Sebastian Vettel admits Ferrari did not leave the “strongest impression” with its performance during pre-season testing but insists he is “not worried” heading into the 2020 Formula 1 campaign.

Ferrari largely stayed away from the top of the timesheets throughout the two weeks of testing at Barcelona, aside from Vettel topping the penultimate day of running.

Instead, the Italian squad focused its winter programme on gaining a better understanding of its latest SF1000 challenger and prioritising reliability, following its struggles to get to grips with its inconsistent 2019 car.

“I think if you look at the big teams then nobody is trying to do anything fancy,” Vettel explained.

“You try to simulate every little bit of everything and everybody is using all tyres so naturally you go faster on the softer tyres than the harder tyres but most of the work is done in the background and you don’t see it.

“I think it is about average fuel load that you expect in terms of power what you expect is also hard to read so therefore I’m curious to see where we are in Australia.

“It is not like we leave the strongest impression right now but I am not worried so if it is so then it is like this so we will know in a couple of weeks’ time and not now.”

Much of Ferrari’s focus with its “extreme” 2020 concept has been centred around trying to find more downforce and more performance in slow-speed corners, which proved to be an area of weakness last year.

But Vettel says the search for cornering gains comes with a trade-off in terms of straight-line speed, resulting in Ferrari’s 2020 challenger being more “draggy” on the straights.

“I think compared to last year in sector three the car feels better but we also know it comes with a trade,” he added.

“We are slower and still have some work to do on the straights as we are a bit draggy but we are aware of that and as we’ve said the objective was to put more downforce on the car.

“So Sector 3 does feel better but getting out of Sector 3 and down to Turn 1 doesn’t feel as good as last year.

"From the inside it is very little difference and hard to tell but certainly in the corners you feel the difference where we improved.

“Others were a bit faster so that’s where we are and there is a lot of work to do so that’s what it is.

“We will tackle it as we are a strong team and the season hasn’t started yet so we will see where we are in Australia when the season starts.”

 

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