Defending world champion Sebastian Vettel has acknowledged that Red Bull Racing are 'there or thereabouts' heading into the fast-approaching F1 2011 campaign after wrapping up the team's pre-season testing in Barcelona today with another 'positive' day.
Vettel completed 64 laps of the Circuit de Catalunya behind the wheel of Adrian Newey's new RB7 – the car that most believe to once again be the benchmark for all others to aim at – and if his best lap time was good enough only for eighth in the final pecking order come the close of play, the young German did not seem unduly concerned.
“The preparation has been good,” mused the 23-year-old, reflecting upon the energy drinks-backed outfit's entire off-season testing programme. “It was a long winter and we did a lot of kilometres, I think more than we ever have done before during testing, which is positive.
“Now, we are just looking forward to Melbourne. If you ask me about performance, all I can say is I think we are there or thereabouts, and as I keep saying, it's impossible to know until we get to Australia. But am I in a positive mood? Yeah, I think I am!”
“We have a reliable car that has been good out-of-the-box, and the performance looks good, too,” concurred Red Bull's Head of Race Engineering Ian Morgan, revealing that all has thus far gone according to-plan. “You never know how things will shake up until the end of Q3 in Melbourne, and while there are things you could always do better, I think we've done our homework well.”
To see Friday's testing times in full, click here