Sakhir 06 December 2020

The Sakhir Grand Prix provided nothing but disappointment for Scuderia Ferrari with only Sebastian Vettel seeing the chequered flag. Charles Leclerc was out of the race after an incident on the opening lap.

Start.  When the five lights went out, Charles, who was on the dirty side of the track, lost a place but was still in touch with the trio ahead, made up of Vatteri Bottas, Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen. At turn 4 he collided with the Mexican in the Racing Point, damaging the suspension on the SF1000 which meant he had to retire on the spot.

Vettel.  Sebastian made the most of the chaos to move up from 13th to ninth place, but he was soon overtaken by Lando Norris, Alex Albon and Sergio Perez, which dropped him out of the points zone. For the entire race, the German fought around tenth to twelfth position eventually finishing in that place. The curtain comes down on the World Championship next weekend on the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi with the 17th round of the 2020 season.  

Sebastian Vettel #5

“Today we didn’t have a very exciting race. I really fought hard trying to get a good result but in the end it was very difficult. I was defending today rather than attacking. Even at the end, when I had a small advantage in terms of tyres it was not easy at all, so for me it was a bit of a boring race. 

We tried to do something different going quite long in the first stint and then fitting Hard tyres. From then on, I tried to look after the tyres and drive sensibly, but I don’t think that it made a difference today.”

Charles Leclerc #16

“It was a shame to be out of the race on the first lap. I was on the inside of Max, a bit behind, and I tried to go side by side with him to the first corner and tried to brake a bit later. I had seen Checo in front of me but expected him to stay round the outside of Valtteri, which didn’t happen because he braked a bit earlier than Valtteri and came back towards the inside of the corner. As soon as I saw him coming back, I braked but it was too late as I locked up my front wheel and collided with him. I am not putting the blame on anyone else, if anyone is to blame, it’s me. Of course I am disappointed and it will be good to be back in the car in just a few days so that I can put this race behind me.”

Mattia Binotto Team Principal

“Charles’ race ended after just four corners when he collided with Perez, whom we congratulate by the way for his first Formula 1 win. The Stewards investigated the incident and have imposed a three place grid penalty on Charles for the next race in Abu Dhabi, so that ends any discussion about the rights or wrongs of it all. As for Sebastian, it’s a shame we could not get a single point out of such a crazy race. We have to look ahead, get this season done and then concentrate fully on next year.

While it was a disappointing day for the Scuderia, it went very well for the Ferrari Driver Academy. Mick Schumacher took the Formula 2 title and we also had Callum Ilott in second place and Robert Shwartzman fourth. In Formula Regional, Gianluca Petecof won the title ahead of Arthur Leclerc. Out of 91 races across F2, F3, F.Regional and F4, our guys won 20 and were on the podium 59 times. These are amazing statistics that show what a great job our Academy is doing, as is the fact that Mick, Callum and Robert are all taking part in what is known as the Young Driver Test on 15 December in Abu Dhabi.” 

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