Sebastian Vettel can be can be more than happy with the outcome of the 2017 pre-season testing sessions for Scuderia Ferrari, as the Maranello team look like genuine challengers to world champions and rivals Mercedes. Of course, the results of the testing period are not always relevant for the competitive order of the new season because all of the F1 teams make sure not to show the true specifications of their cars and many important variables such as fuel load and engine mode also make a huge difference to performance and lap times.
Yet although there is inevitably a certain margin for error in any evaluation made on the basis of testing, some things are crystal clear – Scuderia Ferrari looked very good out on the Spanish circuit and the lap times were genuinely impressive. Even Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton admitted to this.
However, Sebastian Vettel is taking a far more measured approach, as the entire Maranello team, and for the moment plays down his and his team’s chances, adding that 2016 was not as bad as it looked from the outside: “We are better prepared than last year, we did more laps.” – the German driver said following last week’s final testing session – “Overall the team is in better shape. We learned a lot from last year, and I think last year was the most important year for us. Even if you look at the results you say it was not such a successful one, but what happened in the background though was really, really important to help us make a step forward, and hopefully we have done that. Last year we learned a lot of lessons, the whole organisation, the whole team has grown a lot. I think it was the most important year, although not many people see it that way. Obviously 2015 was a great year to start for myself, for the team to restart the mission to win. It is true that but 2016 was a step back in terms of results, but I think we had a massive step forward in terms of organisation.” – Sebastian Vettel concluded.