The Ferrari team seems to be ahead and in a better position based on Formula 1 pre-season testing so far. The new SF90 has consistently been towards the top of the leaderboards throughout the first week of testing in Barcelona, with Sebastian Vettel being by far the fastest driver on the first day and with Leclerc following that feat on the second day.
On top of the usual caveats that pop up in testing such as engine power use and fuel load, Ferrari have had the benefit of reigning champions Mercedes leaving it to the end of the week to test softer compounds. But after Lewis Hamilton’s statement on Wednesday saying that the Ferrari’s look “very, very strong” Bottas went further in suggesting that Ferrari may have an advantage as of now.
“They do seem very strong,” the Finn concurred. “No matter which kind of fuel load or engine mode they are running. We try to correct for that, but in any case they are quick. On short runs and long runs. I think we feel at this point they’re a bit ahead, but obviously it’s impossible to make detailed calculations.”
Bottas stressed that Mercedes’ results in testing didn’t matter to the team, as “we have our own references, and the timesheet is not the reference here”.
“For sure we read something [into the times]. We look. But we really want to focus on the limited time of testing we have, we want to focus on ourselves and our package. I’m sure between the tests the teams will do a bit more analysing where we think we are. It really matters where we’re going to be in Melbourne and that is down to how efficient we do these test sessions.
“Like I said before, Ferrari’s looking very strong. There’s no doubt about that.”
Foto-credit: Mercedes AMG F1
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