Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2019

Vettel convinced Ferrari are “not the fastest” despite heading Mercedes in practice

2019 Canadian Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel says he isn’t taking Friday’s practice times at face value after Ferrari ended the day first and second.

He and team mate Charles Leclerc headed the times after Lewis Hamilton crashed his Mercedes in second practice. However Vettel said after the session he believes: “We’re not the fastest.

“I know in terms of result if you look at the one-lap performance it looks maybe like thatthis afternoon. But I think there’s still quite a reasonable gap to Mercedes.”

The quickest Ferrari had been almost a second slower than Hamilton’s car during first practice and Vettel believes Mercedes can still make up more time than Ferrari in the corners. “We’ll see where we end up tomorrow,” he said. “Today was not the most transparent session with other people running into problems.

“Also the car feels not yet the way I want it. We have some, I wouldn’t say ‘tricks up our sleeve’, but stuff that we want to try and get a read on and we’ll see.”

Vettel said he is also concerned about the durability of the soft compound tyres at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

“The tyres didn’t last very long, the very soft compound,” he said.

“It’s been an interesting session,” he added. “Obviously quite bit slippery, quite dirty to start with. But I think the track will improve the whole weekend so the key will be to go with the track.”

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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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10 comments on “Vettel convinced Ferrari are “not the fastest” despite heading Mercedes in practice”

  1. Seb reading from Toto’s playbook.

    F1: The Pinnacle of Motor Racing Incest. ;-)

    1. Rather trying to stoke interest of future boss.

  2. Hamilton knew Ferrari has Top Speed bonus in the straights, he tried everything he could on corners to make-up the deficits and there it goes the rear end. I believe Hamilton is very disappointed with the lost of huge engine power advantage 2014-2017 he enjoyed.

    1. The quality of comments on this website has taken a huge downward spiral in the last 7-8 years. I remember when the comment section was full of wit and insight. Nowadays we only have unfunny trolls.

      1. They should not allow unregistered people to comment.

      2. True dat…….it’s like the smart rational people have left. Used to come to this website for the comments; insightful and bringing perspective to articles

  3. Mercedes definitely has the advantage, but probably not as large as they did in Monaco or Barcelona. Let’s not forget that Mercedes has a new PU in the car, and they’re probably just analysing and getting things right on Friday. I’d expect them to turn up the heat in qualifying and lock out the front row.

    I do think Ferrari should be second best team this weekend though. I don’t think this track will suit Honda engine teams. A 3rd row lockout should be on the cards for Red Bull if Gasly doesn’t blow it.

    I’m also waiting for Toto’s comments on how Ferrari is now the car to beat.

  4. “The tyres didn’t last very long, the very soft compound,” he said.

    Wow. this is going to throw a spanner in the plans of many teams i suppose. Some of the midfield teams have brought too many softs to this track. I heard it is only going to get hotter on race day. Sustained top speeds and long run pace is everything. That being said, and also looking at the i wont be surprised if the top 4 lap everyone from P6 down. For now, it does look like McLaren and Renault have upped their performance with a new engine spec. It would be nice to see a year long fight for the fourth spot in the WCC !!

    1. @webtel

      For now, it does look like McLaren and Renault have upped their performance with a new engine spec.

      I agree. After years of seeing Mclaren struggle at this circuit because of a sub standard power unit, it’s really pleasing to see them a few tenths down on the big three and within a good shot of best of the rest.

      After all the constant praise that’s been heaped on Honda’s “progress”, it looks like Renault has silently delivered an engine upgrade that looks capable of delivering results .

  5. Panagiotis Papatheodorou (@panagiotism-papatheodorou)
    8th June 2019, 12:26

    They definitely seem closer but I still think Mercedes has an advantage.

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