The test week in Montmeló is leaving a great red feeling. Ferrari is back, and will compete with the Mercedes. Or so it seems, given the timing grid of Thursday’s session. The Maranello team and Sebastian Vettel made the best time and also the best race simulation.
Vettel’s 1: 19.04 was achieved in the morning session, and we have to keep in mind that he did it without DRS and cutting at the end to not give more clues to his rivals. It could have been a 1: 17.7
In the afternoon in race simulation and with full tank, the Ferrari was on 1:25 low.
But Vettel also managed to be faster with the medium tyres than Ricciardo with the soft in his Red Bull.
Toro Rosso also had good sensations, getting the fourth best time with super soft. Two tough weeks for the team and for Carlos Sainz, but the main work seems made ahead of the debut in Australia.
McLaren finished 48 laps.
The MCL32 accumulated only 30 laps in the morning, and in the afternoon they did not give more than 18. The problem of reliability is still latent in the second specification of Honda engine and we will not know anything else until the definitive one is on for Melbourne.
Right now the new McLaren is prepared to perform half the average F1 Grand Prix without problems, no more. Then breakdowns occur, which can be of the most varied. Those of today, electrical problems.
Fernando’s Belgian teammate, Stoffel Vandoorne, was stopped twice before the midday break, the first at the pit stop and half an hour later, on the way to the stadium.