Formula One: Testing indicates Ferrari may be ready to challenge Mercedes

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The 2017 F1 season will kick off with the Australian Grand Prix from the Albert Park street circuit in Melbourne on March 25th, 2017.

Kimi Raikkonen ensured Ferrari finished Formula One pre-season testing with the quickest lap after setting an impressive time on the final morning of winter testing.

"The others look very quick and it looks like we have a good battle on our hands".

The Dutchman was kept in the garage briefly in the afternoon with a turbo problem, with the Red Bull driver clocking a mild 69 laps for the day.

A highly productive day for Toro Rosso saw Carlos Sainz take third place after 132 laps in the STR13, whilst a low-key session for Mercedes ended with Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton fourth and fifth respectively, with 107 laps between them.

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"I think if you look at the amount of laps Mercedes has done, if you look historically how slow they were going in the test, how much they were able to ramp it up for the races.I think they're the ones to beat", he said.

"It's hard to know what type of things they were running and how much they were taking out of their vehicle but a respectable time and very quick".

"A very fast time", Bottas admitted.

Wolff said: "Valtteri does not have a lot of time to prove he can be at Nico's level, to perform well against Lewis Hamilton and help the team keep up the development direction and speed in the auto".

But Vettel insisted that Mercedes remain the firm favourites for both the drivers' and constructors' titles.

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"We are definitely not confident that we are in front", said the Finn, via Planet F1. I think that's true. Germany's Nico Hülkenberg (right) has joined British driver Jolyon Palmer (second from left) at Renault and is hoping to help his new team to a successful start.

Sergio Perez joined Ocon behind the wheel of the team's Mercedes-powered VJM10 vehicle. Stoffel Vandoorne had been hampered by the same issue on Thursday. Lance Stroll and Felipe Massa were the two slowest in the field, more than five seconds behind Vettel.

Both Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz Jr. were pleased with their Toro Rosso auto.

It was another tough day for Fernando Alonso and McLaren though, as the two-time world champion's auto broke down with the same electrical problems that saw Stoffel Vandoorne stop twice on Thursday.

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