Sebastian Vettel: “We have to see if this car can be a winner”

Sebastian Vettel revealed he was happy with the outcome of the eight days of pre-season testing at the Circuit de Catalunya after ending the final day as the fastest driver.

The Scuderia Ferrari driver set a best time of 1m22.852s on Friday to ensure his team ended up fastest on five of the eight days of testing at the Spanish circuit, with the gap to second placed Carlos Sainz Jr almost three-tenths of a second.

Vettel believes the testing has been successful for the team and both himself and team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, and hopes that when the Australian Grand Prix gets underway later this month the team can be a genuine threat to the Mercedes team.

“I am happy and I think that even with Kimi we have been successful so far,” said Vettel “We were able to do quite a lot of laps, going through our program well, so I think it was a good test.

“We have to see if this car can be a winner, but I think that the first impression was good and everything we have built is positive. So, overall, I am happy with the feeling in the car. And we are happy with the step we have made.

“In terms of reliability, though, Mercedes seems to be very strong, irrespective of the issue they had today.

“We try to close the gap to the cars in front, which has been quite big last year. I think we did a good job during the last season and now I think that the new car can close the gap even more, but we have to be patient a little bit longer, for a couple of weeks at least.”