Vettel ‘couldn’t have asked for better’ first day

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel says that the first day of pre-season testing went ‘perfectly’ as he clocked up the most mileage and the fastest time on Day 1.

It was far from a slow start for Ferrari on Monday as their pre-season test program got underway at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Within ten minutes of the 9am start, Sebastian Vettel was already pounding around the Montmelo circuit and, by lunchtime, he had posted a best time of 1:18.161 on the C3 tyres. A further strong afternoon followed suit but, despite running the softer C4 tyre, he didn’t improve his best time. He did rack up a total of 169 laps – no one single driver has completed that much mileage in one day of testing since fixed testing was introduced a decade ago.

“The first impression from today is very good.” beamed Vettel in his briefing afterwards. “I could not have hoped for a better day, as the car worked really well and we had no issues slowing us down. We completed the programme just the way we wanted.”

“According to Ferrari, they were able to check off every single one of the items on their agenda, including different tyre usage and setup configurations. Vettel said the day couldn’t have been smoother: “Coming here I was pretty open minded and had no expectations and I didn’t need that much time to familiar with the car, as it was making everything quite straightforward for me.”

Despite an early spin exiting the chicane, Vettel laughed it off as he admitted: “I must say I am still a bit rusty, as I haven’t been driving for several months, but I’ll sleep well tonight”.

Adding to his comments, he also paid tribute to the work done at Ferrari’s factory in Maranello by saying: “I would like to send my compliments to everyone back at the factory in Maranello for how they tackled all the new rules and what they put on track today and also how the team is handling the car in a well prepared way”.

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Thomas Maher

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