Sebastian Vettel says racing at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza without the fans will be a ‘surreal’ experience, with Scuderia Ferrari racing in their homeland for the first of three times in 2020 this weekend.
Vettel and Ferrari endured one of their toughest races last time out in Belgium when the German finished a lowly thirteenth, just ahead of team-mate Charles Leclerc, as the team struggled for performance throughout the weekend at Spa-Francorchamps.
The German is not expecting much better this weekend in Italy, but he hopes to get as much out of the SF1000 as he can do in what will be the Scuderia’s 999th Grand Prix.
“Monza is one of the most famous Formula 1 tracks in the world,” said Vettel. “This season, racing at the Autodromo Nazionale will seem very strange, because without fans, there will be a surreal atmosphere. Plus we come to Monza knowing it’s going to be tough to be a frontrunner this weekend.
“The last race here was anything but straightforward for me and we are well aware that will also be the case this time. We have a specific aero package that we hope will make the SF1000 more competitive.
“Nevertheless our aim this weekend is the same as always: to make the most of our package and bring home as many points as possible.”
“We are not lacking motivation for this round” – Charles Leclerc
Team-mate Leclerc took a superb victory at Monza twelve months ago but is expecting a completely different race this year, particularly with Ferrari lacking straight-line pace.
The Monegasque racer says he will never forget the feeling of winning for Ferrari in Italy in 2019, but with the SF1000 not being a competitive car at this stage of the season, he expecting a difficult weekend this year at the Temple of Speed.
“Last year I experienced the most emotional moment of my racing career here in Monza,” said Leclerc. “This time around, the grandstands will be empty, as our fans, who made the podium ceremony so unforgettable, unfortunately can’t be there with us.
“We are not as competitive as last year, so it will be a difficult weekend. All the same, we are not lacking motivation for this round. We will all pull together to bring home the best possible result.”