Skip to main content

Vettel under pressure as Red Bull fail to impress in F1 testing

March 5, 2013 -- Updated 1734 GMT (0134 HKT)
Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel is the youngest triple world champion in Formula One history.
Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel is the youngest triple world champion in Formula One history.
  • Sebastian Vettel not satisfied with Red Bull's preseason testing
  • The German has not topped the time sheets at any of the testing events
  • The Red Bull driver is the youngest triple world champion in Formula One history
  • The 2013 Formula One season begins with the Australian Grand Prix on March 17

(CNN) -- Sebastian Vettel and his Red Bull team have left their Formula One rivals trailing in their wake during a three-year domination of the sport.

But ahead of the 2013 season getting underway in Australia later this month, it is the triple world champion and his all-conquering team which has some catching up to do after a preseason which has not gone entirely to plan.

Red Bull, and every other team, was left in Mercedes' rear-view mirrors at the final preseason test in Barcelona last weekend, with Vettel failing to top the charts at any of the offseason practice.

Vettel insists there is still time for Red Bull to turn it around ahead of 2013's curtain raiser on March 17, when he will begin his bid to become only the third driver to win four consecutive championships.

CNN Greatest F1 Driver: Day Two

Read: Injured Kubica makes return

CNN Greatest F1 Driver: Day One
CNN Greatest F1 Driver: Day Three
CNN Greatest F1 Driver: Day Four
CNN Greatest F1 Driver: Day Five

"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," the 25-year-old told Formula One's official website.

"We cannot be satisfied with the state of affairs right now ... there is still time before Melbourne to make some significant changes."

Vettel has been left frustrated by the tires introduced by the sport's official supplier Pirelli, which are softer than in 2012.

Pirelli claim the new tires will speed up races and promote overtaking.

Read: China's Ma lands Caterham spot

"It is extremely difficult to pinpoint any exact area we are not satisfied with because the tires are not consistent enough," continued Vettel.

"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."

Regardless of preseason statistics, Vettel will be the man every driver on the grid will be targeting when the lights go out at Melbourne's Albert Park.

"I would say that we never had a winter that was less conclusive than this one: the tires last more or less, depending on how much temperature you are able to create," added Vettel.

"So I think it is impossible for all of us to read the pace of the cars and to make out any favorites."

Vettel will now head back to the team's British base in Milton Keynes before taking some time out ahead of the start of the campaign.

Read: Victories Vettel into record books

"Immediately into the simulator!" said Vettel when asked what was next on his agenda. "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."

Vettel made a slow start to the 2012 as there were eight different winners in the first eight races, but a run of four straight victories in the autumn set him on the way to his title triple, while Red Bull retained the constructors' title.

Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1113 GMT (1913 HKT)
Too weak. Can't handle the pressure. Susie Wolff has heard it all -- but she is determined to become the first female F1 driver in 20 years.
CNN's Amanda Davies visits the headquarters of Mercedes, the dominant team in Formula One this season.
March 15, 2014 -- Updated 0108 GMT (0908 HKT)
The big winners of this Formula One season could be road drivers rather than F1 racers, according to one former world champion.
March 14, 2014 -- Updated 1730 GMT (0130 HKT)
The Williams team welcomes the biggest rule changes to Formula One cars for a generation.
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 1916 GMT (0316 HKT)
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton sums up the dawn of a new Formula One era in three juicy words -- weird, mind-blowing and challenging.
March 12, 2014 -- Updated 1216 GMT (2016 HKT)
Formula One is taking another step in its techno evolution this season, which could be more unpredictable than it has been for a long time.
February 24, 2014 -- Updated 1736 GMT (0136 HKT)
Jann Mardenborough on the similarities and differences between driving a race on a video game and driving a real F1 car.
February 22, 2014 -- Updated 1226 GMT (2026 HKT)
Russia's President Vladimir Putin watches the men's cross-country 4 x 10km relay event at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics on February 16, 2014. AFP PHOTO/ RIA-NOVOSTI/ POOL/ MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV (Photo credit should read MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/AFP/Getty Images)
How Russian president Vladimir Putin helped turn a muddy hole in the ground into a $400 million futuristic grand prix track in Sochi.
February 21, 2014 -- Updated 0013 GMT (0813 HKT)
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (R) and Formula One racing director Bernie Ecclestone talk during a ceremony of signing of an agreement to bring Formula One racing to Sochi for a Grand Prix Russia to be held in 2014, the same year the Black Sea resort hosts the Winter Olympics in Sochi on October 14, 2010. Putin, whose backing was crucial in Sochi winning the right to host the Games, is due in the city on Thursday to sign an agreement for work to begin on the construction of a new 200 million dollar circuit. AFP PHOTO/ ALEXANDER NEMENOV (Photo credit should read ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Vilified by the the international community for his government's attitude on gay rights, Russian president Vladimir Putin has found an ally.
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 1613 GMT (0013 HKT)
Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel is bidding for a fifth consecutive drivers' championship in 2014.
He is Formula One's undisputed No. 1, and next season Sebastian Vettel will have proof of that fact emblazoned on his Red Bull.
December 4, 2013 -- Updated 1633 GMT (0033 HKT)
A new era of F1 looms large on the horizon in 2014, but what do the new rules mean for how we watch the sport? Get up to speed here.
October 17, 2013 -- Updated 1056 GMT (1856 HKT)
Explore our interactive of one of F1's most important and complicated pieces of kit.