Sebastian Vettel says the first in-season Formula 1 test came at an ideal time after Ferrari struggled with tyre life at the Spanish Grand Prix after a positive start to the 2018 season.

The Ferrari driver notched up 134 laps while on testing duty on the first day of the two-day test at Circuit de Catalunya, before handing over to Ferrari third and reserve driver Antonio Giovinazzi on day two, having struggled to match the race pace of the Mercedes pair during the Spanish race.

After a strong start to the 2018 F1 campaign with wins at the opening two rounds, Vettel’s results have dropped off which has seen him miss the rostrum since Bahrain.

While being pitched into a spin by Max Verstappen in China and outbraking himself in Azerbaijan during a move for the lead against Valtteri Bottas, Ferrari’s performances have looked at the head of the field at the opening four rounds but noticeably struggled with tyre wear and life in Spain.

Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team Profile 2018

Pirelli had introduced tyres with a thinner tread for the Spanish Grand Prix after heavy blistering fears became evident during pre-season testing at the Barcelona track. Vettel has dismissed theories pointing towards the tyres favouring rivals Mercedes and accepts Ferrari needed the in-season test to resolve its new performance worries.

“It’s good to have the test to be able to compare and I think we have some ideas. Now it’s up to us to turn those ideas into reality,” Vettel said. “It was good in terms of timing, coming from a poor weekend for us, as we were not quick enough and more than not being quick enough we were struggling to make the tyres last.

“These things have a link, so it was good to have a possibility to revisit it and now it’s up to us to take action.

“The work was more global, to keep understanding the car, to be able to pinpoint the weaknesses of the car and make sure we take the right direction. We take the right steps that it needs when we go to tracks that are similar to this one to be competitive.”

Vettel will be eager to bounce back at Monaco where he claimed victory 12 months ago ahead of Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen. The German driver has slipped to 17 points behind F1 world championship leader Lewis Hamilton while Ferrari lost top spot in the F1 world constructors' championship to Mercedes in Spain.