Vettel puts the emphasis on mileage over performance

© XPB 

Sebastian Vettel may have put himself at the top of the timesheet yesterday, the Ferrari driver insists however that reliability trumps performance at this stage of testing.

The German driver took over from Kimi Raikkonen on Tuesday, and while he lamented the cold and difficult conditions he underlined the Scuderia's trouble-free session with its new SF71H.

"The important thing today wasn’t the lap time, but the fact that, in these conditions, we managed to cover almost a hundred laps without encountering any reliability problems," said Vettel.

"That’s what we are concentrating on at the moment, with the search for performance coming later."

In his quest for tyre temperature the four-time world champion had a spin at Turn 2 at the Circuit de Catalunya, with no consequences however. The main point was the team's ability to run efficiently through its various programmes.

"From an operational point of view, everything went smoothly and I’d say the car is working," he added.
"But today’s conditions are not the ones in which you’d normally run an F1 car.

"Today it even snowed and with air temperature around 3 to 4 degrees and the track at 8 to 9, everyone struggled to get the tyres up to temperature."

Questioned about his performance relative to pre-season testing twelve months ago, Vettel insisted any comparison would be done in vain.

"The weather was the limiting factor today: the fact it’s been much colder than last year and also that the track has been completely resurfaced, means it’s impossible to make any comparisons," said Vettel.

"For now, we are concentrating on ourselves, without looking at what the others are doing."

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