Finally, Sebastian Vettel took the wheel of his F1 Ferrari again today. But in the end, it was only enough for 7th place in the rankings.
At 2:28 p.m. the time had come: Sebastian Vettel drove his new Ferrari SF1000 onto the track and started his 2020 season.
At the end of the day, he finished seventh. He was 0.181 seconds faster than his teammate Charles Leclerc, who drove his Ferrari in the morning. But Ferrari’s lap times weren’t really impressive today.
Even worse: Ferrari stood in the pits several times for longer breaks. In the morning the engine cover was removed and work was done on the rear. Ferrari completed a total of 122 laps on the 4.655-kilometer track.
Vettel warns against scaremongering: “I have not yet used the engine mappings today. We weren’t interested in showing everyone the maximum performance.”
Ferrari teammate Leclerc also demanded to be cool: “We’ve changed our approach compared to last year. The test drives were great… I think we learned a lot here. This year we’re focusing more on ourselves, trying to understand the car as well as possible on these first days. We’ll look at the performance later. We’ll see if it pays off.”
Mercedes achieved 183 laps on the second day of testing – a new distance record. The world champion team is also reluctant to set fast lap times (Lewis Hamilton 9th, Valtteri Bottas 13th), but the race simulations show a very good consistency and fast pace.
But above all, Mercedes was the number one topic of conversation on this second test day because of a revolutionary steering wheel trick. You can read more about this in our great history of technology here.
Vettel’s comment on Mercedes-DAS: “From what I hear, they are now using a game controller instead of a steering wheel! No idea how difficult it is to copy the system. But it seems to me to be very strange to have that feeling… It makes more sense for the driver to hold the wheel firmly in his hands. But the fact that Mercedes uses it makes me think it’s legal. ”
And further: “It probably takes time for the drivers to get used to it. It’s an extreme comparison, but imagine that you’re used to shoes and suddenly you wear flip-flops. And that doesn’t seem to be a problem for Lewis.”
Kimi Raikkonen set the best time for Alfa Romeo, ahead of Racing Point driver Sergio Pérez with the Mercedes copy of the previous year. Daniel Ricciardo follows in second place. Renault is worried: Yesterday there was a leak in the driveshaft, today there was only a hydraulic problem, then work had to be done on the underbody because it had overheated during the robbery over the curbs.
It wasn’t until 17:44 this evening, 16 minutes before the end of the session, that the first red flag was waved in this year’s tests. Triggered by Kimi Raikkonen, who fell by the wayside with his Alfa Romeo.
The times from the second day of testing
- Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo-Ferrari): 1: 17.091 min. (C4 tires)
- Sergio Perez (Racing Point-Mercedes): 1: 17.347 min. (C3)
- Daniel Ricciardo (Renault): 1: 17,749 min. (C3)
- Alexander Albon (Red Bull-Honda): 1: 17,912 min. (C2)
- Pierre Gasly (Alpha Tauri-Honda): 1: 18,121 min. (C2)
- Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari ): 1: 18.154 min. (C3)
- George Russell (Williams-Mercedes): 1: 18.266 min. (C3)
- Charles Leclerc (Ferrari): 1: 18.335 min. (C3)
- Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes ): 1: 18.387 min. (C2)
- Lando Norris (McLaren-Renault): 1: 18.474 min. (C2)
- Romain Grosjean (Haas-Ferrari): 1: 18.496 min. (C3)
- Esteban Ocon (Renault): 1: 18.557 min. (C2)
- Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes): 1: 19.307 min. (C2)