Vettel backs Ferrari’s ‘completely different approach’

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Sebastian Vettel is optimistic about the “completely different approach” Ferrari has taken to design its SF16-H after sweeping the first two days of pre-season testing in Barcelona.

The German topped the timesheets on Tuesday after sampling Pirelli’s ultrasoft compound for the first time. In order to reel in Mercedes, Maranello has broken away from concepts it had been relying on in previous years, with its latest challenger featuring a new shorter nosecone for instance.

Asked whether he was satisfied with Ferrari’s willingness to take more risks on the car in its hunt for success, Vettel replied.

“Yeah, absolutely. There’s a lot of work that has gone into that car, not just over winter but also before. It’s a completely different approach and project.

“Outside you see some changes - obviously the nose is very different, the front end of the car - but inside there have been a lot of changes as well, so I’m not going to touch on those.

“But as you can imagine you try to improve and yeah, try to make the car faster overall, yeah, a lot of people have put a lot of sweat and talent in that car, so hopefully it turns out to be a good one.”

Despite leading all sessions so far, Vettel refuses to get carried away after just two days of pre-season testing and remains focused on securing further valuable mileage.

The four-time world champion managed to get 126 laps under his belt on Day 2 but still lost some time by going off in the morning and caused a red flag when he stopped his Ferrari on track five minutes from the end of the session.

“We work on a lot of things. You can imagine it’s a brand new car, so obviously there’s a lot of new bits on the car, things in a different place, et cetera, so we try to understand how the car reacts. Obviously we had an idea and certain expectations, but when you run the car on track it’s always a little bit different - dealing with temperatures, cooling in general, and so on.

“Obviously these are the real conditions, so sometimes you have to stop for a little bit longer than necessary, or than you really want, just to check. Other times, the driver goes a little bit off track – like I did this morning – and it takes a bit of time away, but these things happen, so overall I think we’re happy, but we know we need to do a lot of laps. There’s a lot of work ahead.”

Vettel's team-mate Kimi Raikkonen will take over testing duties for the next two days of action at the Spanish Grand Prix venue.

Vettel quickest on day two as McLaren completes 119 laps

A closer look at the Ferrari SF16-H

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