Shanghai, 14 April 2019 – A third place for Sebastian Vettel and a fifth for Charles Leclerc: that was the outcome of the Chinese Grand Prix, the one thousandth race in the history of Formula 1, for Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow, held today at the Shanghai International Circuit.
Off the grid, Sebastian got away better than poleman Valtteri Bottas and attempted to go down the outside of the Finn at the first corner, but that resulted in Charles going past him on the inside. The cars in front were running at a slightly better pace than the SF90s, which is why, after 10 laps, the team asked the drivers to swap positions to see if Sebastian could match Bottas’ pace. Max Verstappen’s early pit stop then forced the team to bring Sebastian in to cover it, sending him out on the Hard compound, so that he would not end up behind the Dutchman, who did manage to get back on track ahead of Charles.
Sebastian pitted for a second time on lap 35, this time fitting the Medium tyres, as did Hamilton and Bottas, the latter now finding himself behind Charles. Leclerc’s second stop came on lap 43 and he rejoined almost 15 seconds off Verstappen.
In the closing stages, Vettel consolidated his third place behind Hamilton and Bottas, while Charles closed much of the gap to Verstappen, but not enough to try and secure fourth place. Ferrari is second in the Constructors’ championship on 73 points, while Sebastian is fourth in the Drivers’ on 37, with Charles fifth on 36. The next race is the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on 28 April.
Sebastian Vettel #5
“We are happy we got the podium, but overall we can’t be satisfied because we were too slow today. We were hoping to be in a much better place and be a match for Mercedes, but we were not. Also it was a shame we didn’t manage to finish third and fourth, In terms of calls from our pit wall today, the priority always lies within the team and Charles and I are both aware we are driving for the team. We can do our own race but first of all we have to ensure Ferrari is in a position to fight with its rivals. I think we have a good car and we are still not able to unlock its potential completely. We are learning a lot about it and it’s important to do many laps to get a better feeling for it. We are getting an ever clearer picture of what we are lacking at the moment, so I think the next few weeks will be important for us, so that we can get on the right road for the coming months”.
Charles Leclerc #16
“Today’s race wasn’t one of my easiest, since it looks like we didn’t have a good enough pace to fight at the front with our competitors. My start was good, then I think both Seb and myself were struggling with the tyres. We swapped positions and I thought he would have pulled away but he didn’t and this didn’t help my tyres because I had a bit of overheating and I lost some time. On my second set of tyres I hoped I’d be able to go all the way to the end, but unfortunately had to stop again and so lost a place. We will sit down all together in order to understand what could have been done better and I’m sure we will come back stronger at the next race”
Mattia Binotto Team Principal
“Mercedes has been fast throughout the whole weekend, since Friday. They were fast yesterday in qualifying and fast today. We had a completely opposite situation from the one we faced two weeks ago in Bahrain and this shows that we could again have things going the other way around in two weeks time. Things are changing from one weekend to the next and therefore we need to look at the championship thinking that every race may be different. Our decisions on strategy were taken to try to maximize the teams’ result. We will go back to Maranello and look at all the data, try to understand what didn’t work this weekend in order to improve. We need to further develop the car and understand where the limits are, then come back stronger for Baku. It’s again a completely different circuit and we need to approach that race with a positive attitude to do our best.”
Shanghai, 14 April 2019 – Sebastian Vettel finished third and Charles Leclerc was fifth for Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow in the Chinese Grand Prix, the one thousandth race in the history of Formula 1.
The race. The race, held at the Shanghai International Circuit, was won by Lewis Hamilton, with Valtteri Bottas second, while Sebastian finished on the podium for the first time this season. Charles and Sebastian swapped places on lap 10 and the Monegasque driver was then caught out by Red Bull’s strategy, that allowed Max Verstappen to take fourth place. In the closing stages, the Monegasque driver managed to significantly close the gap to his rival, but not close enough to mount an attack. The next round takes place in a fortnight’s time in Azerbaijan.
Shanghai, 13 April 2019 – Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc will start the one thousandth Formula 1 World Championship race from the second row of the grid. Tomorrow’s Chinese Grand Prix starts at 14.10 local time (8.10 CET).
Q1. The pair of Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow SF90s took to the track on Soft tyres. Sebastian did a 1’33”557, while Charles was slowed by no fewer than four cars in the final sector and could do no better than 1’34”069. That meant the Monegasque driver had to fit another set of new tyres to comfortably make the cut with a 1’32”712.
Q2. In the second part, both Ferrari cars ran Medium tyres, so as to start the race on them. Sebastian did a 1’32”232 and Charles stopped the clocks on 1’32”324.
Q3. In the top ten shoot out, both drivers had two sets of new Softs. Sebastian’s first run delivered a 1’32”001 and Charles did a 1’32”102. On the second set, both drivers improved, the German went down to 1’31”848, good enough for third, while the Monegasque went down to 1’31”865, which netted him fourth place on the grid. Pole position went to Valtteri Bottas in 1’31”574 ahead of Lewis Hamilton in 1’31”570.
Sebastian Vettel #5
“We could have done a bit better today but probably not enough to really beat our rivals for pole. It could have been worse, but I am not entirely happy. We started off well, but then our competitors had more pace over the single lap in terms of pure performance. We should have a good car tomorrow though and hopefully we can show it throughout the whole 56 laps. It’s a long race and I expect it to be a very tight one too. Making the right strategy choices will be important; we must make the right call at the right time and see where that takes us. I am not sure everyone understands how many variables have to be taken into account. The top drivers are all starting on Medium tyres and we will see if that turns out to be the right choice. I believe anything can happen.”
Charles Leclerc #16
“I am annoyed with myself today. I made a mistake on the last lap and I really shouldn’t have done that. Overall, I think there are some positives, because in all three practice sessions I was struggling quite a lot with the setup, the confidence in the car and the driving. But then, before qualifying we introduced some changes, which meant I could drive better and set the lap times we were expecting. It was good but it is also disappointing not to extract all the potential from the car today. We knew our rivals would be competitive as they have been since the first session. The race tomorrow is going to be a bit more complicated than expected, as I haven’t done any long runs yesterday nor this morning because of the red flag so, I will be a bit in the dark. It will be tough but I’ll push as much as possible and we can expect our opponents to be very strong.”
Mattia Binotto Team Principal
“Qualifying wasn’t perfect for us today and in a championship as closely contested as this, that can make the difference. However, I have to say that at his high level of performance, one should not be surprised to find that one can be in front in one race and then behind in the next one. But we have learned to our cost in Bahrain that races are not won on Saturday and I think tomorrow’s Grand Prix will be very closely contested and we expect to be in the fight right to the very end.”
Shanghai, 13 April 2019 –The Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow drivers will both start the one thousandth race in the history of Formula1 from the second row of the grid.
Just 17 thousandths. Sebastian Vettel was third quickest in a time of 1’31”848, while Charles Leclerc lapped just 17 thousandths of a second slower to post a best time of 1’31”865, which means he lines up fourth on the grid. Pole position for tomorrow’s race, which starts at 08:10 (14.10 CET,) went to Valtteri Bottas with a lap in 1’31”547.
Shanghai, 13 April 2019 – Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc set the second and third fastest times respectively, driving the Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow SF90s in the third and final free practice session.
Close qualifying. The drivers both did two qualifying simulation runs, covering 12 and 10 laps each in total. Sebastian stopped the clocks in 1’33”222, but did not improve on his second run, when he made a small mistake at the final corner. Charles did a 1’33”248 on his second run. Qualifying looks like being extremely close, with several cars all within a handful of tenths. Fastest this morning was Valtteri Bottas in 1’32”830.
Shanghai, 12 April 2019 – It was a busy Friday in China for Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow. On the Shanghai circuit, Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc worked fine tuning the set-up for Saturday qualifying which starts at 14.00 (8.00 CET) and Sunday’s race at 14.10 (8.10 CET).
During the first free practice session the two SF90s ran on the Medium compound tyres. Sebastian set a best time of 1’33”911 (19 laps completed) and Charles posted a 1’34”167 (21 laps). In the afternoon, the drivers tried the other two compounds. Sebastian Vettel did a 1’33”357 on the softest rubber, good enough for the second fastest time of the day, just 27 thousandths off Valtteri Bottas. The German then did race simulation work with a high fuel load and the hardest tyres brought to China by Pirelli.
Unfortunately, Charles Leclerc encountered traffic when running the Soft tyres setting a fastest time of 1’34”158. The Monegasque driver was unable to go for his long run because the team opted to keep him in the garage to carry out checks on the cooling system of his SF90 as the engineers had raised doubts about it. Therefore Charles did just 13 laps, while between them the two cars totalled 86.
Tomorrow gets underway with one more hour of free practice at 11.00 (5.00 CET) prior to the afternoon qualifying session. The Chinese race will be the one thousandth Grand Prix in the history of Formula 1.
Sebastian Vettel #5: “Overall it was a positive day. We still have to do some homework, the picture is a bit similar to Bahrain, where we were competitive. There are some parts of the track where we are very strong and others where we still have to improve. I expect it to be very close tomorrow and also on Sunday, so it will be key to keep working to improve the feeling with the car.”
Charles Leclerc #16: “I got a good feeling from the SF90 today. There is still a bit of work to do in terms of the balance, but overall I’m pleased with the work we did. It’s a shame I wasn’t able to do a long run test, because it would have been useful for the race, but I’m not worried about that. We have all the information we need to do well and now, it’s just a case of putting everything together for qualifying, especially as I expect it to be very close between us and our competitors.”
Shanghai, 12 April 2019 – In the second 90 minutes of free practice for the Chinese GP, Sebastian Vettel was second fastest and Charles Leclerc was seventh.
Seb does 33 laps. After running just the Medium compound tyres in the morning, both drivers tried the Soft and Hard ones this afternoon, thus evaluating all possibilities. Seb did 33 laps, the best being a 1’33”357. However, Charles only managed 13, the quickest being a 1’34”158, as he had to make a precautionary stop with 30 minutes remaining, for the cooling system on his SF90 to be checked, to avoid the risk of any damage.
More free practice and qualifying. The third free practice session takes place tomorrow at 11.00 local time (5.00 CET) prior to qualifying at 14.00 local time, (8.00 CET).
Shanghai, 12 April 2019 – The Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow SF90s we’re first and third in the opening free practice session for the Chinese Grand Prix which takes place this Sunday at the Shanghai International Circuit.
19 and 21 laps. The Ferraris ran the Medium tyres while working on set-up. Sebastian Vettel did 19 laps with a best time of 1’33”911 which puts the German at the top of the time sheet. Charles Leclerc did 21 laps, with a best time of 1’34”167 ending the 90 minute session in third spot.
Second free practice gets underway at 14.00 (08.00 CET)
Shanghai, 11 April 2019 – Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc tackled the Shanghai International Circuit on foot today, walking the 5.451 kilometres of asphalt that represents the Chinese symbol “shang” which forms the basis of the name Shanghai. After that, both drivers met fans at the autograph session, before having their first meeting of the weekend with the media in the Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow hospitality.
#Race1000. Sunday’s race that starts at 14.10 local time, (8.10 CET) is race number 1000 in the history of Formula 1 and Sebastian Vettel addressed the topic when talking to the journalists. “I think this is an important weekend and I’ve been asked many times which is the race I remember best as a spectator, before I became a driver. There’s not just one: I remember when Ayrton Senna won the Brazilian Grand Prix (in 1991). I was a kid and watched Formula 1 with my father. I remember I was struck by the fact that, after the chequered flag, the driver was so tired that he was struggling to stand up. The other races I remember well were the key moments in Michael Schumacher’s career.” Sebastian went on to say he felt confident about Sunday’s race, referring to the colours that are considered lucky in China and are also found on the SF90. “I think we have a good car and also, red and yellow bring good luck here. Let’s hope we get to see a lot of red and yellow on Sunday!”
Energy. Next, it was Charles Leclerc’s turn to face the press and the Monegasque driver spoke of the atmosphere within the team and the upcoming Grand Prix. “I don’t have any particular expectations for this race at the moment, but I’m quite sure we will discover our true potential after free practice and even more so after qualifying. Coming to China from Bahrain, the mood in the team is obviously very positive. I think we need to keep this energy going and hopefully we can have a good weekend, just as we did at Sakhir before the issue. The positive thing is that we have understood what the problem was and we do not expect it to happen anymore.”
Free practice tomorrow. Track action for the thousandth Formula 1 Championship Grand Prix begins officially with Friday free practice, the two sessions starting at 10.00 and 14.00 (4.00 and 8.00 CET.)
Shanghai, 11 April 2019 – 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.
Leclerc on ice. Charles was busy at the Shanghai Ice Rink where, aside from interviews to local journalists, he took part in an unusual race against a World Short Track Speed Skating champion. The Ferrari driver raced a kart on a difficult twisting ice course against Han Tian Yu, the 1500-metre world champion in Seoul in 2016.
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).
Maranello, 9 April 2019 – This weekend sees the sixteenth running of the Chinese Formula 1 Grand Prix. Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc are ready to fight on the Shanghai track.
Sebastian 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.”
Charles Leclerc #16
“I don’t know the Shanghai track that well, having only raced there once, last year. I have good memories of qualifying, less so of the race itself. But overall, I like the track a lot because there are many different types of corner that you don’t find elsewhere on the calendar, especially turn 1, and also 13 which leads onto the long straight. Usually, the Chinese race is good fun, because the weather can be unpredictable and rain can arrive when you least expect it. It’s the thousandth race in the history of Formula 1 and I hope the car will be as good as it was in Bahrain, so that I can continue to go for the results we deserve.”
Maranello, 8 April 2019 – This weekend, Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow will be competing in the sixteenth edition of the Chinese Formula 1 Grand Prix. As always, it takes place at the Shanghai International Circuit, where Rubens Barrichello in a Ferrari won the very first race in 2004. The track features long straights, high speed corners and some tight turns that call for heavy braking. The key points include Turn 13, which leads onto a straight over one kilometre in length and 15, that exits onto the start/finish straight, at the end of which overtaking is a possibility.
Four wins. Apart from the aforementioned victory in 2004, Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow has won a further three times in China. Michael Schumacher won in 2006 in the 248 F1 to record the 91st and final win of his amazing career, his 72nd for Ferrari. The following year it was Kimi Raikkonen’s turn, making the most of championship rival Lewis Hamilton’s retirement, thus laying the foundations for taking the world title in Brazil. The fourth win came courtesy of Fernando Alonso in 2013.
Thousandth Grand Prix. This year’s Chinese Grand Prix is truly a milestone in the history of Formula 1, as the Shanghai circuit hosts the one thousandth race of the championship. The top motor sport series began on 13 May 1950, with the British Grand Prix. Scuderia Ferrari did not take part, joining from the next round in Monaco. From then on the Scuderia has been a constant presence, contributing to some of the sport’s greatest moments. Ferrari has won 16 Constructors’ and 15 Drivers’ titles, as well as 235 race wins, 220 pole positions and 752 podium finishes.
Programme. The Chinese Grand Prix gets underway on Friday with two free practice sessions at 10:00 and 14:00 local time (4:00 and 8:00 CET.) The final free practice is on Saturday at 11:00 (5:00 (CET) with qualifying starting at 14:00, (8:00 CET.) The 16th Chinese Grand Prix gets underway at 14:10 local, (8:10 CET.)
Mattia Binotto, Team Principal
“The third round of the season takes place at a track that is different in character to those in Melbourne and Bahrain. Here, we have a very long straight and corners that put an uncommon amount of load on the front end. For our part, we want to verify that the SF90 is also competitive on this type of track and ensure that the reliability problems we had in Bahrain are not repeated. As usual, we want to do well and take on our competitors. It will be race number 1000 in the history of Formula 1, which is a further reason to try and excel.”
Maranello, 8 April 2019 – “Man is the most intelligent of animals because he has hands”, said the Greek philosopher Anaxagoras. Hands are the main tools for working and for Scuderia Ferrari, the work comes first. The people in the team, be they the mechanics working on the cars, the drivers at the wheel of the SF90, the trackside cooks, the engineers, as well as the press and marketing people, never back away from the work. There’s an almost constant symphony of hands, with one sole objective: to get results. Even #lavorare is #essereFerrari.