First test for the SF70H

It was the first outing for the SF70-H and the Scuderia Team at the eagerly anticipated first pre-season F1 Test of the year. The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya played host to the class of 2017 to get their first impressions of the newly designed Formula 1 cars.

Day One:

Seb Vettel: Medium Tyres (1:21.878) 129 laps

The Scuderia Ferrari team completed the first day of pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya with the new SF70H making its debut on track.

An impressive day saw Sebastian Vettel behind the wheel for the morning and afternoon sessions racking up 128 laps – the equivalent of 2 Spanish GP’s. It was the first time the team was able to push the car to the limits to understand the behavior around such an aero-demanding circuit. Seb was quick to punch one of the fastest times of the day with a 1:21.878 with the focus of tyre on the medium compound.

Day Two:

Kimi Raikkonen: Soft Tyres (1:20.960) 105 Laps

The chequered flag waved down on the second day of F1 Testing with Kimi Raikkonen on top of the time sheet with the impressive SF70-H racking up the miles. His blistering time set on lap 64 was 1:20.960 which to put into perspective is 2 seconds quicker than the pole-setting time from the 2016 Spanish GP Qualifying session. Fans could see a pre-season battle emerging with the SF70-H’s tug-of-war lap times with the Mercedes AMG F1 team.

The ‘Flying Finn’ was on the mark after completing another impressive day for Scuderia Ferrari of 105 laps – almost two Spanish GPs on soft tyre compound. So far the team’s F1 Testing programme is going to plan and the team remain positive.

Day Three:

Sebastian Vettel: Medium Tyres (1:19.952) 139 Laps

The session draws to a close with Sebastian Vettel taking second spot on the time sheet, but with a very impressive long-run test programme. He completed 138 laps as the sun had started to set over the glorious Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya with his best time of 1:19.952. That was the quickest time of the SF70-H so far throughout the two-day test.

Interestingly, Seb had the opportunity to test a multiple of tyre compounds ranging from Soft Tyres to the Hard Tyres. To conclude the day, looking at the timesheet it was a familiar story with the front-runners being Scuderia Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull. Could this be the feature of the 2017 F1 Championship?

A positive Sebastian Vettel said:

“The idea is that these cars, as a result of the new regulations, are very different to last year, in the way they look and in the way of driving them. We are more or less at the performance levels of ten years ago, with a lot of aerodynamic downforce, but also with quite a lot more weight. They are also more physical and at the end of the day, you feel tired, but this is normal for the first outing since the winter break. The tyres are also different and they behave more consistently. We have seen more or less what we expected: the cars are quicker in the corners and slower down the straights, because of the drag. But they are also great fun to drive.”

Day Four:

Kimi Raikkonen: Soft tyres (1:20.872) 93 Laps

For the second day of the 4-day test, Kimi finished on top of the timesheet with another impressive performance form the Scuderia Ferrari team. Day 4 was designed to test the intermediate and wet tyres, so huge tankers were out in force pouring water all over the track to simulate heavy rainfall.

The SF70-H handled the slippery conditions well and the team gathered crucial data on those particular tyre compounds all ready for the upcoming 2017 F1 season.

When the tracked had dried, Kimi had switched to the soft compound to put in a lap time of 1:20.872, which would end up the day’s best. To conclude the day, the Scuderia Ferrari team had recorded 93 laps adding to their already impressive mileage from the first pre-season test.

Kimi Raikkonen, shared his thoughts:

“A new year, a new car and new rules, and it’s these rules that determine the feeling you have at the wheel, because you go a lot quicker than before: it’s down to a combination of the tyres and the car. What I can say is that the team has worked very well over the winter. Whether or not it will be enough, we cannot tell yet. I didn’t pay attention to what the other teams were doing, nor the lap times, because at this point, it means nothing. I’ve got the feeling that we learned some lessons from last year and at the moment, we can’t complain about how testing has gone so far. But before Melbourne, we have another week of testing and we still have a lot of work to do. More or less every year we know where we want to be and sometimes everything goes smoothly and other years less so.”

All attention now focuses on the second F1 pre-season testing session before the curtain raising Grand Prix in Melbourne. It’s so far so good from the Scuderia Ferrari team in terms of long run reliability and performance on differing types of the available tyres from Pirelli.

Join the Seb, Kimi and the Scuderia Ferrari team from 7th March for the next pre-season F1 Testing session, where we should see even better performance from the F1 grid.

And it’s these rules that determine the feeling you have at the wheel, because you go a lot quicker than before: it’s down to a combination of the tyres and the car. What I can say is that the team has worked very well over the winter. Whether or not it will be enough, we cannot tell yet. I didn’t pay attention to what the other teams were doing, nor the lap times, because at this point, it means nothing. I’ve got the feeling that we learned some lessons from last year and at the moment, we can’t complain about how testing has gone so far. But before Melbourne, we have another week of testing and we still have a lot of work to do. More or less every year we know where we want to be and sometimes everything goes smoothly and other years less so. Kimi Raikkonen