Scuderia Ferrari driver, Sebastian Vettel, has changed his mental approach to the SF71-H ahead of the season-opening Melbourne Grand Prix, due to be held in little less than a fortnight.
On Saturday the 10th of March, Green Flag F1 reported that Vettel was reluctant to reveal his impressions of the 2018 car ahead of the first Grand Prix of the season. His team mate, Kimi Raikkonen, had also echoed these comments.
However, in an interview conducted by Ferrari on 14th of March, Vettel seems to have changed his approach toward the SF71-H, commenting, “I have confidence in our car.”
This is a major change because earlier in the week, Vettel claimed that it was “wrong” to look at the timesheet or say anything about the performance of Ferrari’s 2018 challenger.
“We are still working on some things for the first race and it’s not really possible to make any predictions based on the performance of the other teams,” he said.
Whereas in yesterday’s interview with Ferrari, Vettel sensationally claimed, “I think we’re starting from a good base with our SF71H car.”
“I have a lot of confidence in our team,” he continued, “I know how skilled and committed the guys in Maranello are.”
When pushed about the strong race pace of both Mercedes and Red Bull during the two Barcelona tests earlier in the month, Vettel calmly responded, “Our competitors … used one type of tyre for their race distance simulations.”
As he went on to point out, “[it] is something you can’t do in a Grand Prix.”
The interview has the sense of Vettel’s typical wit and class toward difficult questions. He’s in good spirits ahead of the Australian Grand Prix on March 25th.
“I can’t wait to be in Australia,” Vettel said.
The race in Australia will be the first of the 2018 season. It’ll also mark the first time that Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull will fight out on track.
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton hasn’t changed his position on the competition for the upcoming race. “It’s still difficult to know exactly where we are in comparison to Red Bull and Ferrari,” he stated at the end of the final test.
He then added, “we won’t fully know that until we get to the first race.”
Formula 1 will kick off again on March 23rd with the first two practice sessions on the streets of Albert Park, Melbourne.
This will be followed by qualifying the next day and the race on Sunday the 25th.