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2020 Pre Season

2021-04-24 00:00

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#2020, Fulvio Conti,

2020 Pre Season

A Melbourne, come nel mondo, tutto si è fermato a causa dello scoppio della pandemia di Covid-19. Ma dall’Italia, uno dei paesi più coinvolti in quest

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In Melbourne, as in the rest of the world, everything came to a halt due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, from Italy, one of the most affected countries at the moment, there is good news on the Coronavirus emergency front: Ferrari is ready to restart. The date for the return of its employees to the company is set for April 14, 2020, provided the continuity of the supply chain is guaranteed.

 

"All business activities that can be carried out through remote work will continue regularly, as has been done in recent weeks. The company will continue to cover the days off for those who cannot benefit from this solution".

 

Obviously, there is great uncertainty due to the objective unpredictability of the Covid-19 emergency, but Ferrari looks ahead and sends a signal of optimism. On the other hand, it was the same Maranello-based company that initially tried to resist, only to later decide to close its departments. Always with the well-being and health of its employees in mind.

 

"We are very committed, along with other team principals, Liberty Media, the FIA, and organizers to find a solution. We have given them a blank slate to set up a calendar as soon as possible, deciding to eliminate Friday free practice and only go on track on Saturday and Sunday. Maybe to have races close to August. We need to be ready, available, and positive. Flexibility and collaboration are needed at this time".

 

Ferrari's team principal, Mattia Binotto, declared this on Saturday, March 28, 2020, while, like all Italians, he is confined at home to avoid contagion.

 

"It is essential not to go out. I've been home since I returned from Australia, with my wife and children. The day starts at eight in the morning; I have a meeting with my collaborators, but at lunch and dinner, I am with my family".

 

Mattia Binotto is always in contact with Ferrari's drivers, Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc.

 

"I hear from them almost daily. They are both at home and are training to stay in shape. Charles says he's starting to look more and more like Hulk".

 

Regarding what happened in Melbourne with the positive case of the McLaren mechanic, Binotto reveals:

 

"It was a night with many discussions, but as Ferrari, our intention was not to race. We would not have participated even if it had been decided differently because for Ferrari, safety and health come first, and that's how we arrived at that decision after many hours. We sent Charles and Sebastian back home with the first available flight. With the cancellation of races, it was right to postpone the regulation changes to 2022 because we also had to think about smaller teams with fewer resources who are not earning at the moment".

 

The head of the Maranello team, therefore, confirms that even if the same rules are maintained, there will be innovations in the cars next year, and he talks about his drivers.

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"There will be room for aerodynamic development and also for those small details that make a difference in Formula 1. Sebastian has many more race kilometers and therefore a better ability to manage tires, but Charles is also learning. At the end of last year, he was less aggressive and is good at learning quickly, and I don't think there's a difference in strategy for this reason. We are a young team like the one that was winning in the early 2000s, with people who are eager to improve step by step and become a solid and winning team".

 

And on his role as team principal, he adds:

 

"It's an honor but also a responsibility, for me, who has been with the Scuderia since I started working twenty-five years ago. I have spent half of my life in this family, and I never intended to leave it".

 

Sebastian Vettel, through Ferrari's social channels, also speaks about the terrible moment the world is experiencing due to the Covid-19 pandemic. But he also takes stock of his career, describing himself as very fortunate.

 

"I don't think I can give any groundbreaking advice. Simply take the situation seriously, take care of yourself and others, especially the elderly. Keep your distance, wash your hands. I'm probably giving too much advice, but I think the most important thing is to respect other people, and that means keeping a safe distance from others. Don't underestimate the situation, take it seriously, and be responsible".

 

When asked about what he would like to do after leaving the world of racing, Vettel responds:

 

"Before becoming a professional and starting my racing career, after high school, I intended to go to university and study mechanical engineering, so probably that's something I would like to do. Of course, in the meantime, I have developed a passion for many other interests, but there is always something that fascinates me in understanding how things work".

 

Formula 1 is on hold like every other sport in the world due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but there is a strong desire to restart and perhaps bring some joy to the fans in Ferrari. This is the thought of Charles Leclerc, who, while waiting to resume, trains at home to be ready. For Leclerc, there is also time to answer fans' questions, starting with those related to the current period and his first season in Maranello.

 

"For now, we are adapting to a situation that is not optimal. It has been a year since I started driving for Ferrari, and I still find it hard to believe. It is always an honor when I wear the uniform, and I can't wait to get back on the track".

 

Leclerc, the protagonist of a splendid victory at Monza last year in front of the home crowd, recalls the moments:

 

"The situation was quite tense: Lewis, or rather Valtteri, was just behind me, and then Lewis arrived. So I had a lot of pressure, especially being at Monza. The entire week was focused on that victory, and the Ferrari and I had the whole country with us, so I felt a lot of pressure, and yes, I was tense behind the visor of my helmet, but the only thing I kept telling myself was to stay calm and remain focused on what I had to do in the cockpit, and that was the most important thing to bring home the result. And that's what we did".

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Then some curiosities, including his idol:

 

"My idol among Ferrari drivers has been Michael Schumacher for me. I was little when he was winning a lot. It was impressive, and every time I watched Formula 1, he and Ferrari were the ones I followed the most. But I would have liked to race with Senna as well and learn from him; he had great talent but worked very hard".

 

Looking back, the Monegasque assures that he wouldn't change anything:

 

"I made mistakes, but those are what allowed me to be the driver I am today, but I learned to have patience. Patience is something very important, and I struggled a lot to have it in the past. But being in Ferrari, I learned that it is needed. Of course, you can't have everything right away, and sometimes you need to have a bit of patience and learn from the best, so from Sebastian and the team. Things need time to settle, so sometimes you need to wait, and I was perhaps a bit too impatient before".

 

The new Formula 1 World Championship could start in July. In times of great uncertainty due to the health emergency linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, Mattia Binotto, team principal of Ferrari, tries to set a goal for the Formula 1 circus.

 

"No one really knows when we will restart. On Monday, April 13, 2020, we met with Liberty and FIA, where we discussed the issue. Formula 1 is trying to organize the best championship possible, maybe starting from the beginning of July if that is possible. At the moment, there are no confirmations, but I believe that by the end of May, we will have a clearer picture".

 

Mattia Binotto also recalls that, according to regulations, at least eight races are needed for a World Championship, but everyone is trying to organize more. Furthermore, the Ferrari team principal talks about the budget, another very important aspect for the survival of Formula 1:

 

"The important thing is to be flexible, and on our part, we will do whatever is necessary, short weekends or double Grand Prix. Cost reduction is the first goal to ensure the survival of every single team. There are teams that are constructors, like Ferrari and other top teams that design, develop, homologate, and produce every single component. Others, however, are customers, so when we discuss a budget limit, perhaps the answer is not a one-size-fits-all for every team".


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