Ferrari and Mercedes are continuing to play ‘who’s on top’ with Sebastian Vettel saying it is the reigning World Champs who head to Melbourne as the favourites.
Vettel topped Thursday’s timesheet at the Circuit de Catalunya, clocking a 1:16.841 on the penultimate day of testing.
That, though, was a full second shy of Valtteri Bottas’s 1:15.732 from last Friday.
Mercedes has stated, and more than once, that Ferrari are holding back with Toto Wolff believing the Scuderia has as much as a “second” in the bag.
Vettel, however, fears Ferrari could be on the back foot in Melbourne.
“I hope it is us but it’s too early to say,” he told RTL when asked which team is favourite to win in Australia, adding that “at the moment it is Mercedes.”
“The signs don’t look perfect for us.
“In the first three races we will see the exact picture and no matter where we will stand, we will try to improve.”
Ferrari has already made some improvements with its 2020 car, the SF1000.
Both Charles Leclerc and Vettel are confident it has better cornering speed that its predecessor.
That, though, is costing the Scuderia on the straights.
“We have managed to generate more downforce,” Vettel said. “The challenge will be to find even more downforce.
“The main aim for this car was to find more downforce, which we did, but now we lose a bit on the straights.
“Depending on the different track types, we will see where we stand.”
He added: “Time will tell us where we stand. We are working hard to eliminate the drag problem, but this is where we are starting.”