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Vettel: Ricciardo test as tough as Webber

19 June 2014

Sebastian Vettel doesn't feel that Daniel Ricciardo is giving him any more of a hard time than his previous Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber.

Ricciardo took his debut F1 victory at the Canadian Grand Prix a fortnight ago, while Vettel finished third behind Nico Rosberg's ailing Mercedes. That result saw Ricciardo move in to third place in the drivers' championship – 19 points ahead of Vettel – as he beat his team-mate for the fourth time in all four races that both Red Bulls have finished. However, Vettel believes there is more to the battle between the team-mates than the results will suggest.

“I think it hasn't been a very smooth year on my side,” Vettel said. “Obviously we've had a lot of difficulties to overcome but when you look at where we started in winter testing and where we are now it's a big step.

“I wouldn't say he's giving me a harder time than I was used to. Obviously if you look at the results it's correct to say that he's been in front most of the time and in previous years I was in front of Mark most of the time, but equally every race writes its own story and there's always two sides to every story.

“He's doing a very good job, I'm not doubting that. He's able to get the maximum out of the car and he has been since race one, which is good. On my side we have a couple of things to overcome but at least then it's good to see that the other half is doing well.”

And Vettel said he is getting more and more comfortable with his own car as Red Bull continues to learn about the RB10.

“We are making progress. It's not that easy. Sometimes you go one step forward and another weekend you go a step back. There's a lot of experimenting going on; a lot of the tools that we have are very different to last year. Trying to set them up and having them communicating to each other in the right manner and giving you the feel inside the car is extremely complicated and takes a lot of work.

“Especially for the engineers to come up with the right code, the right software, trying to get in the right direction is probably not as easy as 'change this, change that and that will solve the problem'. But I think we are already on a good way. There's always a lot of things to test, ideally we would like to have more time on track but naturally this year you have the limits of mileage on the Friday, things like this you have to deal with.

“So it's not always that straightforward but to sum it up we've done a lot of progress already in terms of feel, in terms of how comfortable I am in the car and I'm sure that a lot is still to come.”


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