F1: Sebastian Vettel, “Ferrari Confident for F1 Triple Header”
Ferrari (NYSE:RACE) favorites for French GP this weekend, and next and next.
Thus starts 5 Grands Prix in the next 6 weeks, the busiest time for F 1 in Y 2018, kicking off with a return to France for the 1st time in 10 years.
Sebastian Vettel believes Ferrari have lots reasons to be confident heading into F1’s 1st Grand Prix 3X-header. He admits this week’s return to Paul Ricard is a step into the unknown for the race.
Mr. Vettel regained the momentum in F1’s championship battle 2 weeks ago at Canada by claiming the Scuderia’s 1st victory in 5 races and his 3rd of the season.
That dominant win has led MercedesAMG’s Valtteri Bottas to state: “Ferrari are the favorites coming into this weekend.”
The mood inside the Maranello outfit’s camp in France, “A lot of races coming in the next couple of weeks but generally it’s positive.
“If you look back and look at the big picture, we’ve had seven races and we’ve won three of them. So it’s not bad.
“The fact we have been competitive in most of them makes us quite confident for the next races. In some races you find yourself being more competitive than others, probably [for Ferrari] you can pick Canada versus Spain. Spain was probably our least-competitive race.
“It’s normal to have ups and to have downs but we’re working hard to have more ups than downs. It’s wise to go step-by-step,” said lead Ferrari team driver Sebastian Vettel.
Mr. Vettel downplayed suggestions Ferrari’s car would struggle with tires as it did in Spain.
“All those questions have been answered after the race in Barcelona and the test. I don’t think it makes a difference, it’s the same for all of us,” he said.
“It’s a lot more difficult here to know what to expect because we’ve never been here properly. Same with all the teams at the same time on the same track layout – because there’s quite a lot here! – so we will see how we get going.”
Mr. Vettel has driven at Paul Ricard in testing but never the full 5.842km layout which F1 is racing on this weekend as the circuit in the South of France returns to the sport after a 28-years.
“I don’t see a reason why we should struggle, so we should be fine here. But to know exactly what to expect? I don’t know,” he said.
“I have never properly used this layout that we are using now. I have been here before but 10 years ago when we used to short version to prepare for Monaco, and we had a wet test two years ago. Looking forward to get on the track and see how it feels. It’s not an easy one to find your way round because many places look the same!”
Ferrari has an unmatched history in the French GP.
The Scuderia have won the race a record 17X, that is 9 more than any other constructor – including the final 3 when the event was previously held at Magny-Cours.
Alain Prost, then driving for Ferrari, was the last F1 victor at Paul Ricard in Y 1990.
Mr. Vettel quipped, “If it’s like that I don’t have to do much, it will be Kimi or myself…if only it was that easy! If there is some link between Ferrari and France and doing well I’ll take it – I obviously signed up for the right team!
Circuit Name – Circuit Paul Ricard
Laps – 53
Circuit Length – 3.6 miles
Race Distance – 192.39 miles
Fastest Race Lap – This layout has never been used by F1