Spanish Grand Prix - Harder than expected

11 May 2019

Qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix proved harder than expected for Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow. Sebastian Vettel will start from third on the grid, with Charles Leclerc fifth, when the lights go out at 15.10 to start the 49th Spanish Grand Prix, here at the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit.

Q1. The pair of SF90s comfortably made it through to Q2. Sebastian used one set of Soft tyres improving with each lap from 1’18”068 to 1’17”823 and then to 1’17”425. Charles did the same, going from 1’17”835 to 1’17”727 and then to 1’17”388.

Q2. The second part of the session saw the German set a time good enough to get into Q3 on his very first run. Sebastian posted an excellent 1’16”667, although Charles made a mistake, running wide at one corner, slightly damaging his car. He was unable to improve on 1’17”511. The Monegasque driver went back on track in the final minutes with a new set of red tyres, to get through to the final part with a 1’16”714.

Q3. In the top ten shoot-out, Sebastian did two runs on two sets of tyres, while Charles had to wait for repairs to be carried out on his car, doing two timed laps on the same set of tyres. Vettel posted a 1’16”272, but did not improve on his second run. Charles did a 1’16”613 and then got down to a 1’16”588.

Tomorrow. Sebastian will start behind Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton, with Max Verstappen alongside him. Charles shares the third row with sixth placed Pierre Gasly.

Sebastian Vettel #5
“We are happy but we’re not happy. By that, I mean that the car is well balanced and I think the updates we have brought have helped with the driveability of the car. However, it’s obvious that we are still not where we want to be, because we are very quick down the straights, but we are losing too much time through the slower corners. The result of all that is that we are not in front and so we have to continue to work hard. Nevertheless, I think that having a well balanced car means we can have a good race, so I’m ready to give it my all tomorrow.”

Charles Leclerc #16
“It is not the qualifying result we hoped for. We have been working on finding the right balance, especially with the new parts we have in place. Unfortunately, we were still a bit off today. I went wide in Q2 and some parts were damaged when I went over the kerb. The team did a great job and tried to fix the car during the session to let me continue driving. After the incident, the balance was different and we have to check our data to make sure we get our car back in shape for the race tomorrow. Our competitors are strong, but we remain confident of our potential and will do our best to catch them.”

Mattia Binotto Team Principal
“It was a difficult qualifying session, as indeed has been the whole weekend so far. In Charles’ case, matters were further complicated when his car was damaged in Q2. We repaired it as best we could, but it still compromised his Q3 performance, as he had to attempt two timed laps on a single set of tyres. Having said that, this weekend has highlighted the weak points on our car. We will carry out all the necessary analysis, also after the race, to get a complete picture of where we are struggling. Days like this can show you how to improve and I am sure it will see us perform better tomorrow.”

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