Scuderia Ferrari‘s Sebastian Vettel said everyone was struggling to stay on track during Tuesday’s pre-season test at the Circuit De Barcelona-Catalunya.
Due to the tricky track conditions with temperatures as a low as five degrees Celsius, everyone was pushing to find heat into the tyres which saw some drivers making mistakes out on track, and Vettel was amongst them, with the German having a spin at Turn two, although he was able to continue his run.
The four-time world champion set the fastest lap of the test so far with a 1:19.673s on soft Pirelli tyres and completed a total of 98 laps, the most laps by any driver during the session, but Vettel said that lap times are not relevant at this stage, and the fact they encountered no reliability issues during today’s test was more important.
“The important thing today wasn’t the lap time, but the fact that, in these conditions, we managed to cover almost a hundred laps without encountering any reliability problems” said Vettel.
“That’s what we are concentrating on at the moment, with the search for performance coming later. From an operational point of view, everything went smoothly and I’d say the car is working.
“But today’s conditions are not the ones in which you’d normally run an F1 car: today it even snowed and with air temperature around 3 to 4 degrees and the track at 8 to 9, everyone struggled to get the tyres up to temperature.”
The German driver also said that comparing data with last year’s test is impossible due to the conditions and resurfaced asphalt of the track.
“The weather was the limiting factor today: the fact it’s been much colder than last year and also that the track has been completely resurfaced, means it’s impossible to make any comparisons,” said Vettel.
“For now, we are concentrating on ourselves, without looking at what the others are doing.”