Ferrari have yet to challenge near the top of the times in testing so far, a contrast to 2019 where they had been setting some of the quickest times over the two weeks.
But Vettel says the Scuderia aren’t “looking for lap times” this year and can already feel the downforce improvements made to the SF1000 compared to its predecessor.
When asked in Barcelona whether the car had more downforce, the German replied: “Yes.
“At first glance the competition is faster than we are, but we are not currently looking for lap times.
“But in the car you get a feeling of what is better and what is not.
“We took a step forward in the corners. The car generally feels good.”
Due to minimal regulation changes from the 2019 season this years Formula 1 cars are relatively similar, with subtle changes.
Vettel can feel the similarities, looking forward to exploring the set-up possibilities, while stating that Ferrari won’t be showing their true pace until Melbourne.
“A few properties of the car are similar to last year’s,” he added.
“But it is still early. We have time and we still have some leeway with the setup to refine the characteristics.
“You don’t show the competition everything you have in testing.
“We will only turn the engine up in Melbourne.”