After two days with Mark Webber at the wheel of the RB8, today it was team-mate Sebastian Vettel’s turn to get a feel for Red Bull’s new car. After 96 laps, the reigning Formula One World Champion admitted it was a pleasure to get behind the wheel of an F1 car again after the winter break.
Sebastian Vettel: “It’s been two months since we were in the car, so it does take a couple of laps to get back in the rhythm, but the car feels fine and as we expected. There’s quite a loss of grip due to the regulation changes, but you get used to it quickly and then start to explore how the new car feels. So far we can be happy, we had a couple of issues, but it’s normal when the car is new.“
Head of Race Engineering, Ian Morgan, said: “Sebastian’s first day in the car went almost perfectly. It was very cold this morning and hard to get temperature into the tyres. That meant that the first couple of hours weren’t too productive, but later on the conditions were great with less wind than yesterday, so we managed to get through almost everything we wanted, including two long runs, which went well. We would have done a third, but there were a couple of red flags at the end of the session so we missed a few laps. But we can’t complain, as it’s gone well.
“Tomorrow’s programme will be more of the same. We’re on course to tick off all the things we wanted to get done and we hope we can complete the list tomorrow.”
Best time: 1.19.297
Circuit length: 4.428km
Fastest lap: N. Rosberg (1.17.613)