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Sebastian Vettel Q&A: Testing more inconclusive than ever 04 Mar 2013

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One Testing, Day 4, Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, 3 March 2013 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9.
Formula One Testing, Day 4, Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, 3 March 2013 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing talks with the media.
Formula One Testing, Day 2, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 1 March 2013 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9.
Formula One Testing, Day 4, Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, 3 March 2013 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One Testing, Day 2, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 1 March 2013

With his three successive world titles, it would be wrong to try and predict Sebastian Vettel’s 2013 fortunes from the fact that he failed to top the timesheets even once during pre-season testing.

However, following his final outing in Red Bull’s RB9 challenger in Barcelona on Sunday, the 25-year-old German explained that there is still plenty of work to be done ahead of the first Grand Prix in Australia…

Q: Sebastian, what conclusions can you draw from the winter test season?
Sebastian Vettel:
Well, I think we all have been limited by what the tyres can do. It was extremely difficult to read some set-up changes and find a direction with the car as the tyres were simply not good enough.

Q: We’ve seen Mercedes doing incredible lap times. What do you make of that?
SV:
We all saw the lap times, but it is a bit unclear at this stage what kind of tyres give what step to you and, regarding the fuel load, I think it sure helps to have a bit less in the car! But honestly, we have to look after ourselves. We haven’t been able to tick all the boxes we would have liked to and the last two days weren’t as good as we had expected, but there is a bit of time left until the season starts.

Q: Does that mean you are left scratching your head about the RB9?
SV:
It is extremely difficult to pinpoint any exact area we are not satisfied with because the tyres are not consistent enough. We need to have a good look at the data between now and Melbourne to have a better understanding of what to expect in Australia and the first few races of the season. In my opinion lap times didn’t matter all through the winter tests.

Q: You are the man that everybody wants to beat in Melbourne - what does that mean to you?
SV:
Ha, I would say that we never had a winter that was less conclusive than this one: the tyres last more or less, depending on how much temperature you are able to create. So I think it is impossible for all of us to read the pace of the cars and to make out any favourites.

Q: In which areas would you like to have improved further?
SV:
I would have loved to work more on the set-up, but I don’t think that this is only me. I think everybody struggled in that area. Having said that, we cannot be satisfied with the state of affairs right now - but as I just said there is still time before Melbourne to make some significant changes.

Q: There is still one week before everybody flies out to Australia. What is on your list of priorities before then?
SV:
Immediately into the simulator! (laughs) To continue where we left business on Sunday. We will then sit down and filter and interpret all the data that we have collected over the testing period to see what we can read out of it. Finally, before heading to Melbourne I will allow myself some final quiet days before the season starts with all its force.

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