Vettel: We still need to work on the performance

Despite blitzing his rivals by over a second on Thursday, his final day of testing in the SF71-H, Sebastian Vettel is calling on his team to extract more performance from the package in which he will battle to claim a fifth Formula 1 title.

Speaking to journalists after completing impressive mileage on the penultimate day of testing at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Vettel said, “We still need to work on the performance and the feeling.”

“In terms of reliability it was rock solid, we didn’t have any major issues or major concerns, so hats off to all the guys in the factory.”

Vettel reflected on a strong race-simulation run he managed to complete on the day, “Pretty happy. We got a smooth run, car-wise no issues, no red flags, so we could get through, and also for the guys I think with the stops. So that was solid.”

“I don’t know in terms of pace. You always think that you could have done better here and there, just like racing, but I think it was OK. Mostly we did a lot of laps.”

“After the race sim we still did a good chunk of laps. That’s important in understanding the car. There are some things we still need to get on top of. So it was important to run.”

Ahead of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, Vettel is cautious about expectations for the race in Melbourne at the end of the month, “You always hope for more. It’s the same for everyone, especially the first week, losing time, but all in all I think it was good, the days that I had.”

“And I’m not going to get more, so that’s it, and I’m pretty happy with the laps I had with the feeling I got for the car, which as I said improved.”

“We understood it a little bit better. We still have some stuff to understand, which we’re not sure about, but it’s normal.”

“The track’s different, the surface is different, makes it a bit hard to compare. But it feels like a step forward. I think it’s probably making sense.”

“I think it all depends where the others are, and well find out in the next couple of weeks,” concluded Vettel with reference to the race weekend at Albert Park on 23 to 25 March.

Big Question: Is Seb ready for the opening round in Melbourne?