Ferrari impressed well in pre-season testing, the champions Mercedes to believe that the Italian squad were at least on their pace, if not slightly quicker.
That Ferrari practice pace has not so far been in evidence this weekend, and the Italians were if anything even further off the pace of Mercedes in the race-simulation runs on heavy fuel loads later in the session. Ferrari lead Sebastian Vettel 0.547 and team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was a second off Lewis Hamilton’s pace.
Following the session Vettel admits his Ferrari was not feeling as good as he’d hoped. Even as he is confident that Ferrari “can do something” to challenge Mercedes at the Australian Grand Prix.
“I think overall it’s been OK. We had some small trouble this morning, which cost us some track time so it took a bit longer to get into the groove. Overall I think we can still improve. The car doesn’t feel as good as it should. I’m confident we can do something overnight.” Vettel said
“We’ve been very happy at testing times looked good but here is where it matters. The car hasn’t changed much and it’s good to be back but we can still improve.
“One year ago we came with high expectations but it’s a completely different year so I don’t think there’s much point comparing.”