Sebastian Vettel thinks that the best time he set today doesn’t mean much since the track was arguably the worst this year due to the rain which washed out all the rubber, but he is “pleased with the way testing went”.
Sebastian Vettel rounded off his pre-season testing with 145 laps, equivalent to 675 kilometres. Today, the German went through a trouble-free simulation of an entire race weekend at the wheel of the SF1000.
Overnight rain meant that Sebastian waited for conditions to improve, going out onto the 4,655 km circuit around 20 minutes after the green light, doing an installation lap on intermediate tyres.
Then he waited until the track was completely dry before starting a race weekend simulation using the C3, C4 and C5 tyres. Once again today, wind made life difficult for the drivers, particularly at a handful of corners. Just before the lunch break, the four times world champion did a qualifying run, setting his best time of the day in 1:16.841, having completed 48 laps by one o’clock.
The afternoon saw the team rehearse each and every procedure that is undertaken on the Sunday of a Grand Prix. Sebastian alternated between the C2 and C3 compounds for this, completing the 300km race distance without any problems.
Before the session ended, the German went back out on track for another series of runs to gather more data relating to the car’s handling. In this second test session, Seb has completed a total of 229 laps, or 1,066 kilometres. His winter testing total is therefore 402 laps (1,871 kilometres), equivalent to around six Grands Prix.
The last day of testing sees Charles Leclerc back on track to gather the final mass of data to take back to Maranello in preparation for the opening round of the season, the Australian Grand Prix, which takes place on 15 March in Melbourne.
“This was a good day in terms of the number of laps we managed to do, as well as for the fact that we got through the programme we had set ourselves,” said Vettel.
“Having said that, I don’t think today’s times mean much, because, out of the five days of testing we have done here so far, today’s track conditions were definitely the worst.”
“The overnight rain had washed away all the rubber put down on previous days and, on top of that, the wind got much stronger right from early morning, making it harder to drive.”
“I think we have done a good job, concentrating mainly on what we had to do, without thinking too much about lap times.”
“We won’t really get a clear picture until Melbourne, but maybe not even there, given that the track is pretty unique. Overall, I’m pleased with the way testing went.”