Austrian Gran Prix -“We have what we need to recover”
Less than a week 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 Friday 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.