F1: Fast Ferraris (NYSE:RACE) at Shanghai

F1: Fast Ferraris (NYSE:RACE) at Shanghai


FLASH: Sebastian Vettel has priority at Ferrari in 50/50 situations, but that could change, team boss Mattia Binotto said at Shanghai Friday.

The 4X F1 world champion has been The Scuderia’s #1 driver in recent years but new man Charles Leclerc, 21 anni, was quicker in Bahrain 2 weeks ago.

Mr. Leclerc started on the Pole at Sakhir, but fell behind before then overtaking Mr. Vettel, setting the fastest race lap and taking his 1st F1 podium.

He finished 3rd, would have won had his car not suffered a loss of power while leading with 10 laps to go. Mr. Vettel has yet to stand on the podium in this season.

Mr. Binotto told reporters Friday at the Chinese Grand Prix that the team came first.

“As I said at the start of the season, if there is any 50/50 situation where we need to take a decision, the advantage would have been given to Sebastian simply because Sebastian has got most of the experience with the team in F1,” he added.

“He (Vettel) won 4 championships (with Red Bull Racing) and certainly for us he is the driver who has most probability to challenge for the title.

“Something we agreed with both drivers is, in a few races’ time, things may change for whatever reason, bad luck or whatever could be the situation – we may change our position, no doubt.”

Mr. Binotto said the pair remained free to fight on track and if either was clearly faster than the other would be given preference.

Leclerc, he pointed out, had the opportunity to take Pole position and fight for the win in Bahrain.

Asked also whether Mr. Leclerc was giving Ferrari a headache with his pace, Mr. Binotto said that was “a luxury that you are happy to have.

“We have got two fantastic drivers and I think that Charles is a motivating factor for Seb,” he added.

From the track

The performance advantage between Mercede sAMGand Ferrari swung between Australia and Bahrain, but signs are that it might even out in China.

Despite Ferrari’s strong performance 2weeks ago in Bahrain, reliability issues scuppered Charles Leclerc’s 1st shot at a race win; and despite fixes being rolled out across the Ferraris in China, there are signs that the car is fragile.

Ferrari still has a clear advantage over MercedesAMG on the straights. In a back-to-back comparison with similar corner-exit speeds from Turn 13, Vettel was clocked 12km/h faster than Mr. Hamilton at the end of the kilometre-long back straight.

The overall power advantage amounts to a lap-time advantage of 0.3secs from that straight alone, underlining the collective power of the extra Ferrari Stallions.

Fast Ferraris

FP3 in China was all action, as MercedesAMG appeared to have no answer to the pace of Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc, the Red cars dominated the final hour of practice around the Shanghai International Circuit.

For the Silver Arrows

Valtteri Bottas was 3rd, 7/10s off Mr. Vettel’s pace, with an uncomfortable looking Lewis Hamilton a further quarter of a second back in 5th. The world champion had more than 1 off-track moment and spun in dramatic fashion after getting too wide on wet artificial grass at Turn 10.

With that the battle for Pole Saturday should be interesting.

Your Paddock Pass

RACE-WEEK SCHEDULE (all times local)

FP3 (11:00-12:00)
Qualifying (14:00-15:00)

Race (14:10-16:10)

Ferrari is the Aristocrat of the automotive sector.

The iconic Italian Supercar manufacturer claimed the title according to the latest Brand Finance Global 500 2019 report launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Ferrari is the Aristocrat of the automotive sector.

HeffX-LTN overall technical outlook for RACE is Bullish across the board, and there is very little resistance here and none above 140.26. All of our Key indicators are Very Bullish in here.

Enjoy the racing.

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