Thursday, 18 April, 2019

Ferrari shows good pace, reliability in 1st week of F1 tests

Kvyat fastest, Ricciardo 3rd in F1 testing Ferrari are 'a bit ahead' of F1 champions Mercedes, says Valtteri Bottas
Jennie Wade | 25 February, 2019, 07:55

"I didn't win a single race past year, and there is only one target for the whole season - the world championship, for me personally and also for us, as a team".

Ferrari won the first two races of last year with a vehicle that seemed quicker than the Mercedes but the champions came back strongly and Hamilton ended the year with 11 wins to Vettel's tally of five.

"I don't think you can put a figure on it, but Ferrari are very, very strong right now as you have seen".

Hamilton on Wednesday predicted a stronger challenge from Ferrari this year.

"I sense a bit of an excitement in the team, to discover more about the auto and we're really, really trying to improve it, because at this moment it looks like we're not miles ahead of everyone".

Ferrari won the first two races of last year with a vehicle that seemed quicker than the Mercedes but the champions came back strongly and Hamilton ended the year with 11 wins to Vettel's tally of five.

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"We have work to do, but it's a good feeling in the sense that it feels like there is potential", Bottas said. You can't say just Ferrari. "So, we don't approach the first race now at all relaxed, not that we ever do".

Leclerc was quickest on day two of testing and stressed how comfortable he felt in the auto.

Deputy Team Principal Claire Williams said finally getting onto the circuit was "a big relief".

As the days progressed in testing, the Silver Arrows' performance improved, but Bottas says the team needs to continue to address any faults, even if it means an upgrade.

"We've missed two days of testing, and that's not ideal. I think we feel, at this point, that they're going to be a bit ahead, but obviously it's impossible to make a detailed calculation". We still have a lot of work to do.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said that "a no-deal Brexit would have a major impact on our operations going to races and developing cars". We have done many laps and reliability is very good. The first day of the Bahrain Grand Prix in March is also the deadline for the United Kingdom to make a decision on Brexit.

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