for the ninth round of the season. In the Styrian hills, the weather is incredibly hot, something which Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc will have to contend with on track tomorrow, in the first two free practice sessions. The German and Monegasque drivers tackled the usual Thursday tasks at a Grand Prix, taking in a track walk, the first meetings with the engineers and plenty of media work.

Sebastian. In the afternoon, Vettel also met the press in the team’s media motorhome. The German tackled various topics, including the performance level of the SF90. “I think that, in the team, we have the ability, the talent and the ideas to react to the current situation which means we are chasing the others”, said Sebastian. “Clearly, with every race that passes without us managing to get our wheels ahead of the others is not good for us, but I am sure we can recover. We hope it can happen as soon as possible, for ourselves of course, but also for the good of the show. Every Sunday we are giving it our all, trying to develop our car as quickly as possible and to be able to make the most of all the components we have, including the tyres, which this year have rather different characteristics to those from last season.” Sebastian also gave his views on the sport’s rules. “We drivers are also involved in the discussion and that’s a good thing. I think that, in the end, we are very similar to the fans, because we are only interested in racing and having fun, without politics and without any other interests coming into play. Therefore our opinion can be worthwhile.”

Programm. Die ersten beiden freien Trainingseinheiten für den Großen Preis von Österreich finden morgen um 11 und um 15 Uhr statt. Am Samstag ist die letzte Vorbereitungsstunde vor dem Qualifying um 12.00 Uhr, und die Verfolgung der Pole beginnt um 15.00 Uhr nachmittags. Der 60. Grand Prix von Frankreich beginnt am Sonntag um 15.10 Uhr.

  Imagegallery

Photo © www.motorsportpics.de | Jerry Andre

27 | 06 | 2019 GP Österreich / GP Austria Spielberg – Just four days on from the French Grand Prix, the Scuderia Ferrari drivers are back on track, this time in Spielberg for the ninth round of the season. In the Styrian hills, the weather is incredibly hot, something which Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc will have to contend with on track tomorrow, in the first two free practice sessions. The German and Monegasque drivers tackled the usual Thursday tasks at a Grand Prix, taking in a track walk, the first meetings with the engineers and plenty of media work.

Sebastian. In the afternoon, Vettel also met the press in the team’s media motorhome. The German tackled various topics, including the performance level of the SF90. “I think that, in the team, we have the ability, the talent and the ideas to react to the current situation which means we are chasing the others”, said Sebastian. “Clearly, with every race that passes without us managing to get our wheels ahead of the others is not good for us, but I am sure we can recover. We hope it can happen as soon as possible, for ourselves of course, but also for the good of the show. Every Sunday we are giving it our all, trying to develop our car as quickly as possible and to be able to make the most of all the components we have, including the tyres, which this year have rather different characteristics to those from last season.” Sebastian also gave his views on the sport’s rules. “We drivers are also involved in the discussion and that’s a good thing. I think that, in the end, we are very similar to the fans, because we are only interested in racing and having fun, without politics and without any other interests coming into play. Therefore our opinion can be worthwhile.”

Programm. Die ersten beiden freien Trainingseinheiten für den Großen Preis von Österreich finden morgen um 11 und um 15 Uhr statt. Am Samstag ist die letzte Vorbereitungsstunde vor dem Qualifying um 12.00 Uhr, und die Verfolgung der Pole beginnt um 15.00 Uhr nachmittags. Der 60. Grand Prix von Frankreich beginnt am Sonntag um 15.10 Uhr.

  Imagegallery

Photo © www.motorsportpics.de | Jerry Andre

23 | 06 | 2019 GP Frankreich / GP France Le Castellet – Scuderia Ferrari comes away from the French Grand Prix with a third place courtesy of Charles Leclerc, the Monegasque driver finishing right behind Valtteri Bottas and a fifth place from Sebastian Vettel, who thus finished two places higher than he started, following a difficult qualifying on Saturday. The German also set the fastest race lap, which is a new lap record.

Start. When the five red lights went out, Charles went wheel to wheel with Max Verstappen, getting the better of the Dutchman before closing in on Hamilton and Bottas. Sebastian hung on to seventh place, keeping out of trouble which is often a factor in the middle of the pack.

Overtaking. In the opening laps, Leclerc managed to pull away from Verstappen, while a bit further back, Vettel thrilled the French crowd with a handful of spectacular passing moves. He stuck to the McLaren of Lando Norris, getting by on lap 5. At this point he set his sights on the other orange car, that of Carlos Sainz. The German closed up to him on lap 6 and passed him to go fifth on the following lap.

Pitstop. Both men started on the Medium tyres and Charles was the first to stop on lap 21, taking on the Hard tyres, rejoining fourth behind Vettel. The German came in a few laps later, the aim was for him to have fresher rubber at the end of the race so that he could profit from any drop off in performance from the Dutchman rival. Sebastian rejoined fifth on lap 26, just over six seconds behind Verstappen.

Tyre management. At this point, for both drivers the main task became tyre management, as there was a risk of degradation because of the high track temperature. Charles made a very good job of this so that, towards the end, he was able to close right up on Bottas, sitting on his tail for the final lap and tried to get alongside him a couple of times, although a pass was never really on the cards.

Fastest lap. Sebastian also managed his tyres well, but he couldn’t really close the gap to Verstappen. So on lap 51, the team brought him in for a set of Soft tyres and he went off in pursuit of the race fastest lap. The German took the chequered flag in fifth place having achieved that goal with a time of 1’32”740, which was also a new lap record. This was Charles’ third F1 podium following on from those in Bahrain and Canada. The World Championship resumes in only a few days with next Sunday’s Austrian GP at the Spielberg circuit.

Sebastian Vettel #5
“I had a pretty lonely race, apart from a bit of confusion at the start, given that the timing of the lights going out caught us a bit by surprise. It was fun fighting with the McLarens, first Norris then Carlos. The first stint went pretty well and that meant I could close the gap to Charles and Max. Then in the second one, I had a few more balance problems and I didn’t feel totally comfortable with the car.
I think today’s fifth place was the most we could have done, given that Charles, Max and me were all running at pretty much the same pace. At least getting the fastest race lap means I get an extra point.
We still need to understand why Friday was so complicated with some of the parts we brought here not working as we had hoped. Our car is not yet strong enough and it’s down to us to improve. We still don’t have the pace to beat Mercedes, but I know that everyone at Maranello is working with so much positive pressure – and passion.”

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Foto © www.motorsportpics.de | Jerry Andre

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