Scuderia Ferrari: 70th Anniversary Grand Prix “Formula 1? Pure adrenalin”

70th Anniversary Grand Prix – Happy anniversary Formula 1

For the second time in this unusual 2020 Formula 1 World Championship, we have two races on consecutive weekends at the same track. After Spielberg hosted the first two rounds, it’s Silverstone’s turn. After last Sunday’s British Grand Prix, this weekend we have the Formula 1 70th Anniversary Grand Prix. There could be no more appropriate circuit, as the first ever race to count towards the championship was held at this former Royal Air Force airfield on 13th May 1950. It has a special significance too for Scuderia Ferrari as the following year, on 14 July 1951, it took its first ever win here, courtesy of Argentina’s Jose Froilan Gonzalez in a 375 F1.

A unique name.  For the first time ever, a round of the world championship does not have a name featuring some form of geographical location. It’s not always been the name of the country, as there have been races called the Grands Prix of Europe, the Pacific and more recently Styria, as well as others taking their names from the city that hosts them, as was the case with Indianapolis, Pescara, Las Vegas and Dallas. In Formula 1 races at Silverstone, Scuderia Ferrari has secured 14 wins, 11 pole positions and 45 podiums overall.

Up to 5g. The track has changed over the years, the most radical transformation first seen at the 1991 race, when Silverstone was made much slower. In 2010, it was lengthened by 750 metres, while the following year, the start grid was moved from the straight between Woodcote and Copse corners to the one between Club and Abbey. This track sees Formula 1 cars generate lateral acceleration of around 5g at Copse which is taken pretty much flat and at the legendary sequence through Maggots and Becketts, where the high speed changes of direction are a stern test of car set-up.


Sebastian Vettel

“Last week’s race here was pretty difficult for me and I think that being able to race at Silverstone just one week on from that is a good opportunity to try and get back a good feeling with the. On Friday, we’ll be able to make use of all the data the team acquired over the first weekend and that should help because we will be able to work in a more focussed way to try and get in synch with the SF1000.”


Charles Leclerc

“For the second time this season, we will race at the same track two Sundays running. Luckily, we are at Silverstone, a track that is always nice to drive and where we got a podium which was a good boost for the whole team. The work we did last week should be a great starting point for this coming weekend, although every race has its own story. As we did last Sunday, we have to be sure to make no mistakes to make the most of any opportunity that might present itself.”


Enrico Cardile Head of Performance Development

“For the second time in this unusual season, we are preparing for a weekend on the same track that we raced on last week. Last weekend’s ambivalent result should serve as double motivation: on the one hand we will be trying to repeat the positives we saw, such as qualifying in particular, on the other we must do all in our power so that both drivers, not just one, are able to get the most out of our current package, starting off by not losing valuable time through reliability problems.
On the technical front, the SF1000 will be in the same configuration as last weekend. We will try to optimise every aspect, especially in terms of tyre management over a long run. In fact, Pirelli is supplying a range of compounds that are a step softer compared to those used in the British Grand Prix. All the teams thus face a new challenge, both in qualifying and the race. The forecast is again for settled weather with hotter than usual conditions for this part of the world, so the picture becomes even more complex.
We know that at the moment, we are not able to fight for the win in a Grand Prix, but that does not mean we are any less motivated. The aim is to do our best, day after day and to bring home as many points as possible for us and all our fans.”

70th Anniversary Grand Prix – Charles and Seb: “Formula 1? Pure adrenalin”

A second consecutive Thursday at Silverstone for Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel, as was the case a few weeks ago in Austria where one track hosted the first two rounds on consecutive weekends. Work got underway with the engineering meetings, because there was no need for the track walk that usually precedes them, given that, one week on, nothing much has changed.

With the media. In the Thursday afternoon, both drivers took part in the FIA press conference, where the journalists could quiz them virtually. This week’s race is the Formula 1 70th Anniversary Grand Prix and that prompted the first question asking Charles and Seb what the sport meant to them. “For me, Formula 1 is speed, adrenalin and also team spirit,” affirmed Leclerc. “It’s a great feeling driving one of these cars at high speeds on spectacular tracks. If you can also fight for the win, then it’s even more special because, given how much effort goes into it from everyone, it’s even better to be able to share the result and the happiness on the podium with the entire team. I became passionate about Formula 1 when I was three or four years old and a friend of my parents had an apartment that overlooked the Ste. Devote corner. I think that was the moment I fell in love with Formula 1.”

Thanks to dad. Sebastian owes his love of the sport in which he has been so successful, to his father Norbert. “My dad was a big race fan and from when I was a small child I loved cars. So it was normal that I would become a Formula 1 fan. Then, when I began to race karts and to get results, I realised this was a dream that could come true. Now I’d say this sport is pure adrenalin, but it’s also an important part of my life. That’s why, at least now, I find it hard to consider other categories in my future. If I’m not in Formula 1 then I see myself more on the sofa or playing ping-pong at home as more appropriate, rather than racing different types of cars.”

Rhythm. The subject then turned to this coming weekend. “I don’t think we can expect a completely different race to last week’s,” said Seb. “But when you are fighting in the mid-field even small improvements can change the outcome of the Grand Prix.” Charles is expecting an even more complicated race than the last one. “On softer compound tyres it’s more likely we will have a two-stop race, even though we won’t have a clear idea until we take to the track for first practice. As usual, it will be vital to look at every detail to maximise the car’s potential.”

Different format. There was also a question about the short weekend format to be trialled at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, at Imola on 1 November, for which there will be just one free practice session on Saturday morning, followed by qualifying. Seb and Charles had similar views on this: “It doesn’t change very much for us, because an hour is enough to learn a track, even if we have never raced there before. But it will be important not to have any reliability problems: going into qualifying on a lovely but complicated track like Imola, without having done even a lap could be far from ideal…”

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