Scuderia Ferrari can be extremely happy with the outcome of the third day of pre-season testing in Barcelona, Spain, as the Maranello team managed to once again complete more than 100 laps at the Circuit de Catalunya, where Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas set the pace with the fastest time of the week, but Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was only 0.247 seconds behind on a slower tyre.
Valtteri Bottas’ time was set on the fastest ultra-soft tyre, while Sebastian Vettel managed his best lap on the soft compound. Although there are many more unknown factors to be taken into consideration, this could be a very positive indication regarding the SF70H’s potential ahead of the 2017 Formula 1 season. Sebastian’s performance came after Kimi Raikkonen managed the fastest lap on the second day of testing in Barcelona, again using a harder tyre than the one Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton used to set his fastest time.
Asked to cooment on the most important differences between 2016 and 2017 F1 machinery, Sebastian Vettel said: “I think from a driver’s point of view it’s pretty much better everywhere. Braking is better, cornering is better, you’ve got much more grip, and then also in low-speed, where the downforce effect is less, you have the wider tyres, so more grip from them. It works pretty much like an aspirin, it fixes everything!”
Sebastian explained that Scuderia Ferrari is very much focused on itself during the pre-season, with World Champion team Mercedes using softer tyre compounds over the first three days of running: “There is a lot of work ahead of us, the team is pushing very hard. I think we had a quiet winter where we really tried to focus on what’s important, and same here [in testing], we try to do our job – the list that we have to do is very long. We have had a good three days. It could have been better, but we did a decent number of laps. I didn’t really pay much attention to what the others were doing. At the end of the day everybody is looking at one lap time, but it’s much more important what happens throughout the day, so it’s very difficult to read.” – the Scuderia Ferrari German driver concluded.