Sebastian Vettel has conceded Red Bull
Racing will need to get more from the RB9 if they are to be truly competitive over the Monaco Grand Prix
Vettel, who leads the F1 2013 Drivers' Championship by four points following the first five rounds, was off the pace in both practice sessions on Thursday. Indeed he was only tenth in FP1 and ninth in FP2, his best effort a 1 minute 16.014 seconds, which was over a second off the top time set by Mercedes ace Nico Rosberg.
“Unfortunately we lost quite a lot of time in the afternoon while we were making some changes, but that can happen on Friday, or in this case Thursday,” he explained. “We'd like to be a little bit more competitive, so we need to try and find some more lap time.
“We had a KERS issue this afternoon [too], so I didn't use the system during P2. The guys know what the problem was with that.”
“I think generally [though] it was okay,” he added.
Mark Webber meanwhile had a more promising day in the sister car, and was seventh in FP1 and fifth in FP2. His quickest lap was a 1m 15.404s, which put him around six tenths up on Vettel.
“I think traditionally we're never too electric here on Thursday's, so today was actually one of the better ones we've had in the last few years,” added the Aussie.
“You've got to be very, very focused here; concentration is very, very high. It's a challenging venue to pull everything together; we want to obviously get short run performance as well as gaining short and long run data, which I think we've got.
“There are some quick cars out there; we've seen that on Saturday at the last few GPs. All in all, a reasonably smooth day for us,” he concluded.