French motor racing engineer and manager Eric Boullier has been impressed with Scuderia Ferrari’s performance during the first pre-season testing session, which took place this week in Barcelona, at the Circuit de Catalunya. The McLaren Racing Director has indicated the Italian team as the “surprise” of testing, following Ferrari’s good pace and reliability shown across the opening week.
The Maranello side managed to complet more than 100 laps on each of the fully dry days at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, as they are looking to finally put an end to the dominance of rivals Mercedes. Sebastian Vettel’s quickest lap on Wednesday, a sub-1m20s, set on Soft tyres, was just a few tenths down on Valtteri Bottas’ best time, which is important to point out that came on the Ultra Soft compound, while for the second time in three days Kimi Raikkonen has topped the timesheets of the testing sessions:
“You don’t know the level of fuel, you don’t know the level of especially the Mercedes engine, when you switch down the power,” said Eric Boullier, when asked to comment on the outcome of the first pre-season testing session in Spain – “If I may say something, it is maybe that the Ferrari is surprising, maybe people were not expecting Ferrari to be matching Mercedes in times. Red Bull seems to be a bit down for the moment, but again you never know the fuel level. Everybody has got it on secret, everybody is changing the plans. Even between teams we try to find out or sort out who is doing what, and of course it’s not easy. I guess that next week’s [final] test will be a little bit more revealing regarding the performance, but definitely we will have to wait until Australia to have a better view of the situation.” – the McLaren Racing Director concluded, as reporetd by the Italian national sports newspaper Corriere dello Sport.