Vettel optimistic after setting pace in testing


Sebastian Vettel sees his new Ferrari as "a step forward" after setting the pace on the first day of testing for the Formula One season.

Ferrari are hoping the introduction of the SF16-H will enable the famous Italian team to give the dominant Mercedes more of a run for their money this year.

Vettel set a quickest lap of 1 minute, 24.939 seconds in Barcelona on Monday and completed 69 laps at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Lewis Hamilton was second fastest, but the reigning world champion was buoyed by clocking up a whopping 156 laps.

Four-time world champion Vettel had reason to be optimistic after the opening day of testing, but is not reading too much into the results a month before the season starts in Australia.

The German said: "We had the first proper day of testing today, from which we got a first feeling from the car and the first impression is good, I think the new car is a step forward.

"I felt confident enough, but we know there is still a lot of work in front of us. For sure there have been changes inside and outside the car. Laps times today are not important at all: they will be in a month's time at the Australian Grand Prix. 

"It was good to have some laps, I would have liked to have some more but it is natural that when you have something new and things you want to check you are more conscious, so you stop to have a look at them, and unfortunately this all takes time."