Just over 36 hours on from the final Grand Prix of the 2019 season, Sebastian Vettel was back on track in Abu Dhabi for the first of two days testing which marks the end of the year. The Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow driver completed 136 laps, equivalent to 755 kilometres, twice Sunday’s race distance.
First hour. In the first 60 minutes, the teams were allowed to fit aero measurement devices to the cars. In this configuration, Sebastian did four runs with rakes and other data collection sensors.
Morning. After 10am, the Pirelli test programme began with teams running a comparison between the 2019 and 2020 Pirelli tyres, for the first time since they initially tried next year’s rubber during free practice for the United States Grand Prix in Austin. Back then, testing had been inconclusive because of the very cold weather and the fact that the Circuit of the Americas track is very bumpy. Shortly after noon, the team spotted an anomaly on the SF90s exhaust system and brought Sebastian in early to check out the problem.
Afternoon. The German was back on track before 13.30 and then got through the programme without a hitch. Vettel tried all the compounds available, both 2019 and 2020, doing several long runs. His best time of 1’37”991 was set at the start of the afternoon on the C5 compound and ended up being the second best of the day behind Valtteri Bottas’ 1’37”124. Charles Leclerc will be at the wheel for Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow tomorrow, the year’s last day of track action.
Sebastian Vettel #5
“It was a useful day to get a proper idea of the 2020 tyres in comparison with this year’s. So today, a comparison was our main task and we tried to maximize the track time, completing well over 100 laps.
Tomorrow there’s another day to evaluate the tyres with Charles and it will be important to record his feedback.”