Sebastian Vettel says reliability of RB9 at Jerez big early positive for Red Bull
German star now looking forward to "interesting" Barcelona
By James Galloway at Jerez. Last Updated: 08/02/13 7:25pm
An upbeat Sebastian Vettel has hailed the reliability of Red Bull's RB9 straight out of the box after the World Champions were the only leading team to complete the Jerez test without a failure.
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While expected 2013 rivals McLaren, Mercedes, Ferrari and Lotus all lost varying levels of track time across the four days in Spain, the new RB9 ran trouble-free throughout and allowed Red Bull to put 372 laps worth of mileage on the car.
The German admits the situation this year so far compares favourably with the early steps taken with the ultimately double title-winning RB8 this time last winter.
Asked by Sky Sports News to compare the feeling in the car to 2012, Vettel replied: "A little bit better because last year we had some issues with reliability.
"It seems that we have done our homework well and now we move onto Barcelona for another four days in a row to test the car and see if we find any leakage and if so then we try to fix it."
Although Red Bull failed to set the ultimate pace on any of the four days of testing, their new car showed solid pace throughout and Vettel's third-fastest time on the hard tyres on Friday caught the eye of many observers.
The opening test of any winter is notoriously a vague guide for any early-season pecking order and Vettel agrees that it won't be until the first of the two Barcelona tests that more obvious patterns might begin to emerge.
"Looking ahead, I think the Barcelona test will maybe reveal a bit more, but just because people are running more and teams will play around a bit more there," he said.
"So if you keep your eyes open you might spot some stuff. However, as I've said before, we just focus on what we do. In Barcelona we'll learn more about ourselves and maybe a little bit about our rivals. It should be interesting."