Sebastian Vettel highlighted Ferrari’s reliability as the biggest positive of the second day of pre-season testing despite setting the fastest time of the week so far.
Cold conditions limited running on Tuesday, with light snow falling at times during the afternoon session as no team reached the 100-lap mark. In the best conditions early in the afternoon – when track temperatures were at their highest – Vettel posted a 1m19.673s on soft tires, a time just over half a second quicker than Daniel Ricciardo managed on mediums on Monday.
Asked for his first impressions after his opening day in the car, Vettel replied: “It’s cold, it’s very cold.
“So I think the most important thing if you look at the table we did nearly 100 laps. Considering that it was snowing also at the end of the day it’s OK. It’s very difficult to get the tires to work and I think everybody is having the same issues. It’s only three or four degrees and the asphalt is 10 degrees so it’s very, very cold. Not the conditions that we normally run.
“I think the car is working, we didn’t have any problems reliability-wise. Have we made a step forward in terms of performance? I don’t know yet but in terms of general operation it’s been very smooth so it’s good to come here, switch on the car and be able to run. The limiting factor was the weather.”
And Vettel says it is “a bit pointless” to try and compare both this year’s car to the previous Ferrari as well as against its rivals due to the cold temperatures.
“Yeah I hope so but it’s very difficult to say at this stage because first of all, it’s much cooler than last year. Second, the asphalt is completely different. So they are two major things that make it impossible to compare at this point.
“For sure you look at the others and you compare a bit but it’s very difficult. I think we should not get into details too much because it’s a bit pointless. I don’t think the next two days are going to be much better but I hope next week we will know more.”