Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel not taking his Friday advantage for granted at Barcelona
Reigning World Champion topped Practice Two timesheets
By James Galloway in Barcelona. Last Updated: May 11, 2013 2:39pm
Vettel fears tyre degradation
Sebastian Vettel has insisted that Red Bull can't take anything for granted at the Spanish GP despite appearing to carry their strong form over from the last race in Bahrain on Friday.
The World Champion and current points leader edged out Ferrari rival Fernando Alonso by the narrowest of margins as both RB9s impressed out on track during the course of the dry second practice session at Barcelona.
Red Bull and Ferrari certainly appeared slightly ahead of the field during the afternoon running but Vettel suggested that the more demanding nature of the Circuit de Catalunya on tyres - the left-front in particular - meant degradation would be far more of an issue than was the case at Sakhir, when his team admitted they could have comfortably completed just two pitstops en-route to victory.
Asked if there was any reason why he shouldn't again be at the front this weekend, the German replied: "It's a different type of track.
"You can see today the tyres are suffering quite a bit more than Bahrain. Probably Bahrain is a bit more spread [evenly] in terms of energy, whereas here the left side is suffering. So it will be difficult to take care of the tyres in the race and right now difficult to predict how many times we stop. But in terms of pace we are there or thereabouts with the top guys.
"Obviously it's better to be more or less at the top of the timesheets rather than somewhere in the middle on Friday, even though it's not that important."
Following what was believed to have been sustained lobbying by Red Bull in particular over the 2013 tyres, Pirelli gave some ground in developing a slightly more durable hard compound for the remainder of the season - which is being used for the first time this weekend.
However, after running it on Friday, Vettel claimed the revised compound wasn't that different to the one raced previously this season.
"It's difficult to say a lot about the hard tyre," he admitted.
"We didn't expect any miracles and, as it turned out, I don't think it's a massive difference. So we will see how it behaves on Sunday but I don't think it helps us in terms of changing the race completely."