Sebastian Vettel has played down suggestions that his flying start to the 2011 F1 season could lead to him threatening Ayrton Senna's record of eight straight pole positions.

The German's fourth fastest qualifying time in a row - which added Turkey to Australia, Malaysia and China - was the best start to a season since Mika Hakkinen also netted a quartet at the start of the 1999 campaign but, despite his apparent advantage over the rest of the field on a Saturday afternoon, he was quick to distance himself from talk of records.

"I think Ayrton was a master in qualifying," he said of the legendary Brazilian, who held the record for career poles until usurped by Michael Schumacher, "I don't know. I go race by race, you know. In the end, there are so many good guys and so many incredible records. I think the more you start talking about [them], the smaller your chances become, so I prefer to not to talk about it."

While Vettel edges closer to breaking the top ten on the career pole list, he is quick to point out that he scores nothing on a Saturday - and is just a swift to claim that nothing can be taken for granted in the race either.

"We will have to wait and see," he insisted, "I think it will be a tough race, managing the tyres. We will see how many stops we will end up with. I just hope and keep my fingers crossed that we will have radio communication all the way as it is quite useful when your tyres start to go off to talk to your team about what to do and where you are. I think here is a different place to Shanghai, to China, as probably the corner that determines whether you can stall the wing or not - turn nine/ten - is a bit more tricky to get rather than turn 11/12 in China, so we will see.

"I am confident - we have a good car, so I felt happy, but it will be a difficult one.. Hopefully, we don't get too much of the action and just hope that all the action for the spectators is behind us so we will see. I think the races we have had this year have been quite nice to watch. Obviously, we were all busy, but, once we got the chance to see the race, I think we were amazed by how much action there was."

Vettel's pole came despite the heavy off he had in the opening practice session on Friday morning, underlining the latent potential of Red Bull's 2011 machine - and the benefit of having a competitive team-mate to glean information from.

"I think, if I would have turn eight, intermediate tyres and the same conditions again, I would try not to do the same, as there is a reason why we want to run on Friday afternoon," he remarked, "It was not nice to stand there to watch but, today, we had a good day and it is down also to Mark [Webber] having a solid run yesterday in the dry conditions.

"The happier you are in general on Friday, the better it will be on Saturday. Largely, we could adapt and use the information Mark found out yesterday afternoon and, straight away, I felt comfortable in the car. I found the rhythm of the track quickly so, all in all, I was very happy this morning and confident going into qualifying, but it was not a 100 per cent smooth day today.

"There are still things we have to improve and do better, but I am very happy and very pleased after a bad shunt yesterday, especially the work load I managed to give to all the mechanics - not just mine, but all the team. It was a pretty big hit and therefore a lot to repair, but they did a very good job and I had a fantastic car today."

As well as Vettel's radio communication problems in China, Red Bull has been plagued by gremlins in its KERS system, and the German was not about to give it the all-clear despite appearing to have improved reliability in qualifying.

"It is not that easy - it is not just that you go home, you solve the problem and you come again and there never will be a problem again," he noted, "It is a complex system. Teams like McLaren-Mercedes, they are still far ahead as they had all these small tweaks and small problems probably in 2009, so there is still a lot for us to catch up, but I think we get more and more confident.

"As I said on Thursday, I am not that old, but I haven't seen anybody who can give you a guarantee on anything, so we are sitting here and we cannot guarantee, the whole team cannot guarantee, that we will not have any problems."



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