Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2019

Ferrari are fast whatever their fuel load is – Bottas

2019 F1 season

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Valtteri Bottas says Ferrari’s testing times look strong whatever fuel loads or engine modes their rivals are running.

Ferrari set the quickest lap times on the first two days of practice. While teams cannot know how much fuel their rivals are carrying, or whether they are using a high power engine mode, Bottas says Ferrari’s times are impressive regardless.

“They do seem very strong,” said Bottas at the Circuit de Catalunya today. “No matter which kind of fuel load or engine modes they’re running, whatever you try to correct that for in any case that they are quick. Both short runs and long run.

“So I think we feel at this point they’re going to be a bit ahead.”

However Bottas expects to see a faster rate of development under the new regulations, which will affect the competition between Mercedes and Ferrari. “Obviously it’s impossible to make detailed calculations,” he said. “It is very early days.

“With the new rules it’s going to be a big development race. We don’t think anyone is going with this type of car in this test to the first race, including us, we do have new parts coming for the first race.

“[But] we can’t really rely on that it’s going to be an upgrade. We do need to, even with this spec of car, to try and make it better and quicker.”

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2019 F1 season

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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  • 9 comments on “Ferrari are fast whatever their fuel load is – Bottas”

    1. I think Bottas has a point. Ferrari are indeed looking very fast, on a single lap (although they always did 10+ laps on their runs) and also on their long runs. Mercedes doesn’t seem to be able to keep up with them at the moment.
      Although it’s early days and there will be a lot of developing going on, I can’t believe they (Mercs) will come to Melbourne with the best package.
      They will almost certainly be behind Ferrari and probably even slower than Red Bull, which might cost them a shot at the championship.

      1. @srga91 I think they’ll also be a little behind Toro Rosso, probably on par with Williams /s

      2. Clearly mercedes, just like in the past pre season tests, are running much slower than they’re capable of, while it’s not sure who’s gonna be the fastest between ferrari, mercedes and red bull, it’s quite obvious mercedes won’t be slower than anyone else, unlike these tests indicate.

    2. Oh shut up you hopeless wingman. Stop hyping up ferrari and focus on yourself. Do you see Ferrari doing the same?

      1. (a) He was probably saying that in response to a question from a journalist. I can’t imagine the first thing he wanted to do when he hopped out the car was run into the paddock screaming “Holy hell, Ferrari are really hauling a** out there!” like some crazy motoring Archimedes.

        (b) The “hopeless wingman” quip was unnecessary.

        1. @geemac His own team boss call him wingman, and not winning (or being allowed to win) any races last year is pretty hopeless.

          1. @balue This has been discussed to death, but he had one certain win taken away in 2018 due to team orders, another due to a late race puncture and another due to not being able to pit during a safety car in China. His 2018 season wasn’t perfect, but it was no where near as bad as many have made out.

    3. So when a wuestion is asked, drivers should shut up?

    4. Questions like these from the press are always gotchas. And commentators, professional and amateur, will always seize on the answers and twist them to their own bias.

      Ferrari looks stable, easy to drive, and light on the tires, which is the most important part. Mercedes didn’t look quite as stable at the start of the week, but by Tuesday afternoon seemed to adjust their setup well enough to gain the stability. Personally, I’m not sure about their tire wear yet, it’s been difficult to keep track. Neither are showing their full engine modes, neither are pushing the car 10/10ths. It’s testing.

      If I were a driver in these press conferences and someone asked me “What do you think of X’s pace?”, I would say “I’m not. I’m thinking about our own program and focusing on my tasks. We’ll really only find out about X’s pace on Saturday in Melbourne and there’s no point thinking about it until then.” I’d give the kind of answers the press hates. :D

      Or maybe, I’d go the Kimi route. “Doesn’t matter to me, not my problem.”

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