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Tyres the early focus for Vettel

World champion Sebastian Vettel insists that Pirelli's latest compound will be the only thing he concentrates on early in the Spanish GP weekend.
Sebastian Vettel has shrugged off suggestions that the tweaked hard compound tyre Pirelli is bringing to this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix will favour his Red Bull Racing team.

Despite the Milton Keynes operation topping both sets of F1 standings after four rounds – and with two Vettel victories already in the bank – concern over the rate of degradation seen at the early rounds has prompted Pirelli to alter the make-up of its hardest compound [ see separate story] ahead of Barcelona – a move critics believe will play into the hands of both RBR and Mercedes, who most vociferously campaigned for a return to 2012 rubber ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Vettel, however, insists that nothing can be taken for granted, with all eleven teams only getting their hands on the revised tyre in the opening practice session on Friday morning.

“[Our main focus is] to see how the modified tyres work,” the German told the official F1 website, “How can anybody make such statements without ever having seen them on a car? That is again a job for the soothsayers. I would rather wait until tomorrow.”

In a separate meeting with journalists, Vettel had confirmed that it wasn't Red Bull calling for a change in Pirelli's approach to its rubber.

“I think there was more talk than action from our side – as in I think we said what happened to us as a team, what we felt happened to us as drivers, just like everybody else,” he claimed, “But, sure, there's a lot of attention and then people try to make their own stories. I think you could say, for the whole grid, that people were struggling with the tyres - it's not a secret, it's not just us.

“I think we also learned to deal with the tyres, with the situation. Sometimes you succeed a little bit more, sometimes less, but it's the same for other people [but], yeah, up to a certain point, you feel, as a driver, it's obviously different racing.

“It's the same for everyone but, for example, in the race in China, where we struggled with tyres, I had the occasion that Fernando was approaching from behind. I was on a different strategy to him, so I was on different tyres. There was no point fighting with him because, in the end, I would only slow down my own race. So, I don't wave him past, but I'm not really resisting. It's a different style of racing and I think that's what we, if anything, criticised in the past.”

The world champion also tried to play down the amount of revision his car may have undergone in the three-week break since the Bahrain Grand Prix, despite Barcelona being a traditional launch point for teams' first major upgrade of the season.





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25.07.2014- Press conference, Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director
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Firestorm - Unregistered

May 10, 2013 11:24 AM

@Name You don't have to worry very much mate. Only the hard tyre is changed a bit. Maybe Lotus and Force India will loose some of their advantage but this would happen anyway because the teams are learning more from the Pirellis as the season progresses. Don't forget that Red Bull has to beat Ferrari too if they want another double title. Now they will be racing in Europe, circuits not designed by Tilke(most of them), and I love very much the European circuits (when I play with my playstation), because they have different characteristics that usually don't suit Red Bull Racing very much(thanks god). Last year Vettel didn't won a single race in Europe.

atxsxsw - Unregistered

May 10, 2013 5:50 PM

I agree that Red Bull has asked for changes to the tires. However, this is about the HARD tires. Red Bull haven't had major issues with the hard tires, or if they did they sure did a good job of hiding it! The 2 races Vettel has won... Sepang (Hard, Medium) and Bahrain (Hard, Medium). The other two races were on the softer tires and were also when we heard Red Bull complaining the loudest. And yes, it was Massa that I heard saying that he wanted changes to the hard tire and I conflated that with Ferrari requesting it. Given the Red Bull's success so far on the hard tires, I would argue that changes specifically to the tires that were unique to the two races they won (the hard tires) and not to any of the other compounds would point to someone beside Red Bull being the primary reason for the change.



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