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    Sakhir Grand Prix - Seb and Charles: “Keen to see the new layout”

    Sakhir 03 dicembre 2020

    By the time Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel left the FIA press conference area, the moon was already high in the sky over the Bahrain International Circuit, the venue for the second race of this triple-header that brings the curtain down on the 2020 season. This weekend’s grand prix goes by the name of Sakhir, named after the village not far from the ultra-modern facility. The track layout is different to the one used last week and the timetable is different, with sessions taking place later this time.

    Singapore-like. Just like in the Far East, the entire programme takes place after sunset and even the track walk for drivers and engineers took place later than usual tonight. Of course Charles and Seb paid particular attention to the middle sector of the circuit, which is actually the quickest, which along with the track being very short, will result in lap times of under a minute. “It will be interesting to see what it’s like running on such a short track,” said Sebastian, while Charles was of the same mind saying one could expect, “several situations when knowing how to manage the traffic well could make a difference.”

    Fourth place. Charles is currently sixth in the Drivers’ classification, but just four points off fourth place, which is where he finished last season. “But to do that this year would give me far greater satisfaction,” he maintained. “In 2020, mainly because of the clear difficulties we had to be competitive, I think I have actually made fewer mistakes compared to last year. It’s in the difficult seasons where you can develop the most and improve. I know that might sound strange, but on a personal level I am much happier with my 2020 than with 2019, even though it produced moments of unforgettable happiness. Would I change anything? As usual, the reply is yes, so many little details and also some incidents like the first lap in the Styrian GP (when he collided with his team-mate. Ed’s note) and the last on in the Turkish race.”

    End on a high note. Sebastian was rather more self critical than his team-mate. “It goes without saying that my year was very difficult. Only recently I have begun to feel comfortable with the car again, so I don’t feel like picking out any particular thing. For sure, many things didn’t go the right way this season, but recently we’ve managed to straighten it out a bit and I think the improvement was clear to see. Now I want to do well in these last two races, for myself but also for all the guys at Ferrari that always put so much passion into it and deserve the best possible results. That goes for the mechanics, the engineers and also all the people who are working nonstop back in Maranello.”

    Mick. Last Wednesday came the news that Mick Schumacher, son of seven times world champion Michael and a Ferrari Driver Academy student, will drive for the Haas F1 Team next year. Seb said he was very happy for him. “I think that he deserves this opportunity and he has shown that on track. I’ve already said in the past that, for me, he is Mick, not the son of Michael and he has all he needs to make his own way. Having said that, I recall that in the early years of my career, Michael was always very available to me and I am more than happy to do the same for Mick. We talked about it and he knows I am always there for him.”

    Programme. The two sessions of free practice take place tomorrow at 16.30 and 20.30 local (14.30 and 18.30 CET), with final free practice on Saturday at 17 (15 CET) followed by qualifying at 20 (18 CET). The Sakhir Grand Prix gets underway on Sunday 6 December at 20.10 (18.10 CET).