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23 | 05 | 2019 GP MonacoScuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow racked up 145 laps of the Monaco track over the three hours of free practice for the Monaco Grand Prix. Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel stuck to the softest compound tyre all day.

In memory of Lauda. The Maranello team paid tribute to Niki Lauda with a sticker on the car celebrating the life of the Austrian champion and former Ferrari driver, who passed away last Monday. Sebastian also paid tribute, wearing a helmet featuring a design similar to the red helmet Lauda used for almost his entire career.

FP1. In the morning, both drivers worked on car set-up, while completing plenty of laps to get to grips with the specific demands of this circuit, where brushing the barriers but not hitting them, is vital to get a quick laptime. Charles did 25 laps, the best in 1’12”467 and Sebastian did eleven more, stopping the clocks in 1’12”823.

FP2. In the afternoon, both men did 42 laps each, running various fuel levels to simulate different parts of the race. The German’s fastest time was a 1’11”881, the third best of the day, while his Monegasque team-mate unfortunately ran into traffic on his quick laps and ended up tenth with a lap in 1’12”350.

Qualifying on Saturday. As usual at this event, there is no Formula 1 track action tomorrow. The 20 drivers in the championship will be back on track at noon on Saturday for the third and final free practice, followed by qualifying at 3pm. The race is on Sunday at 3.10pm.

Sebastian Vettel #5 “I decided to use a helmet dedicated to Niki. Being a tribute to him, as a person and to his career, the design is based on his last Ferrari helmet. I thought that maybe it was nice to take him along for a final couple of laps around Monaco.
Talking about our performance we are struggling a bit, we are lacking some pace compared to our main rivals. We are still not happy with how the tyres work. I think we have a bit of work ahead of us.
In terms of balance we can still improve on everything. We will work in order to have a car that is more predictable. I am sure on Saturday the situation should improve and maybe it will be also warmer, which could help us.”

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Foto © www.motorsportpics.de | Jerry Andre

22 | 05 | 2019 GP MonacoThe loss of Niki Lauda and expectations for the weekend on track were the central themes when Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel met the media on the Wednesday of the Monaco Grand Prix. For this event, practice starts on Thursday rather than the usual Friday.

Home-grown talent. The centre of attention is clearly Charles, who was in today’s official FIA Press Conference. The Monegasque driver spoke of Lauda, recalling his “availability and how humble he was, given how successful he had been as a Formula 1 driver. He was one of the greats and everyone will miss him.” Then the questioning switched to this Grand Prix. “This is undoubtedly a special race for me and I am very proud to be racing here in Monaco as a Scuderia Ferrari driver. I will do my utmost to get a great result. Our season did not get off to the start we would have wanted”, admitted Charles. “But day by day our level of understanding of the SF90 increases. This is a very unusual track, but I think that all the kilometres of testing we did in Barcelona can be useful even here. The atmosphere in the team is calm and that is proof that we are going in the right direction. As a team, we just have to work a lot.”

A determined Seb. Later in the afternoon, Vettel spoke to the press in the team hospitality unit. He too spoke first of Lauda: “I was fortunate to know Niki and usually we had a chat, which was a real privilege for me. He was always honest in his opinions and I am sure no one can fill the gap that he leaves in our sport”. As for the Monaco weekend, Sebastian said he was ready for this very special race. “Here, anything can happen, because there are so many variables to take into consideration: traffic, barriers, the weather, they can all affect the result somehow. And I have to say we deserve a good result here. We have worked very hard and we still are, but we have not managed to get the results we should have done. We know we still have work to do to improve to reach the level of competitiveness that we were expecting at the start of the season.”

On track. Track action starts tomorrow morning with the first free practice session at 11 and the second at 3pm. On Friday, as usual there is no F1 track activity. Qualifying is at 3pm on Saturday and the 66th Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix starts at 15.10 on Sunday, although this is actually the 90th anniversary of the first race.

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Foto © www.motorsportpics.de | Jerry Andre

14 | 05 | 2019 Test Barcelona  Montmelò – Two days on from the Spanish Grand Prix and Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow was back on track for the first of two days of testing in Barcelona. Charles Leclerc was on duty working for the team, while Sebastian Vettel was running another SF90 for a Pirelli tyre test.

Morning. Sebastian did 58 laps in the morning, setting a best time of 1’18”425. Charles worked on a comparison and development programme. The Monegasque driver took to the track trying some updates and running comparison tests to continue gathering data and information relating to the car’s handling. Charles did 66 laps, the best in a time of 1’17”322, using the C3 tyres.

Afternoon. Both SF90s were on track again in the afternoon, working until the end of the nine hour session. Sebastian completed a further 75 laps, making a daily total of 133, equivalent to 619 kilometres. Charles did a further 66, for a total of 132. Sebastian’s best time was the one he set in the morning, whiles Charles got down to a 1’16”933 on the C2 compound tyres. Quickest was today was Valtteri Bottas in 1’15”511.

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Foto © www.motorsportpics.de | Jerry Andre

12 | 05 | 2019 GP Spanien / GP Spain Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow leaves the Spanish Grand Prix with a fourth and fifth place finish, which definitely did not live up to expectations. It is an even greater incentive to work flat out during the two days of testing at this same Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona this coming Tuesday and Wednesday.

Start. Sebastian got an excellent start, to the extent that he managed to come round the outside of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas at the first corner. But the German slightly locked his wheels, which saw him run wide, letting Max Verstappen slip past. On lap 11, with Vettel struggling having flat-spotted a tyre after the start, he switched positions with Leclerc. The German then pitted on lap 19, fitting the Medium tyres. Six laps later it was Leclerc’s turn to pit and he went for Hards.

Lap 35. On the harder tyres, Charles did not have the grip he would have liked and Sebastian soon caught up to him. Once again therefore, the positions were inverted, on lap 35. Five more laps and Vettel made his second stop, taking on another set of Mediums. He came out of pit lane behind Pierre Gasly, but he got by immediately, while Verstappen was also making a second stop, leaving Leclerc in third.

Safety Car. On lap 45, a collision between Lando Norris and Lance Stroll brought out the Safety Car, which meant the team had to change Charles’ strategy, as he would not have been able to fend off Verstappen on the hard tyres, so he was brought in for a set of Mediums, rejoining fifth. In the closing stages, Sebastian was unable to attack the Dutchman and finished fourth ahead of his team-mate.

Test. Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow and the other nine teams are staying on in Barcelona for two days of testing with both the SF90s. On Tuesday, Charles will be at the wheel for the team, while Sebastian will be working for Pirelli. On Wednesday, Charles will take over for the tyre supplier, while Antonio Fuoco will drive for the team test.

Sebastian Vettel #5
“Today we more or less maximized our result. It was obviously a disappointing race for us as we were hoping to be a lot faster. After the start, I had a go at the cars in front, but flatspotted a tyre and compromised my own race. You don’t win the race at the first corner, I know, but I thought at least we can mix things up with Mercedes and have a bit more of a fight with everybody. Charles and I tried not to interfere with each other and work together as much as we could. It’s still very early in the season and we are taking it race by race, but I think we can only come back from where we are now as the whole team is working flat out.”

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Foto © www.motorsportpics.de | Jerry Andre

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