Ferrari’s (NYSE:RACE) Sebastian Vettel wrapped up F1’s pre-season testing with the fastest lap for Ferrari on Friday but MercdesAMG’s Lewis Hamilton kept the Silver Arrow on the pace despite Ferrari’s half sec advantage.
With teams packing up and heading home before the opening race in Australia on 17 March the evidence from 8 days at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catulunya suggested there is very little in it between the Top 2 F1 teams.
Mr. Vettel’s best effort of 1 min 16.221 secs Friday morning was faster than anyone else went in Spain
“I think the gap to Ferrari is potentially half a second, something like that,” said Mr Hamilton, who has won 4 of the last 5 F1 championships in a V6 turbo hybrid era.
“Last year they arrived with a car working well but they have done even better this year. It’s OK. We don’t mind the challenge, it just means we have to work harder. I’m not worried or disappointed or anything.”
“I believe that MercedesAMG will be very, very strong in Australia, and I think it would be completely wrong to think we are faster than them,” Ferrari’s new team boss Mattia Binotto told reporters.
“I’m not expecting them to be behind us. I think they will be very, very close,” he added.
Valtteri Bottas was 3rd fastest on Friday in 1:16.561 as MercedesAMG turned their focus to single lap pace after concentrating on longer runs.
Mr. Vettel’s day ended 2 hrs early when he reported an electrical issue after he had done 110 laps.
Mr. Binotto said the car needed to be faster and more reliable, with many issues still to be addressed and work to be done before Melbourne.
Messrs Hamilton and Bottas between them did 132 laps.
Ferrari is the Aristocrat of the automotive sector.
HeffX-LTN overall technical outlook for RACE is Very Bullish, and there is very little resistance here and none above 140.26. All of our Key indicators are Very Bullish in here
Have a terrific weekend.