Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull Racing struggled to get the RB8 to his liking at Sepang today as once again it became clear that the World Champions do not enjoy the advantage that they had in 2011.
Vettel was second in the FP1 but in the slower FP2 session in the afternoon he was only ninth. At one stage, when using the medium tyres, he was heard to say “it’s all over the place” on the team radio.
Vettel admitted that it had not been an easy day.
“I’m not entirely happy,” said the German. “Obviously this afternoon I would have loved to have been a bit higher up, but it’s one lap you are looking at. I think all-in-all we had decent running today. We still have a lot to do. I’m not entirely happy yet, but it’s not as if we expected that all of our problems are solved within three hours today.
“Here it seems difficult for everyone, the tyres seem to drop off pretty quickly, so everyone starts to slide around fairly soon. So do we. But I think generally we are sliding a bit too much, and I would love the car to be a bit more predictable and stable from the beginning.”
Regarding his radio comment he said: “Obviously in the heat of the moment… The run was not perfect, otherwise we would have been higher up, but before then and after that it was quite OK. I think it was a one-off, so we didn’t use the tyre as much as we should have. As I said on the radio I’m not entirely happy yet.”
Vettel said he doesn’t know yet whether RBR can fight for pole.
“It’s hard to say I think. McLaren looked very strong today, no doubt, morning and afternoon. Haven’t seen the long runs, but I think we are again closer by the looks of it in long run pace, so we’ll see what we can do.
“What do we need now? A good analysis of what we did today so that we can improve the car for tomorrow.”