Vettel believes dirty air is "a little bit worse" in 2020 Ferrari F1 car

27-02-2020 18:55
by Matt Gretton
F1 News
Vettel believes dirty air is a little bit worse in 2020 Ferrari F1 car

In F1 winter testing, we rarely see battles on track. They are normally reserved for the Australian Grand Prix, though over recent years cars have been struggling to overtake at Albert Park due to the dirty air. Sebastian Vettel says this is "little bit worse" after a battle with Lando Norris on Thursday in Barcelona.  

The mini-battle on track with the McLaren driver was the closest the cars will get to a race situation in pre-season testing. Vettel says his early findings suggest it's a bit harder to follow than in previous years. 

"It's hard to say. I actually enjoyed it. So yeah, I think the car is probably a little bit worse than last year in terms of following and passing. But obviously, everybody put more downforce in the car. You are more worried about having clean air at the places where it matters. At the end you’re not too worried, it’s not nice, but we will see," Vettel told GPblog. 

Top of the timesheets

Vettel finished top of the timesheets in the penultimate day of Formula 1 testing. While this would be seen as a positive, the German recorded the lap on the softest tyre that Pirelli have to offer and only beat Pierre Gasly's AlphaTauri by two-tenths. It's unclear what fuel load or engine mode Vettel was racing with. 

"We tried a bit of everything, but as I said: normally in testing you don't show all your hands. You try to do it when nobody is watching or when people can't read the laps. We knew that the car is more draggy (more downforce), we are fast on the corners, but slower on the straights. We have to find some top speed," Vettel added. 

"If you look at the big teams, nobody is trying to do anything fancy, obviously you try to simulate a bit of everything, everyone is using all the tyres so naturally, you go fast on the softer tyres. Most of the work is going on in the background. It's hard to read and therefore I'm very curious where we are in Australia."

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