Sebastian Vettel: Barcelona test a ‘unique opportunity’

Sebastian Vettel topped the timesheets on the opening day of Formula 1 in-season testing at the Circuit de Catalunya on Tuesday.

The Scuderia Ferrari driver set a time of 1 minute 23.220s to finish the session 0.117s ahead of the Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg, completing a total of 103 laps throughout the day.

“I think it is a unique chance having the opportunity right after the GP to test at the same track, more or less on the same conditions,” said Vettel. “Saturday we struggled a bit so today we tried some stuff.”

The team run the Ferrari on the same tyres from qualifying on Saturday as they tried to recreate the conditions and solve the issues they faced.

“We needed to have a good look at it, but this is not the only thing we were here for. For sure we tried to cover as much as possible in one day. I think Monaco should be a strong track for us, last year we were very competitive there. Now we have improved the car in the areas you need for that GP so I think it should help.

“Here in Barcelona we were as competitive as expected, with the exception of Saturday. Now we are not in the best position, we are not the favorites going to Monaco either, as the favorites remain Mercedes, but we try very hard and if there is a chance to win we’ll try to win. We go step by step, not looking too far ahead. I’m convinced that the chance is there.

GP3 driver Antonio Fuoco will take over the driving duties from Vettel for Ferrari on the second day of testing in Barcelona.