Vettel hails 'unbelievable' first day in Barcelona

  • 18 Feb 2019 19:13
  • comments 3
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Sebastian Vettel says that Ferrari couldn't have wished for a better opening day to pre-season testing in Barcelona.

The German ended the session top of the timesheets, laying down a 1:18.161, while also setting 169 laps, which was the most of any driver. Vettel's closest competitor was Carlos Sainz, whose fastest time was half a second down on the Ferrari driver's.

Vettel's timesheet-topping time was delivered in the morning session, which started a day the four-time world champion says was "unbelievable", as it faced no issues from the car.

"Honestly no, we couldn't have hoped for a better day," he told media including GPToday.net in Barcelona. "It was unbelievable. The car was working really well, we had no issues slowing us down, we actually completed the programme just the way we wanted. We were able to squeeze out a bit more.

"The first impressions yesterday were already good and strong, and the same today so it seems the car is working, I feel comfortable. Obviously, I'm still a bit rusty because I haven't driven for a couple of months but I certainly got enough laps today, I'll sleep well tonight."

Vettel will also race alongside a new teammate for the 2019 season, as Ferrari opted to promote Charles Leclerc for the upcoming campaign. Vettel says that he has no doubts over the Monegasque driver's pace, affirming that he expects to be put under pressure by the 21-year-old.

"Of course, he's a full rival," Vettel said. "I think he's in the seat for a reason, so I have got to take it very seriously. I think you always have a close rivalry with your teammate, but the priority number one is to bring the team forward and obviously, I've been around a bit longer compared to him. 

"Maybe it's different things that he will have on his plate in the beginning but he's a nice kid and I hope in a positive way you leave him alone and let him do his job. I'm very certain that he will be quick enough and put me under pressure, so we'll see how it goes."

Replies (3)

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  • f1ski

    Posts: 301

    quali in 2018 in barcelona was 116 117 in q1 hard to know how much is gained or lost with the new regs

    • + 0
    • Feb 19 2019 - 01:46
  • Good for them, although I don't put a lot of stock on what Ferrari does in practices. They have a long history of going for headlines. I'd like to know a bit more about that lap though, because the fact that Mclaren was so close makes it all the more confusing

    • + 0
    • Feb 19 2019 - 05:08
  • Regardless, I think the raw amount of laps they clocked in speak for themselves.

    • + 0
    • Feb 19 2019 - 06:51

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