Though he maintains emerging fastest on the first day of F1 testing in Spain is 'not really important', a positive Sebastian Vettel was full of praise for his Ferrari SF16-H as it proved rapid out of the box.

The German enjoyed a day of largely trouble-free running as he got to grips with the new machine and spent much of it at the top of the timesheets, his best effort of 1m 24.939s coming just ahead of the lunchtime break.

A lap that would have placed him on the front row in last year's Spanish Grand Prix, though Vettel - who completed 69 laps in total - was pleased to hit the headlines on the first day of action in 2016, he tempers it with caution.

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"It is better to be first in about a month's time," he joked. "It is better than being last but it is not really important. We are fairly happy with the car and the way it felt, we did some laps, ideally we wanted to do some more but when everything is new and you have issues to look into, you take a bit more caution, you stop and unfortunately these things take time."

Even so, Vettel is buoyed by his first impressions of the SF16-H, branding it a step forward in all areas.

"I think it is a step forward. It was the first proper day and it was good to get some laps and a first feel for the car, the first impression was very positive

"It seems like a step up. I had good confidence straight away and felt at home, so that is a good sign. We know there is a lot of work ahead of us. Coming back on the result today, it is nice but it doesn't mean much. There is plenty for us to get on top of."