Vettel: Tricky conditions made it unfair to compare Ferrari pace vs. 2019

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A change in conditions makes comparing Ferrari's pace to testing last year unfair, Sebastian Vettel claims.

On Thursday, the German began to reveal a little more the potential of the SF1000, finishing fastest with a 1m16.841s on the C5 Pirelli tyre and completing a race simulation in the afternoon.

That time was still six-tenths slower than he managed last year and also around a second off what Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas did last week.

“We knew that the car is more draggy and measured it as more draggy but I don’t know by how much,” Vettel said, referring to Ferrari's lower speeds on the straights so far during testing.

“We are faster in the corners by quite a chunk but it isn’t a good day to compare as last year I think we had a decent baseline and today the conditions were not fair to really compare.

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“I hope tomorrow is a cleaner day for us to have a look. Every year is a bit different and Mercedes qualified faster last year than they went at this test, so it doesn’t say much but it does say a little bit.

“I think we tried a bit of everything but also in testing you don’t show all your hand so you do it when people aren’t watching or can’t read the lap times.

“The red flag didn’t help to really test the car but Charles [Leclerc] will have the same programme tomorrow so he is getting a clean run and better conditions, I guess, so he should be to tell better than today.”

Ferrari has made it clear they believe their car is currently slower than their rivals and have even identified the strong pace of Racing Point as a possible threat.

Vettel though isn't ready to make any predictions until the real pace of each team has been revealed.

“There are no secrets really but there is no need,” he said. “It is the same for everyone, some people are showing what they have got but it doesn’t matter too much.

“I think we see enough with six days of running you know roughly where you are at but come Australia things might look different. I can really see where we are after the first two or three races and then take it from there.

“Right now we are not top of the timesheet every day so probably not the favourites but let’s see where we are in Australia and take it from there.”

Leclerc will take over driving duties for all of the final day on Friday.