Spielberg, 29 June 2019 – 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.
Charles Leclerc #16
“I am happy with qualifying today. It is satisfying to see that the work we did in preparation, especially in terms of the way we set up the car for Q3, has paid off so quickly. A great result for me, unfortunately not for the whole team with Seb having a problem in Q3.
Hopefully, we will have a good race tomorrow. I am happy about our tyre choice with the soft compound. It will be the key to have a good start and keep competitors behind, especially at the beginning of the lap. Our race pace was quite strong this weekend so I am confident that we can do a good job.”
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.”
Mattia Binotto Team Principal
“We are very pleased with Charles’ performance, which continues to get better all the time. All in all, a Ferrari has been on pole twice in the last three races and this is a glass half full scenario which I’m pleased to see. Today’s result is down to the way Charles has evolved and to the work of everyone in the team.
Of course, we are disappointed for Sebastian who could have had a great qualifying, but because of a trivial mechanical problem he could not leave the garage. Probably, because of riding over a kerb, a mechanical connection came apart resulting in a loss of pneumatic pressure to the engine. The mechanics tried their best to fix the problem but unfortunately, the connector is very inaccessible. However, we have no concerns about this for the race.
When Seb realised his session was over, he thanked his crew and spoke a few words of encouragement to Charles, who in turn, after taking pole had a few words of consolation for his team-mate. As for the decision to start the race on Soft tyres, we believe it’s the right one. Yesterday, we found they were very consistent and we are convinced that will also be the case tomorrow and could give us a performance advantage.”
Spielberg, 29 June 2019 – Scuderia Ferrari claimed its third pole position of the season, courtesy of Charles Leclerc, for whom this is the second pole of his Formula 1 caree.
Sebastian. In contrast to the Monegasque’s great performance, on the other side of the garage, Sebastian Vettel was unable to take part in Q3, because of a technical problem on his SF90. The German will therefore start from ninth place on the grid because Kevin Magnussen has a gearbox change penalty.
Race. The 32ndAustrian Grand Prix gets underway at 15.10 tomorrow.
Spielberg, 29 June 2019 –The final hour of free practice prior to qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix saw Charles Leclerc post the quickest lap around the Spielberg track. Team-mate Sebastian Vettel was fourth. The grid deciding session starts at 3pm.
36 laps. Charles and Sebastian took to the track 15 minutes into the session, having waited for the track to rubber in a bit more. The Monegasque driver completed 17 laps, the fastest being a 1’03”987. The German did 19 laps with a best of 1’04”250. Splitting the two SF90s were Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.
Race. The 32ndAustrian Grand Prix gets underway at 15.10 on Sunday.
Spielberg, 28 June 2019 – Plenty of work for Scuderia Ferrari during the three hours of free practice for the Austrian Grand Prix, with the team preparing for qualifying and the race, as well as carrying out a lot of data acquisition work aimed at establishing the direction for ongoing development of the SF90.
First session. In the morning, Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel only used the Medium Pirelli tyres, working on a programme that involved fine tuning the cars for qualifying and the race, as well as evaluating some components aimed at gathering data. Sebastian did 23 laps, the best in 1’04”982, which put him second on the time sheet. Charles did 26 laps on his way to fourth place with a 1’05”141.
Second session. In the second 90 minute session, Leclerc and Vettel started by evaluating the Medium and Hard tyres respectively. The session was red flagged a couple of times because of accidents and so, when it came to simulating qualifying, there was only time for one short run. Sebastian and Charles both fitted the Softs for this, but the German made a mistake at the final corner, locking up and having to abort his run. Charles meanwhile posted a time of 1’05”086, which turned out to be the fastest time overall of the session. Sebastian’s best lap was a 1’05”871, good enough for eighth.
Programme. The final hour of free practice starts at noon, prior to qualifying at 3pm. The Austrian Grand Prix gets underway at 15.10 on Sunday.
Charles Leclerc #16
“Overall, we had quite a productive day and completed a lot of tests around the set-up. The feeling in the car was good. It was a bit tricky with the wind changing direction, especially in FP2, which made it more challenging to predict what would happen in the corners. Although we have been fast today, we will work hard to take another step forward. On my side, as I did in France, I also have to focus on setting up the car in the best way to follow the track evolution in qualifying. I think we made the best out of it and I look forward to seeing where we stand tomorrow.”
Sebastian Vettel #5
“My off-track excursion didn’t have a big effect on our programme, other than that we couldn’t do the long run on the softs. I was able to stop in time and did not damage the car. We are still trying a lot of things and getting closer. Hopefully tomorrow we can do better than today. It was a bit tricky in the afternoon with the windy conditions. We didn’t actually try new updates, we ran the same parts as last weekend to be able to learn more about them and I think it was successful. Now we need time to understand what to address next. Our balance in the corners is not bad, we can still improve the car and we tried a few things in the afternoon. Maybe the track layout helps us a bit, but this remains a tricky track where it is crucial to have a good feeling in the car and that’s what we have to work on now.”
Spielberg, 28 June 2019 –The second 90 minutes of free practice for the Austrian Grand Prix ended with a Ferrari topping the time sheet, in a session that was twice red-flagged, while the fastest time of the afternoon was slower than that in the first session.
Laps and times.Charles and Sebastian ran all three Pirelli compounds, working in qualifying and race trim. The Monegasque driver completed a total of 36 laps, the best in 1’05”086, while the German completed 33 laps, stopping the clocks in 1’05”871, good enough for eighth place. He was unable to improve, following a harmless spin while running the Soft tyres.
Programme.The final hour of free practice starts at noon, prior to qualifying at 3pm. The Austrian Grand Prix gets underway at 15.10 on Sunday.
Spielberg, 28 June 2019 –The first free practice session for the Austrian Grand Prix has just ended with Sebastian Vettel setting the second fastest time in 1’04”982, while Charles Leclerc was fourth in 1’05”141.
Work. Both SF90s were fitted with some test items to evaluate and compare, while in terms of tyres, the both the German and Monegasque drivers only ran the Medium. Sebastian did 21 laps, while Charles did 24.
Second session. The next 90 minute free practice session starts at 3pm.
Spielberg, 27 June 2019 – 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.
In the press conference. Charles was one of the drivers called to the official FIA conference this afternoon, where he discussed his hopes for the coming weekend and other topics. “I really like short tracks like this and here the lap takes just under a minute. In some ways it reminds of the times I used to enjoy in karting. As everyone knows, I prefer street circuits, but of the permanent ones, this is one of the ones I like the most,” said Charles. He then spoke at length about his approach to improving his qualifying performance. “It’s happened to me on more than one occasion to be perfect in Q1, but less so in Q2 and not really competitive in Q3. Along with the engineers, we have worked on taking into account all the variables which change from one part of the session to another and I think that in France, we managed to get the most out of what we had.”
Rules. All the panel were asked for their views on the rules and how they are currently applied in Formula 1. “I think that us drivers can contribute to this discussion. Through the GPDA we have ideas that we hope to bring forward. I believe that input from the drivers is important, because in the end, we are the ones doing the driving,” said Charles. “As for the stewards, I think it would be a good thing to have continuity, possibly keeping the same people for several races.”
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.”
Programme. The first two free practice sessions for the Austrian Grand Prix take place tomorrow at 11 and at 3 pm. On Saturday, the final hour of preparation prior to qualifying is at noon, while the pursuit of pole begins at 3 pm in the afternoon. The 60th French Grand Prix gets underway at 3.10 pm on Sunday.
Maranello, 26 June 2019 – This Sunday sees the 32nd running of the Austrian Grand Prix. It was first held in 1964 on an L-shaped track laid out on the Zeltweg aerodrome, when the winner was Lorenzo Bandini at the wheel of a Ferrari 156 F1-63. The track was then abandoned and was never used again for Formula 1 as the surface, a mix of concrete and tarmac, was too bumpy for Formula 1 cars.
At the Osterreichring. The race returned to the calendar in 1970 at the new Osterreichring circuit, which measured just under six kilometres. It wound its way through the climbs and descents of the Styrian mountains between the towns of Zeltweg and Spielberg. This layout was kept up until 1987, after which it disappeared from the calendar for ten years, returning to the same venue with a new 4.3 kilometre layout. The new Spielberg hosted the race from 1997 to 2003 before again dropping off the calendar. A new owner then ensured some stability with the race returning as from 2014. Last year the Ferraris were second and third.
Bandini and Ickx. Scuderia Ferrari has won five times in Austria. After that initial win with Bandini, the Scuderia was also victorious when the race was first run at the Osterreichring, courtesy of the Belgian Jacky Ickx, who led home his team-mate Clay Regazzoni, the two men split by just 61 thousandths of a second.
Irvine and Schumacher. Almost thirty years later, it was Eddie Irvine who drove his F399 to the victory, benefiting from a battle between the two McLaren drivers that resulted in the retirement of the championship leader, Mika Hakkinen. The other two wins were down to Michael Schumacher, the first in 2002 and the second one a year later. On this occasion there was a nasty scare on the way to the podium: Rubens Barrichello’s refuelling rig failed to work when the Brazilian pitted in his F2003-GA, so the team switched to Schumacher’s equipment. When the German pitted shortly afterwards, fuel left in the hose following Barrichello’s stop, caught fire with flames licking the car. An impassive Schumacher never flinched, watching in his mirrors as the Scuderia Ferrari mechanics calmly put out the fire. Michael rejoined third and went on to win the Grand Prix.
GP participations 978
Seasons in F1 70
Debut Monaco 1950 (Alberto Ascari 2nd; Raymond Sommer 4th; Luigi Villoresi ret.)
Wins 235 (24,02%)
Pole positions 221 (22,59%)
Fastest laps 251 (25,66%)
Total podiums 758 (77,50%)
FERRARI STATS AUSTRIAN GP
GP partications 30
Debut 1964 (Lorenzo Bandini 1st; John Surtees Ret.)
Wins 5 (16,66%)
Pole positions 7 (23,33%)
Fastest laps 5 (16,66%)
Total podiums 24 (80%)
Sebastian Vettel #5
“Austria is a popular place with everyone in the paddock and all the drivers. If you look at the scenery around the track, it is set in a unique landscape with mountains surrounding it. If you are lucky, you even see snow on some of the mountain peaks in the distance. Driving around there in a Formula 1 car and seeing cows next to the track is also something quite unusual.
It is difficult to get everything right on this track even though it’s a very short lap. It is crucial to get a good qualifying position in order to have a good race. It is definitely one I want to win. We have been on the podium in the past, so now we will be back to try and win.”
Charles Leclerc #16
“I look forward to returning to Spielberg. The atmosphere is great and there are many activities taking place around the track, which gives fans as well as ourselves a great experience.
The circuit is an interesting one. It’s quite a short lap, so you really have to put it all together to secure a good position in qualifying. We made some progress during the last race weekend, especially in qualifying, improving my performance from Q1 to Q3. The target will be to build on that and find further ways to improve overall.”
Mattia Binotto Team Principal
“We are happy to be getting back on track so quickly, because it’s the best way to put ourselves to the test again to try and understand the elements that did not go according to plan in France.
We have various test items to evaluate, mainly in order to give us a clearer picture as to why some of the updates we brought to Le Castellet did not work as expected.
The Austrian track is very different to Paul Ricard. The first sector has long straights and braking in a straight line, while the second part is tighter, with a mix of low and medium-high speed corners.
The forecast is for very hot conditions, so it will be a demanding weekend on the cooling front, both for the engine and the brakes, which means tyre management will also be very difficult.”