When it comes to respected drivers in Formula 1, it’s hard to look past quadruple World Champion and Ferrari’s lead driver, Sebastian Vettel.
After completing two days of pre-season testing – Monday and Wednesday – the German has given a positive verdict on the new breed of Formula 1 cars that are up to four seconds faster than their 2016 counterparts.
In the most simplistic terms, Vettel said the new Ferrari SF70-H is “great fun to drive,” because it’s “quicker in the corners and slower down the straights.”
He also admitted the cars are “more physical” this year, saying he felt “tired,” after the tests. This somewhat mirrors Lewis Hamilton’s recent comments that his Mercedes W08 left him with “bruises and bumps.”
On another part of the car, Vettel didn’t give a clear opinion on the wider tires, but did note Pirelli’s new construction is certainly “different,” because they “behave more consistent.”
Over the two days Vettel spent driving the car, he covered 268 laps of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya – equivalent to just over four full length Grand Prix’s.
Despite this considerable distance, however, Vettel still felt it was “too early to understand the available potential,” from Ferrari’s bold and ambitious SF70-H.
But the initial signs seem good as Ferrari – and Vettel – have proved extremely fast throughout the three days. Vettel finished 2nd to Mercedes on Tuesday and Thursday whilst Kimi Raikkonen took top honors on the Wednesday.
Reliability demons hadn’t been present during this time, until the last 10 minutes of Vettel’s run on Thursday. Red 5 was stuck on the start/finish straight with an unidentified issue explained by Vettel, who said: “we were trying something that didn’t work.”
Ferrari will return to the track for the fourth and final day on Friday the 2nd. The track will be artificially wet so teams can gather data on the intermediate and extreme wet tires.
Kimi Raikkonen will complete the day.