Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Albert Park, 2018

Ferrari “still have quite a lot of performance in hand” – Vettel

2018 Australian Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel said he is encouraged by how close the times are at the end of the first day of practice for the Australian Grand Prix and expects to find more time from his car.

“We tried to chance the balance a bit because I didn’t feel yet very comfortable,” he said. “So I think we still have quite a lot of performance in hand.”

“I’m not too worried because I know that if I get everything right then we should be in better shape. It looks to be close which is good news. We should be able to do something tomorrow.”

Charles Leclerc, Sauber, Albert Park, 2018
Australian Grand Prix practice in picturs
The quickest Ferrari was within three-tenths of a second of Lewis Hamilton’s pace-setting Mercedes in second practice but Vettel isn’t sure whether they’ll be in contention for pole position tomorrow.

“I think it’s too difficult at the beginning of the season to know,” he said. “Normally after a couple of races you know how much everybody is improving, you know where you have to be on Friday to have a say for pole. But this year everything is new so we have to wait.”

Romain Grosjean’s Haas lapped within half a second of Ferrari but Vettel said that isn’t the only midfield team which could impress with its performance.

“Haas has left with a strong impression from Barcelona,” he said. “At least today for one lap they seemed reasonable, I didn’t see much else. I think we’ll have to wait to really confirm.

“Melbourne is a tricky track. If you don’t feel 100% then there’s quite a bit of time in that which all of a sudden comes if you feel confident.

“Therefore I wouldn’t rule out, further back, McLaren as well. They didn’t do much in testing so it’s difficult to judge where they will be. If it’s close, it’s good for everyone, you’re always in range and you can do something.”

Vettel also explains his choice of name for this year’s Ferrari. He has called his SF71H ‘Loria’.

“So we invent a new name,” he explained. “Well, I don’t know, maybe if we do really well this year then at least in Italy there will be some girls named ‘Loria’ as well, that would be really nice.”

“Every year we try to come up with something funny and there’s a bit of reason behind. let’s see, it’s just the beginning of the story. Maybe we add a letter here or there at the end of the year.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 13 comments on “Ferrari “still have quite a lot of performance in hand” – Vettel”

    1. After testing I thought that Ferrari had dropped the ball and dropped behind Red Bull. Now I think that they are probably hiding something and have something extra in hand. I still fully expect Mercedes to dominate this season, but I think that Ferrari will win a few races and remain the 2nd best team ahead of RBR.

      1. I think it will be just like the Principal’s Press Conference.
        Mercedes would dominate centre of the podium while trying hard not to laugh at Ferrari and RedBull getting at each other throat.

      2. @kingshark
        There is still a lot of potential to unlock from the SF71H and that was clear if we take a look at Ferrari’s testing program.
        Ferrari was running most of the times on softer tyres in the winter testing. Many suggested that they were searching performance but they were not. The aim was to find the optimum balance and to work with different set ranges (suspensions,ride height…) and this is the kind of work that is usually done with softer tyres which is understandable since Ferrari have gone aggressive again with their design.
        Mercedes on the other hand refined what was already a winning car, so they didn’t have to work much with the balance, so they went straight to optimizing the car’s performance that’s why they run most of the times on harder tyres.

    2. Last year at this very moment Ferrari was 1.5 seconds behind.

      1. I think your time difference calculation might be a bit off…

        FP2 2017:
        Hamilton: 1:23.620
        Vettel: 1:24.167

        1. So 2 tenths closer this year already. Think the media have overhyped Merc so far, not based on today but testing. Testing was so disrupted it was so hard to read. Most pundits are basing ideas not on what they have seen but based on the hybrid era as a whole.

          1. Based on the long runs in Barcelona, Mercedes were close to a second ahead, on average. They’re not known for showing their hand in preseason either, so that is very ominous.

            Also, since it’s very much an endurance formula now, they won’t be turning up their engines much more than enough to be a few tenths ahead. So anything the other teams will throw at them, they’ll have an answer for it.

          2. Lewis was .4s faster than Verstappen in sector 1 alone.. Yes Redbull as usual are good on the twisty bits but the power deficit Verstappen mentioned is real.. . But let’s see tomorrow :)

    3. that picture is amazing! so dynamic. the car itself is not pin sharp, whereas the grass is, but adds to the feeling of movement and energy. superb.

    4. maybe they can add the letter G at the beginning and have GLORIA (glory)
      it also rimes with VITTORIA (victory)

    5. I really worry when I hear: “I’m not too worried” from Seb.

    6. Does anyone know how one can get access to lap history charts for FP 2. They used to have it on FIA site under “Event and Timing” info? Really great info to check out long runs

      Thanks

    7. Maybe we add a letter here or there at the end of the year.”

      Lorita? if she wins the title.

    Comments are closed.