Sebastian Vettel lost the final two-and-a-half hours of Formula 1 pre-season track time after his Ferrari suffered an electrical problem which forced the team to end its programme early.

The German driver leaves Circuit de Catalunya with the fastest test lap time of 1m 16.221s, edging out Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes by just 0.003s, but completed exactly 100 laps fewer than the reigning F1 world champion as a number of mechanical faults hampered Ferrari’s progress in the second test.

After a wheel rim failure saw Vettel suffer a heavy crash during the morning of day two, the German driver lost his final two-and-a-half hours of track action on day four of the second test with an electrical issue which saw him stop on track at Turn 2 and trigger a red flag.

While Ferrari remain content with its lap count, team principal and managing director Mattia Binotto concedes the SF90 remains a work in progress for the Italian manufacturer following a series of mechanical stops.

“These past days have been very intensive and interesting. We are still focusing on our car to understand its limits in terms of performance and reliability,” Binotto said.

“Overall, I am pleased with the work we have carried out. I am pleased with how the car behaves and it was well balanced at this track.

“However, we cannot be completely satisfied at the moment as we would like to be faster and more reliable. So there’s still a lot to do.

“Our programme didn’t always run as smoothly as we would have liked, due to reliability issues and Sebastian’s crash when a wheel rim broke. There are still many issues to be addressed and we must push forward on the performance front.

“The fact that our car is running properly is a good starting point, but we are still not ready for Melbourne and I'd say it’s a case of a work in progress.”

Ferrari and the rest of the F1 gird has just under two weeks to digest pre-season testing ahead of the 2019 season opener at Albert Park for the Australian Grand Prix on March 15-17.

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