Sebastian Vettel says Ferrari was cautious with his car after a spin during Tuesday’s testing in Abu Dhabi damaged the rear wing.
On the opening day of the Pirelli tire test at the Yas Marina Circuit, Vettel spun at Turn 1 and hit the barrier on the outside of the track. While Vettel was able to drive back to the pits under his own power, the barrier had to be repaired before testing could continue, and Ferrari was limited to just 69 laps in total.
But the German downplayed the incident.
“[The tests] are important mostly for the tires, just to get an initial feel obviously,” Vettel said. “The pressure from the weekend is still very fresh so we have something to prepare.
“Unfortunately we had some small issues today and took a bit more caution and time to change the broken parts. Nothing big, but we lost a bit of time. There were no huge surprises, the tires seem to work, seem to be fairly similar [to 2018]; we got a lot of data, now we need to have a look.
“I would have liked to do a little bit more, especially longer runs, so we missed a little bit of that. I think Charles [Leclerc] will get hopefully more track time tomorrow and some more answers, but as I said by now there’s not that much different. We’ll have a closer look, we have a lot of people specializing in that, so I’m sure we’ll have some answers soon.”
Expanding on the differences between the 2018 and 2019 tires — having been able to test both types — Vettel says there are a number of similarities after setting the fastest time of the day on this year’s hypersoft.
“The differences were quite small. Speaking to Pirelli I think the whole band is a little bit closer together, so the hypersoft is more towards the rest, and the hard tire — which we didn’t use — should be more towards the rest of the tires that are softer. Yeah I think bringing the tires a little bit closer together.
“We’ll see what are the tire choices for next year, that’ll be the biggest thing to look forward to. Which tracks Pirelli has decided to bring which compound because that can make more difference than maybe the step now from 18 to 19.”