Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel had a busy time of it on the Thursday of Scuderia Ferrari’s 1000th Formula 1 Grand Prix. They arrived at the Mugello circuit shortly after nine this morning and immediately went out on track to take a look at the 5.245 kilometres of the Tuscan track. They chose to tackle it on foot to get a real feel for the type of surface and to try and visualise the lines they would be taking as from tomorrow, when they jump in the cockpit for the first free practice sessions. It was actually here in Mugello that the Maranello team’s season resumed after the lock down, on 23 June when Charles and Seb both spent time at the wheel of an SF71H from 2018 during a shakedown test to get to grips with a Formula 1 car again.
With the media. As usual, the middle of the afternoon found the two drivers handling questions from the press in the FIA virtual press conference. Charles spoke first, asked about how he felt after the Monza crash. “On the Monday I was already perfectly fine, but to avoid any doubt, I underwent further checks that day in Monaco, which confirmed everything was ok,” said the Monegasque, who then discussed Sunday’s race. “I feel that we can be more competitive here than at the last two races and I can’t wait to get out on track to see if the stopwatch confirms the performance level I’m expecting,” he concluded.
Maximum effort. Sebastian, whose future in the sport was confirmed today, also said he was keen to get behind the wheel: “The track is very beautiful and whenever I’ve been able to drive here I’ve always enjoyed it. I think it’s the perfect location for our team’s 1000th race. It’s true I will be with another team next year, but I feel close to Ferrari and I can assure you that I will doing my utmost right to the end to help the Scuderia this season.”
Unique elements. This weekend, both drivers have special helmet designs for the occasion, and in fact their race suits and the SF1000 have all been produced in the original burgundy red of the 125 S, the very first car and the 125 F1, the first car entered in Formula 1 by the Maranello marque.
Hot laps. As part of the special events this weekend, Charles and Seb had an SF90 Stradale in which they took turns to enjoy the car’s power on the spectacular Mugello layout. It was the first Ferrari themed event of a weekend that will be dominated by the 1000 GP celebrations. On Saturday after qualifying, the drivers and Team Principal will head for Florence’s Piazza della Signoria for a special evening. On Sunday before the race, the F2004 with which Michael Schumacher took his seventh title, his fifth with the Scuderia, will be back on track. At the wheel will be his son Mick Schumacher, himself a Ferrari Driver Academy student, currently second in the Formula 2 championship and he too has a special helmet for this occasion.
Programme. Tomorrow at 11 CET, the Formula 1 cars take to the track for the very first free practice session for the Toscana-Ferrari 1000 Grand Prix. The second 90 minutes begins at 15 with the third and final session at 12 on Saturday. As usual that is followed three hours later by qualifying with the race getting underway on Sunday 13 September at 15.10.