Montmelo: With the first week of Formula One testing now done and dusted, Ferrari look to be a step ahead of Mercedes.
Ferrari showed good pace and reliability throughout the first four days of testing in Spain, while Mercedes didn’t look up to full speed.
Although teams often avoid showing their full potential in testing, Mercedes have usually fared better at this point in previous seasons.
“They do seem very strong, no matter which kind of fuel load or engine mode they’re running,” Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas said of Ferrari. “Whatever you try to correct that for, in any case, they are quick, on short runs and long runs. I think we feel, at this point, that they’re going to be a bit ahead, but obviously it’s impossible to make a detailed calculation.”
Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg set the fastest time of the week on Thursday with a time of 1 minute, 17.393 seconds at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Bottas totalled only 115 laps with both cars on Thursday, while Charles Leclerc ran 138 with his Ferrari.
“I think there is a lot of potential, but it’s not yet quite there,” Bottas said. “But I feel a sense in the team of a bit of an excitement to discover more about the car and to improve it, because at this point, it looks like we are not miles ahead of everyone. It seems like Ferrari are in a better place.”