Vettel completes first Ferrari test

Sebastian Vettel has wasted no time in kicking off his Ferrari career in earnest.

Vettel completes first Ferrari test
Davide Rigon, Ferrari F2012 Test Driver
Sebastian Vettel
Niki Lauda, Mercedes Non-Executive Chairman
Sebastian Vettel
Dr Helmut Marko, Red Bull Motorsport Consultant, and Red Bull Racing give thanks to the departing Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Racing
Davide Rigon, Ferrari F2012 Test Driver
Davide Rigon, Ferrari F2012 Test Driver
Davide Rigon, Ferrari F2012 Test Driver
Ferrari F2012 nosecone
Pat Fry, Scuderia Ferrari, Technical Director and Sebastian Vettel
Davide Rigon, Ferrari F2012 Test Driver
Ferrari F2012 pushed to scrutineering by mechanics
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 Team and Niki Lauda

The German expressed disappointment last week when Red Bull prevented him from driving the Italian team's 2014 car in the post-race Abu Dhabi test.

But on Saturday, at Ferrari's private Fiorano test circuit adjacent to the Maranello factory, Vettel made his test debut in a two-year-old Ferrari F2012.

A test like that gives you nothing, it's just for show.

Niki Lauda

He was wearing a special white helmet bearing the words 'My first day at Ferrari' in Italian.

"A test like that gives you nothing," Mercedes' team chairman Niki Lauda told Bild newspaper. "It's just for show."

Indeed, conditions were not ideal as light rain was falling, but Vettel will in the next days meet with his new engineers and bosses and try Ferrari's state-of-the-art driver simulator for the first time.

As soon as possible

And unlike last week, when Dr Helmut Marko said Vettel's appearance in the Ferrari pits was technically a breach of contract, the Red Bull official said the early test in the V8-powered F2012 was "completely legitimate".

 

"I would have done the same too," Marko told Sport Bild. "He starts as soon as possible to work with the Ferrari engineers and familiarise himself with the procedures."

If he does not win, it will be about our equipment, not about him.

Piero Ferrari

Italy's Autosprint said Vettel also began working with his new race engineer Riccardo Adami, who has switched from Toro Rosso where he worked with the 27-year-old driver in 2008.

"I'm really optimistic," Piero Ferrari, the son of Enzo, said, "and hope we can give Sebastian a competitive car.

"If he does not win, it will be about our equipment, not about him."

Stability

New world champion Lewis Hamilton, however, does not sound overly worried Vettel in a red car will be a major competitor at least initially in 2015.

"Ferrari as a team is going through a difficult time with a lot of ups and downs," the Briton is quoted by Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

"All the people coming and going destabilises a team," added Hamilton. "Thank god we (Mercedes) are a very stable team."

Germany's Auto Motor und Sport reports that Ross Brawn will not be returning to Ferrari, after president Sergio Marchionne declined to accept the condition that the Briton be installed as the clear team boss.

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