Ferrari Top The TimeSheets As Vettel Begins Strong Start To Pre-Season Testing

Vettel pre-season 2019 dailycarblog.com

After covering 160 laps on day 1 of pre-season testing at Barcelona Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel set a marker for others to follow. Despite a spin early on Vettel set a benchmark time of 1:18.61 on medium compound tyres.

But his time has to be taken into context. Lewis Hamilton set a qualifying time of 1:16.173 in 2018. So obviously Vettel is most probably running a car on a half-filled tank of fuel.

To put Vettel’s day one lap time into further context, 1:18s was recorded as the fastest lap from the 2018 race.

Next up was the McLaren of Carlos Sainz who set a time of 1:18.558 running on soft tyres. The Hass of Grosjean was next up followed by the Red Bull Honda driven by Max Verstappen.

https://twitter.com/F1/status/1097776895024943104

Both Grosjean and Verstappen set similar 1:19s lap times. Lewis Hamilton recorded a time of 1:20s.

So it is easy to deduce all teams are… testing. Running high fuel loads etc. Day 1 is essentially a systems check.

And there were a lot of spins on the day. Tyre warmers can no longer be used and a slew of drivers including Vettel and Raikkonen had spins on circuit.

Raikkonen spun off and beached his Alfa Romeo into the gravel trap. As did rookie Torro Rosso driver Alexzander Albon.

So, yes Ferrari has started pre-season testing strongly and shown excellent reliability. But the lap times are not yet representative. We will only know on the last day of pre-season testing who has the quickest car.

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