Scuderia Ferrari German driver Sebastian Vettel believes that the Maranello team still has to find more performance from the SF71H, despite the German logging a record-breaking lap time in Barcelona on the penultimate day of Formula 1 testing. Sebastian played down today’s pace, and explains that for the moment it is still too early to draw any conclusions about how the Scuderia will shape up against main rivals Mercedes and Red Bull come the first race in Australia.
However, he praised the new car’s reliability after running 188 trouble-free laps, stressing that it could play a big role this year: “We still need to work on the performance and the feeling. In terms of reliability it was rock solid, we didn’t have any major issues or major concerns, so hats off to all the guys in the factory.” – the four-time Formula One world champions said, as reported by the Italian media at the end of the testing session.
Seb completed a full successful race simulation in the afternoon but admitted it was hard to judge he car’s performance compared to his main rivals: “Pretty happy. We got a smooth run, car-wise no issues, no red flags, so we could get through, and also for the guys I think with the stops. So that was solid. I don’t know in terms of pace. You always think that you could have done better here and there, just like racing, but I think it was OK. Mostly we did a lot of laps. After the race sim we still did a good chunk of laps. That’s important in understanding the car. There are some things we still need to get on top of. So it was important to run.”
Sebastian Vettel will not drive again before Australia, as Finnish teammate Kimi Raikkonen will have the final day in the car on Friday. Asked how ready the Italian side is for the first race, Sebastian added: “You always hope for more. It’s the same for everyone, especially the first week, losing time, but all in all I think it was good, the days that I had. And I am not going to get more, so that’s it, and I’m pretty happy with the laps I had with the feeling I got for the car, which as I said improved. We understood it a little bit better. We still have some stuff to understand, which we’re not sure about, but it’s normal. The track’s different, the surface is different, makes it a bit hard to compare. But it feels like a step forward. I think it’s probably making sense. I think it all depends where the others are, and well find out in the next couple of weeks.” – Scuderia Ferrari German driver Sebastian Vettel concluded.