Ferrari reveals cause of Sebastian Vettel's crash on Wednesday

Sebastian Vettel crashes Ferrari in Formula One testing

With chief rivals Mercedes and Red Bull having pointed to them having an early advantage, Ferrari underlined that message as Charles Leclerc posted a series of fastest laps before the lunch break.

Despite the interruption, Mercedes and Ferrari completed their race sims, with the Ferrari averaging lap times 0.25s faster than Mercedes over the course of 66 laps.

"They are looking very strong", the Finn said. "We need to unlock more from the new package to be able to compete with them properly".

So the teams have just one more day of pre-season testing to prove their mettle before attention switches to the Australian Grand Prix and the start of the 2019 Formula 1 season.

"From last week we have been able to improve the general balance of the vehicle over the speed range but we can still do better", said Bottas. "But in all those areas we can still do better".

Ferrari has identified a wheel rim failure as the cause of Sebastian Vettel's crash on Wednesday at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Leclerc also praised the inherent ability of Ferrari's SF90, commenting: "The vehicle feels comfortable, from day one the balance is pretty nice and it hasn't changed today, so it's a positive day". "The balance is pretty nice and it hasn't changed today".

"The auto is solid".

"I've still got a lot to learn, but up until now, I can say I'm satisfied".

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"Especially after the lack of running yesterday it's a good morning for us".

Ferrari had endured a hard time over the previous two days.

Ferrari sent out a statement of F1 2019 intent by setting by far the quickest lap times of Winter Testing on the penultimate day of pre-season action at Barcelona.

Leclerc ended his day by stopping on track because of an exhaust problem.

"I think between us two the differences are not massive".

With many teams opting to focus on long-run pace in the afternoon, the top three times of the day remained unchanged after lunch, Leclerc heading the Toro Rosso of Alexander Albon and the McLaren of Lando Norris in third.

This time, he brought his pre-season to a close when he lost control at the demanding uphill Turn Nine, the fastest corner on the track.

Leclerc eventually worked his way down to a 1:16.231 on the fastest C5 tyres - a lap within one tenth of last year's record Spanish GP pole time.

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