A suffocating heat greeted the Formula 1 drivers on this Thursday of the Spanish Grand Prix at the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit, on the hills of Montmelo. Despite the muggy and roasting weather, Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc tackled the usual track reconnaissance walk, but while the German took on the 50 degrees and more of track temperature on foot, the Monegasque opted to go by bicycle to speed things up, focussing on the key points of the circuit.
With the media. Midway through the afternoon, as menacing clouds headed for the circuit, Charles and Seb made the now usual appearance in the FIA press conference. Charles got the ball rolling: “We know this track very well, although we’re not so used to the hot weather which could be enough to make a difference,” he said. “In the past two races, tyre management was the key and I think that might also be the case this time. However, we are not expecting a straightforward weekend and we will have to do a very good job in free practice so that everything is in place to maximise the car’s potential in the race.”
Confidence. The journalists then turned to Sebastian, asking him how he is approaching this Spanish weekend, given that the team has introduced a new chassis for him here. “They changed the chassis on my car because they found an anomaly, but I don’t think it will change my performance in a surprising way,” affirmed Vettel. “In the two Silverstone races, I struggled it’s true, but I’ve got enough experience not to let myself get downhearted after a couple of Grands Prix went badly. I think the only thing to do is to work even harder and that’s what we are doing, myself and the people in the team who work with me. I have every confidence in the team and I wouldn’t say that, if I didn't believe it. I can tell that the guys share my wish to be fighting for the positions that we should be getting. I have not lost the passion for what I do, even if I have yet to get all the potential out of the SF1000 like Charles has done,” concluded Seb.
Details. Charles was then asked if the way he worked has changed since last year. “I would say I pay even more attention to detail and being able to give the engineers who work with me more elements to work with means I can perform better. The same goes for tyre management, one of my weak points in 2019. I’ve said several times before that the aim in 2020 is to never have to regret not trying absolutely everything and that can also mean taking risks, as happened at Silverstone when we went for a one-stop, while most of our rivals were on a two-stop.”