F1: Ferrari’s (NYSE:RACE) Sebastian Vettel Fastest Time at F1 Tests
Ferrari (NYSE:RACE) team driver Sebastian Vettel recorded the fastest pre-season lap during the 2nd-to-last day of F1 testing Thursday.
Mr. Vettel pushed his Ferrari to 1 min, 19.024 secs, bettering his mark from earlier in the day, which was faster than that clocked by MercedesAMG driver Valtteri Bottas Wednesday.
Mr. Vettel said he has learned from MercedesAMG’s 3-year dominance of the series that the defending champions are likely holding back.
“If you look at how many laps Mercedes have done, look at historically how slow they go in testing, how much they were able to ramp it up for the races, it’s clear. They are very fast with their long run pace. They’re the ones to beat,” Mr. Vettel said.
“For us it does not really matter where we are now. We are growing and we need to work hard. That’s why it is important not to get distracted.”
Mr. Vettel also led the pack with 156 laps completed on a full 8 hours of driving.
Mr. Bottas’ previous leading mark was the fastest ever recorded at the Circuit Barcelona-Catalunya since layout changes made 10 years ago. After a chicane was introduced in Y 2007, the best lap time was set by former Red Bull driver Mark Webber during Y 2010 qualifying.
Times continued to drop through day 7 of the pre-season as expected after F1 issued a major rule book overhaul this Winter to make wider, and thus faster, cars.
MercedesAMG team driver Lewis Hamilton was 2nd best to Mr. Vettel in the 4-hour morning session, only 0.326 secs off Mr. Vettel’s pace. Mr. Bottas took over for MercedesAMG in the afternoon and had the 8th quickest time.
Mr. Bottas said MercedesAMG is expecting more from its rivals, especially Ferrari, come the season-opening Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne.
McLaren suffered another demoralizing setback after Stoffel Vandoorne’s car puttered to a halt on the track, twice. The team said the 2nd stoppage was due to an electrical problem. McLaren has been plagued by stoppages and slow speeds from its Honda engine.
Esteban Ocon enjoyed a promising day with the 3rd fastest time and next highest workload with 137 laps in his Force India.
Daniel Ricciardo manage only the 6th best lap in his Red Bull over 128 laps.
Williams was down at the bottom of the time sheet. Lance Stroll and Felipe Massa were the 2 slowest in the field, more than 5 secs behind Mr. Vettel in his Ferrari.
Friday will be the last chance for teams to make their preparations for the Australian GP on 26 March.
|NYSE:RACE||65.17||9 March 2017||-0.31||65.36||65.78||65.05||369,200|
|HeffX-LTN Analysis for RACE:||Overall||Short||Intermediate||Long|
|Very Bullish (0.52)||Bullish (0.41)||Very Bullish (0.56)||Very Bullish (0.5|
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