Q&A with Red Bulls Sebastian Vettel 02 Mar 2012
Sebastian Vettel has just one more day to test and then the race is on to defend his title. After Fridays Barcelona running the world champion seemed satisfied and optimistic, especially with new parts due to be added to the RB8 overnight. Now Vettel hopes those parts will deliver and ensure that the Red Bull remains the car to beat in Australia in two weeks time
Q: Sebastian, how was it going? Its the last dry run before the Australian Grand Prix
Sebastian Vettel: Well, I have to say that testing was good for us so far - not perfect, with some bits failing here and there that we have to sort out, but all in all I feel quite good and I do feel happy in the car. Obviously it is a big difference to last year, but I would say that we are where we had expected to be. So no surprises and I hope that the remaining two days will give us the chance to prepare well for the first race.
Q: How far would you say you are away from your ideal car to start the season?
SV: We get some new bits and pieces for the next two days and then we should know more. If you look up and down the pit lane my guess is that everybody else is more or less in the same situation. Of course the last couple of days are quite significant as you get the car closer and closer to what you will be racing. So lets wait and see if we have the right bits and pieces. (laughs) But even as we close in towards the car well have for the first race - as everybody else also does - it is still hard to say who is quick and who is just playing around with the fuel loads.
Q: So is the gap between the car you want and the car you have right now acceptable?
SV: Yes, I would say so. I feel comfortable and that is a good point to start with. Of course theres a loss of grip - the exhaust made a huge difference last season, especially as it was so perfect towards the end - but we will learn to come to terms with it. Sure, the tyres are different too, so this will be something to watch over the first few races - until we get used to it. But remember at the same time last year there was a huge fuss over the new tyres and then in the races everything ran totally smoothly - so never create an issue where there is none!
Q: You say bits and pieces, but rumour has it these are very important parts that are being flown in from Milton Keynes. Can you tell us more about these parts?
SV: We are waiting for some carbon parts
Q: Can you say what happened before the lunch break?
SV: First of all it was a bit of a messy day: first the fog and then finding the rhythm because of the many red flags. That made it really hard to get through our programme - and we werent able to run through it completely - but otherwise there was also no real issue. Yes, I stopped on the track, but for no major problem and we were able to bring the car safely back to the pits. The afternoon was then smooth.
Q: What is your impression of the other teams?
SV: Well, Lotus is back again and they seem to be confirming their performance from the first test in Jerez. And, of course, to shine is an integral part of testing and probably some of the usual suspects are holding back a bit. To guess at their real pace is still impossible. What we hope for us is that we will be able to run enough mileage over the last two days - Mark [Webber] on Saturday and I on Sunday - that we can board the plane for Australia with the good feeling of being ready to race.
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