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Vettel warns of long way to go

Sebastian Vettel admits that there is a long way to go to retaining his F1 crown, but hopes to make a good start with his latest girl....
Reigning F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel insists that there is a long way to go before anyone knows whether his Red Bull Racing team will come out on top of the 2011 season, despite its impressive form in testing.

The German, who tops most lists of favourites for this season's title, claimed that there were too many new variables to be taken into account heading into this weekend's Australian Grand Prix, following the introduction of fast-wearing Pirelli tyres and adjustable rear wings for 2011.

“We are quite happy where we are but, if that's enough, we don't really know," Vettel told journalists on the eve of action in Melbourne, "I think the situation this year is a bit tricky because you don't really know how competitive you are - and we don't really know. We probably only get to know on Saturday or Sunday in the race.

"We know that whatever we have done in the winter, we are quite happy with it. The car has been reliable from the first test onwards but, with the tyres we have especially, things could be a bit different [once racing starts]."

Even though the cancellation of the Bahrain Grand Prix looks likely to leave the calendar at 19 races for a second straight season, Vettel acknowledges that every round will be important if he is to repeat as champion.

"I think the team with the strongest package, in general, is still able to win races [and], in that regard, nothing has changed [but], being dominant or not, it's a long season, so even the guy who's winning by a lap could be somewhere and not worth mentioning at the end of the year," he mused, "If you're looking at the championship, it takes every single race where you have the chance to score points.

“It's always a tough challenge. We have a lot of races this year, so it's a long way, and the cars will [have to] improve if you want to stay on top. The name of the game, I think, is the same, and surely our target is to continue the way we finished because, as far as I know, we won the last race, we had a strong performance there, and we'll try to carry that performance into the new season.”

Taking an Australian theme to naming his new car thanks to the belated start to the 2011 season, Vettel admits that he has but one aim for 'Kinky Kylie' at a race where he has yet to taste much in the way of success.

“I don't have to lie to you, the target is to win, easy as that," he pointed out, "If you come here as champions of the last year, you want to keep on winning. That's what it's all about, and that's why we have been working hard in the winter. I'm looking forward to a good weekend - and hopefully picking up that trophy with that bloody kangaroo on it.”

The iconic Australian GP winner's trophy is one that Vettel, who has never finished on the streets of Albert Park, is keen to add to his collection albeit, as he admits, for the simplest of reasons.

“I really like the track and, if you finish on the podium, they have a nice trophy on Sunday afternoon," he grinned, "It used to have - and I hope it still has - a kangaroo on the trophy. It's something that you can get only here. I love racing, I love driving the car, but I love racing also for these little things. It might be funny in a way, but little things like picking up a trophy that is special or is different to all the trophies you get everywhere else."



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
09.03.2011- Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7
09.03.2011- Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7
24.03.2011- Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12 leads Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
27.11.2016 - Race,Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H  leads Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34 and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 leads Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H

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