Vettel seeing ‘good sign’ from Ferrari upgrades

Mark Scott
Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel has been encouraged by Ferrari’s new aerodynamic upgrades that have been introduced ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

The Scuderia, still searching for their first win of the 2019 season, have added an updated bargeboard to the SF90 and updated front vanes under the nose of the car.

Lewis Hamilton feels Ferrari are “quite a bit ahead” of Mercedes based on what he has witnessed in Baku after Friday practice but Vettel, P2 in both chaotic practice sessions, is cautious with his optimism.

“I don’t like Friday predictions but obviously around here it’s a lot about getting the right lap and finding the rhythm,” Vettel concluded after FP2 in Bahrain.

“I think it was a difficult day for that with red flags and many interruptions but overall, I think it was okay.

“It’s a difficult Friday here always. Bu it’s fun. The car seemed to work today, I feel we can still improve but overall happy with the starting point. Maybe we showed a bit more than Mercedes today.

“I feel that we can still improve for tomorrow and if we do so I think it can be quite close with Mercedes but that’s a good sign.

“I can imagine Mercedes could be very fast so if we’re close to them that’s good. They will be the car to beat. Even Red Bull seemed fast at times.”

Quizzed specifically about the effectiveness of Ferrari updates, Vettel replied: “It’s tough to say. The track was quite poor, slippery and dusty.

“It took a while to ramp up, maybe tomorrow will be a better day to make a final judgement but it felt good. All the numbers seemed to stack up so that’s a good sign.

“We crossed checked as much as we could this morning so let’s see tomorrow how fast we can be.”

Charles Leclerc, who topped the much more meaningful FP2 session, was also not giving too much away with regards to the upgrades.

He said: “I am very happy, I like the track a lot and it has been a good day.

“The car in general was OK. I felt good in the car and on this track.

“To judge the new aero package we have is quite difficult. Overall, it was a positive day.

“I think we are pretty strong but on the other hand there is a lot more to come from Mercedes.

“They were very quick on the long runs. I am pretty sure tomorrow when they put everything together it is going to be very tight.”

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