Vettel: Ferrari need to recover their testing pace

2019 Azerbaijan GP

Of course, there are all the usual caveats that come with any Friday practice session.

Ferrari have brought forward by two races an engine upgrade to give them the best chance of getting back in front of Mercedes at the circuit outside Barcelona.

Early indications are that it is Mercedes and Bottas who once again have the edge in Spain.

And although Vettel trails world championship leader Valtteri Bottas by 35 points after four races, he insists he is not out of the running.

"We haven't found the silver bullet, but in the last 10 years, I never found a silver bullet so I don't think it exists". "The vehicle felt really good today, completely different to how it was in winter testing".

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Hamilton was unhappy with the performance of his car's tyres, also setting his best lap on softs.

"The long runs were OK and we still need to find a little bit of pace, but we have the whole night to find it". Staying within touching distance of Hamilton and Bottas is essential.

"We're not going to be touching (cars), that's for sure".

"Everyone worked really hard to bring the new package here and a huge amount of effort has gone in to it. We've got work to do with the balance, but it's been positive for us to be out there".

While the focus will surely fall on Ferrari, as they bid to end their forlorn start to the season, other teams like Red Bull could also emerge as a threat to them. "Despite the good start to the season we remain quite skeptical of our own performance and know that there are a number of areas where we can and must improve". Overall, happy, car-wise we put everything on the vehicle that we expected to put on the auto. "Feeling-wise it's a different story and it's a fair picture that we haven't been the quickest today".

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For the opening quartet of flyaways, adding new parts is always a logistical struggle, and instead teams largely use those events to understand their cars across a different range of circuits.

The current layout is a mix of fast and slow corners and Turn 3 is especially demanding, requiring a well balanced vehicle.

"It's not the first time this year that we are losing in these sorts of corners", Vettel said. "If it was easy we would just fix it but now we are all working very hard and trying to still understand why we are losing out in these types of corners".

At Mercedes, the difference the upgrades made was more obvious in lap time, although Hamilton complained of a different balance.

"Esport is increasing in terms of interest and certainly as Ferrari we are looking seriously into it", he said.

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Watch the Spanish GP live only on Sky Sports F1 this weekend.

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