Wednesday, 23 January, 2019

Vettel buoyed by Ferrari's 'rock solid' reliability

Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing RB14 Vettel buoyed by Ferrari's 'rock solid' reliability
Kristopher Love | 09 March, 2018, 14:38

Sebastian Vettel ended his pre-season testing at the second Barcelona test with the fastest time, showcasing the pace of the Scuderia Ferrari SF71H. The time was not only a the fastest ever on this layout of the Circuit de Catalunya - eclipsing Daniel Ricciardo's short-lived record in the Red Bull on Wednesday by almost 0.9s - it was also 1.2s faster than anyone else on Thursday.

Lewis Hamilton on Thursday said that he is not anxious about the laptime put in by Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel at the final Barcelona test.

"The important thing is that the vehicle was working all day".

"Mostly we did a lot of laps - after the race sim we still did a good chunk of laps".

"Overall the conditions were better than yesterday". The initial indications suggest Mercedes has the edge while Ferrari and Red Bull were close to each other.

Kevin Magnussen's time, set on a harder tyre, was not far off and it is believed that Arrivabene was enquiring about what fuel load he was on. Again, a true reading of the competitive order will not be ascertained until F1 travels to Melbourne.

The Red Bull driver used the new hypersoft tyre for the first time to overhaul Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes, which had topped most of the morning across medium, supersoft and ultrasoft tyre runs.

"Even when you have a small problem, the world is watching", said McLaren's executive director Zak Brown of a stoppage that revived painful memories of the now-terminated Honda partnership with its regular engine failures.

It was cloudy and chilly this morning at the Catalunya circuit and then a bit milder in the afternoon, with an average temperature of 15 degrees (28 track temperature) with a few gusts of wind.

After reliability issues on the two previous days this week, McLaren racked up an impressive 146 laps on Thursday.

McLaren's reliability issues continued, with Fernando Alonso being stranded on the track because of an oil leak a day after teammate Stoffel Vandoorne twice had his runs interrupted by auto failures.

Sebastian Vettel, the fastest man around the Circuit de Catalunya, says Ferrari needs to extract more performance from its SF71-H.

While Hamilton set his time on ultrasofts - the second softest compound - Allison says he has seen enough from Red Bull to suggest the quadruple world champions could act as Mercedes' direct competition in the upcoming campaign. Hamilton will be back on track in the morning for his final stint in the auto before Melbourne.

Asked about Vettel's lap, Verstappen replied: "It's a good laptime, for sure".