Vettel surprised by extent of Mercedes upgrades

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel says he was "a bit surprised" to see Mercedes bring so many upgrades to the second Formula 1 pre-season test at Barcelona.

Vettel surprised by extent of Mercedes upgrades

Mercedes admitted it was behind Ferrari after the first four days of testing but its W10 rolled out on Tuesday this week with a series of major aerodynamic updates.

The lead times required to produce a new aero package suggest Mercedes was always planning to produce a much more advanced concept for test two.

Asked if he had kept an eye on the Mercedes update, Vettel said: "Yes. You definitely look at it. That interests me too.

"I was a bit surprised that the car had so many innovations, but everyone chooses their own way.

"Of course, it's interesting what's happening here [in Barcelona], but it's only in Melbourne that we really get going."

Mercedes has won the last five drivers' and constructors' titles, but its performance in the first week of testing hinted it had tripped up over the new-for-2019 aero rules.

It lost time evaluating its new package because of an engine change, and has still not shown its true potential with two days left of testing.

Read Also:

Vettel said drivers would not be sandbagging in terms of their own performance but admitted three key factors would be disguising the true picture.

He said: "The questions you always have when you watch the others are: How heavy were they on the road? How much power did they use? How much was the battery discharged during the lap?

"These are the three factors that are unknown. We know the tyres, so that's not such a big question mark."

Vettel warned that the nature of pre-season testing meant he had not focused too much on what the pecking order might be.

"I haven't analysed the times exactly yet," he said. We have a few people with us who are better at that than I am.

"Red Bull definitely looks very strong and consistent, and reliable so far.

"There are a few surprises. Alfa [Romeo] looks very good. At Mercedes it's hard to say exactly what's happening from our point of view at the moment.

"Some runs look very good, others less so. But that's all part of testing."

shares
comments
Sainz quickest as crash curtails Ferrari's day
Previous article

Sainz quickest as crash curtails Ferrari's day

Next article

Why F1 cars have all gone size-zero

Why F1 cars have all gone size-zero
Load comments
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay Prime

Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax Prime

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021