With the Formula 1 season beginning in less than two months, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel is certain the team are in better to shape challenge Mercedes this campaign.
The German recently completed two days of wet-weather testing at the Paul Ricard track in France, a session that saw him finish ahead of teammate Kimi Raikkonen, Red Bull and Mercedes.
While the first pre-season test will only begin next month in Barcelona, Vettel is already targeting success, and he’s hoping Ferrari can provide a stiff test for Mercedes as soon as Australia on March 20.
“Winning in Australia would be fantastic, but our goal is to be at the top at the end of the season,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.”
What are your impressions after these few days of testing?
“It was enjoyable, but obviously testing out so many different tyres makes it difficult to say which was the best.”
Have you noticed an improvement compared to the tyres used last season?
“That’s something that can’t be compared. There was a better feeling with some of the tyres on certain parts of the track, while others performed better in other areas. It was a useful day and the results appear to be good.”
The new Ferrari 667 will be unveiled on February 19. Have you already seen it?
“There isn’t a lot of time until then. I’ve seen what it will look like one month from now in Barcelona.”
What will you do from now until the first official test session in a few weeks?
“I plan on going to Maranello a few times to work with the simulation program in order to be ready. I must also improve my physical conditioning, especially after the Christmas period.”
Prior to Christmas, President Sergio Marchionne said there was no point in talking about how good the team was in December, as that will only be noted in Australia. What are your thoughts on that?
“We don’t need our president to tell us we must win in Australia, as that is something we should already know. We all want that and we know that the gap with Mercedes last season was large before we closed it. Something has changed and we will see how things are after testing, but we shouldn’t make proclamations at this time.
“The development of the new car continues and we will certainly try to win in Melbourne, or earn as many points as possible. Given there are 21 races, if someone asked me whether I would like to win right away or if I would rather win the title, well there is no comparison.”