Q: Sebastian, 143 laps in one day - that looked like a pretty good workload for a test day…
Sebastian Vettel: Yes, it was - and I am really happy with how well it went. No issues, no problems, nothing broken. Sometimes the red flags interfered a bit with our running plan, but overall a pretty good day. What we will read out of that day? We will have to analyse it. Of course the time Nico (Rosberg) did was a stunner, but in reality it was clear that they would be at the front as nobody loses the gap that they had in 2014 in the blink of an eye.
Q: What were your laps like on the soft tyres?
SV: To be honest I was pretty happy with them. Nowhere near compared to the lap times Nico did, but that was at a different point in the day with a set-up that was different. All in all I’ve got into the groove well and had a couple of decent runs and no issues to get the tyres up to temperature. Even on the hard compounds later on it was fine. If you are able to do that amount of laps you develop a pretty good feeling that things are moving in the right direction.
Q: How comfortable do you feel now?
SV: Of course we would all like to have more time in the car, doing more mileage, getting better prepared - but this is what we have and it’s the same for all of us. I feel that we are in good shape, even though there are things that have to be addressed before Melbourne. Be assured that we are working very hard on it. Our main focus is to get quicker - but that is the aim of every team here! (laughs) And to answer the question: I feel very well. The tests so far have contributed a lot to that feeling. Of course things take time, as growing into a team that works a bit differently requires that - even though every single team member is trying to make it as easy for me as possible.
Q: Your day looked rather flawless - was it really that easy? Where are little glitches still hiding?
SV: Ha, if I tell this they would probably give me a piece of their mind! (laughs) One thing is for sure: you definitely want to do well at the first race, but you also want to finish that first race - and in that mould we are working.
Q: Would you say that the combination of you and Ferrari will be competitive from the very first race?
SV: I would say that the path to the very top right now still leads via Mercedes and it is our aim not only to draw level with them but to surpass them - and that is a very ambitious goal. But let’s stick to the moment: it is much too early to make any statement on how things will develop. We simply haven’t seen enough yet to stick the head out. Starting the season well is the aim right now - and then let’s take it from there.
Q: Does joining Ferrari mean some kind of matriculation examination for you?
SV: I leave this answer to the outside world. The change felt right for me - and it gives me a lot of joy. In many ways you could say that it is a dream come true - but dream is a rather immaterial term. But my ambition is to be right there at the top again - not only for me but also in terms of the team. In this respect we should make a perfect fit.