Ferrari hit by reliability issues on Day 3 of testing

by Sudha Sundararaj

The Scuderia Ferrari team had a curtailed final day of the first pre-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain. Sebastian Vettel was at the wheel of the SF1000 for the Maranello-based team.

Vettel hit trouble with a power unit (PU) failure after forty laps in the morning session. The German returned to the track in the afternoon session and completed 100 laps for the day. Vettel was in thirteenth position on the time charts.

The team only completed 384 laps compared to the mileage put in by their rivals Mercedes (494 laps) and Red Bull Racing (471 laps). The team did not top the time charts on any of the three days of testing.

This was in sharp contrast to last year when the Ferrari team put in headline grabbing lap times in winter testing, but fell back during the season. The Italian team has claimed from the first day of testing that they are using a different philosophy this time during testing.

Mattia Binotto, the Team Principal, summed up the first three testing days for his team as follows: “We adopted a radically different approach to this first pre-season test compared to last year’s. So far, we have concentrated on evaluating every aspect of the car’s potential, running several different configurations, both aero and mechanical, so as to gather as much data as possible.

“We will now go home and analyse it all, comparing it to that gathered in the simulations we ran on the computer and on the actual simulator we have in Maranello.

“In next week’s test, we will begin to investigate the performance side, working on set-up and moving forward with the usual tests in qualifying and race trim in order to be well prepared for the opening round in Australia.”

Ferrari seemed to be off the pace of their arch-rivals in this first test. It remains to be seen if the team is not revealing their hand until the first race of the season in Australia in three weeks time.

The second and final pre-season test will take place in Barcelona next week (February 26 – 28, 2020).

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