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 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…”