A site dedicated to the fans of the Italian Formula 1 team Scuderia Ferrari from the entire world, with news, results and fan comments. Articles, updates, stats regarding the Formula One team Scuderia Ferrari and the two drivers, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen.
In his post-race column for Unibet, two-time Formula One world champion Mika Hakkinen shares his views on the British Grand Prix and the battle between Scuderia Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen:
“The young generation in Formula 1 put on a fantastic display at Silverstone, with Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc battling over the 3rd position. Again both of them raced hard, and again they gave each other space and respect to race.
Following the controversy over Sebastian Vettel’s penalty in Canada, I sense that Formula 1’s Stewards are taking a more open approach to allow the drivers to race. At one point Max went completely off the track while trying to battle Charles, but there were no penalties. They were allowed to race, and Charles has learned from the incident in Austria when he was overtaken by Max.
Charles’s ability to position his Ferrari in exactly the right place on the track, defending his position from Max, was really impressive to watch. I enjoyed their battle, and it was nice to see Charles get his reward of a podium finish.
Max, however, was right to be upset when Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari hit the rear of his Red Bull after he had made a great overtake at the famous Stowe corner. I was really surprised to see both cars continuing, and Max was even able to salvage 5th place behind teammate Pierre Gasly.” – Mika Hakkinen said.
Scuderia Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel has “full commitment and interest” to remain in Formula 1 beyond the 2020 season, according to the Italian side’s team principal Mattia Binotto.
Sebastian Vettel’s future in the sport has been the subject of much speculation after the German has appeared to grow frustrated with the current state of the championship amid a winless run, though he has repeatedly played down suggestions he is ready to walk away. The four-time world champion’s Ferrari contract runs until the end of the 2020 season, and Vettel said at the British Grand Prix that the next set of regulations – scheduled for 2021 – will influence any decision he makes about his future.
Asked whether Sebastian Vettel is committed to Formula One and Scuderia Ferrari, Mattia Binotto replied: “I think that Sebastian is very happy at the moment. He would’ve been happier if he was winning races and having more performance in the car. But I see that he is still really willing to race to win, I think it’s his dream and unique objective to win with Ferrari. So, no doubt that he’s looking at the future as a person with full commitment and interest.” – the Scuderia Ferrari Team Principal said, as reported by crash.net earlier today.
Sebastian Vettel, who has not won since last year’s Belgian Grand Prix, currently sits fourth in the championship and is 100 points adrift of leader Lewis Hamilton.
According to leading German automobile magazine ‘Auto motor und sport’, tyre wear destroys Scuderia Ferrari’s chances of successfully challenging Mercedes on most types of circuits in the 2019 Formula One season.
As reported by ‘Auto motor und sport’, the Maranello team is still looking for more grip on the front axle. In Silverstone they made the front axle softer in order to help the front tyres work better, but then the rear became unstable and that influenced Sebastian Vettel’s performance negatively, as the German driver cannot cope with an unstable rear, which resulted in a major time deficit to Charles Leclerc. For a younger driver like Charles Leclerc it was easier to adapt his driving style than for someone who has had the same driving style for many years.
‘Auto motor und sport’ also informs that during the race distance, Scuderia Ferrari struggles because of overheating the rear tyres, like in Spielberg, where the Maranello team had a good race pace in the first sting, but was a lot slower in the final stages of the Austrian Grand Prix. AMuS explains this behaviour: at the beginning of the race the problems are not that visible because of high fuel, as the balance of the car fits in that part of the Grand Prix. Scuderia Ferrari’s problems usually start during the second part of the race.
As reported earlier today by Motorsport Italy, Italian engineer Mattia Binotto will give up the role as the technical director of Scuderia Ferrari and will focus only on the role of team principal. For the moment there is no official confirmation of Mattia Binotto not managing a double role, but a more detailed announcement is expected to be made ahead of the German Grand Prix next week.
According to Motorsport Italy, there will be no new technical director but the task will be divided between three people. The role and tasks of technical director should be divided between Enrico Cardile (chassis), David Sanchez (aerodynamics) and Corrado Iotti (engines) and they will obviously still have to answer back to Mattia Binotto. Apparently more news regarding the official changes will be provided in Hockenheim, as Mattia Binotto is redesigning the racing department of Ferrari at the moment. With Simone Resta’s return, there will be two separate but interdisciplinary working groups for the future projects.
The article on Motorsport Italy informs that there could also be other surprises regarding the future structure of Scuderia Ferrari’s departments.
The FIA and F1 owners Liberty Media are currently working on a revamp of F1 that they hope will make the racing better and boost the sport’s popularity. Earlier this week a blueprint for the new 2021 car was revealed, with F1 chiefs committed to a ground effect concept that should allow cars to follow each other much closer. It has also emerged that F1 is looking at a whole new approach to tyres too, as the sport prepares for a switch to 18-inch wheels.
Rather than pursuing a push for rapidly degrading tyres that has dominated the recent era with Pirelli, F1 wants to head down a route that will allow drivers to push harder for longer. The FIA’s head of single seater technical matter Nikolas Tomazis said: “We want to have tyres that enable people to fight each other without degrading or only giving a short interval for the person attacking to attack. What the current tyres are is a product of what has been asked of them [Pirelli], and I think we need to ask them to do different things to what they have been asked in the past.” – he explained.
F1’s chief technical officer Pat Symonds said discussions were underway with teams and Pirelli to settle on a plan that will deliver tyres that are better for racing: “I think in the past we have maybe asked for the wrong things,” he said. “It is a very complex problem, but it is something that we don’t have a clear idea on yet. We are doing a lot of simulation and there are many things you can do, but we do believe that pit stops are important in F1. We know our fans enjoy these two/three seconds pit stops so we do want to have a level of pit stops. Perhaps an easy thing to do would be to have a Le Mans tyre that would go on and on and on but then we would lose the pit stops. I have spent a lot of time talking to some of the teams who are going to help us with this task through simulation, but it is a difficult one. I completely agree with Nikolas: we were asking completely the wrong things of Pirelli over the last few years. The high degradation target was not the way to go I think.” – he added.
Pirelli has no qualms about changing philosophy
The idea for degrading tyres is that they produce a big enough variation in lap time during their life that they help open overtaking opportunities between drivers.
However, one of the consequences has been that the tyres are prone to overheating when a car is trying to attack a rival, and this hurts the racing. Pirelli has long been clear that its approach to tyre characteristics is based on what it has been asked to do, so if the sport wants to move in a different direction it is happy to do so.
Mario Isola, Pirelli’s head of car racing, told Motorsport.com: “As always our approach is to deliver what F1 wants, so if we have to modify the targets for 2021 we need to know quite soon because we are going to start the development of those tyres. If F1 wants to go to low degradation tyres, or to have bigger delta or any other idea, if it is feasible we are happy to go in this direction.”
Mario Isola said that he was encouraged that a research group had been set up to help move the tyre discussion forward, and he felt it essential teams and drivers were involved in the outcome.
“We have a research group with the F1 and the FIA, and we have had several meetings with them to understand which is the right direction,” he said. “Then we need to involve the teams and drivers to be 100 percent sure we are going in the right direction. We need to involve the teams because they have specialists of strategy to understand if it is the right direction, and drivers because they drive the car and they know exactly what they want. It is important we are all on the same page.” – Pirelli’s head of car racing concluded.
“Sebastian isn’t such a tough guy as Michael Schumacher or Fernando Alonso, who has always been able to deliver top performances. Sebastian is a driver who has to feel the unconditional support/warmth. He had that at Red Bull. At Ferrari probably not. Sebastian is a very intelligent, sensitive and warm-hearted person. This can be seen in how loving he is to his wife and children. Or the fantastic speech he gave in honour of the late race director Charlie Whiting.” – Jonathan Wheatley explained.
However, Dr Helmut Marko thinks Sebastian Vettel needs to “change the team” he drives for in order to get his Formula 1 career back on track. The German, who is nominally Ferrari’s number 1 driver, has lost the crucial backing of the Italian media after Silverstone: “At Red Bull, he hardly made any mistakes,” noted the energy drink outfit’s new star Max Verstappen. “You do not forget how to drive. So why does this stuff keep happening to him over and over again at Ferrari?”
Marko, the Red Bull driver manager who brought the German into F1 and hosted his four world championships, also thinks it is a crisis of confidence for Sebastian Vettel: “You make mistakes when you are no longer sure of yourself,” he told Auto Bild. “It happens in the subconscious.”
Sebastian Vettel has a contract for 2020 with the Maranello team, but that has not stopped speculation that he might either quit F1 or even return to Red Bull.
Scuderia Ferrari Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc admitted that he is not looking to get into a rivalry with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen despite recent battles and incidents on track. The Dutchman got the upper hand in Austria, as he passed the Scuderia Ferrari driver in the closing stages to claim victory, but the Monegasque responded in Silverstone with some aggressive duels only for strategy to again put the Red Bull in front.
In what could be considered the first exchanges between two drivers that could lead Formula 1 into the future, Charles Leclerc insists he won’t change his approach to fight Verstappen.
“It’s the same. It doesn’t change for me who is in the car behind or in front, I focus on myself and try to be in the highest position possible,” he said – “Of course once you are fighting with another driver, you need to learn how they fight to then fight with them. With Max, we know each other quite well from the karting days, we have grown quite a lot but I know he is an aggressive driver. You always adapt to your competitors. We’ve had some tricky moments back in the karting days,” he recalled. “It’s good. As I said, I think it’s good for the show, and hopefully, there will be many more of these ones in the future.” – Charles added.
Charles Leclerc then reflected on his relationship with Max Verstappen during his racing career, and how they have developed a respect for each other: “I think it got quite a lot better with the years, back in karting we were not the best friends, but it is normal every time something happened that straightaway he would become my enemy and the same for him,” he explained. We were quite young, it was back in 2012 or 2013. We are still pretty young but we have matured quite a lot and now things have changed and we have managed to understand more the difference between us as people and us as drivers. It’s better.” – Scuderia Ferrari’s Monegasque driver concluded.
Formula One official tyre supplier Pirelli has confirmed earlier today the tyre compounds that it will bring to the United States Grand Prix, which is scheduled to take place later this year.
The Circuit of the Americas hosts the third-last round of the season, which will be its eighth race since joining the calendar in 2012. For the race weekend, Pirelli has opted to choose the middle range of tyres, confirming that the C2, C3 and C4 compounds will be allocated to all ten teams for the weekend. The C2 [hard] tyre will be marked by a white side wall, the C3 [medium] will be identified with a yellow line, and the [soft] C4 will have red side walls. The choice mirrors that of the Mexican Grand Prix, which will be the race preceding the one in Austin,