Sebastian Vettel has played down Red Bull’s decision to swap his regular RB10 race chassis for one used in winter testing.
The German said it was just to see if the change made any difference after his difficult start to the year – although he stressed that it didn’t mean that there was anything wrong with his original chassis.
“I think we concluded after China, where we were quite a little bit behind, to change the chassis,” h said. “So actually it’s not a new chassis, it’s an old one that we used in testing in the winter, and we have some experience with it. It’s more a sanity check rather than a real problem with the other chassis.
“So it’s just to try everything we can and basically reset and start again. Obviously there is still a lot of work ahead of us, as I mentioned after the first couple of races, maybe I’m not as happy as I want to be but it’s a long process, a lot of things have changed and I think we need to be patient.
“I think it’s not unusual to change chassis, generally. Obviously if you change, you change to a new one, but we decided, as I said before, to change back to an older chassis just to make sure nothing is wrong. Just to see, or basically change the things that you can, to have a reset and try again. We don’t think that there was anything wrong with the old chassis but nevertheless we decided to change, so if so we should get an answer this weekend.”
Asked about whether or not he was struggling with rear end stability – having been the master of driving with a blow diffuser – he said: “Well, I think generally we all have our own style to how we like to drive the car, how to set up the car. I think in general I don’t mind when the rear’s moving so I don’t mind suffering or having oversteer in the car. But if it is too much obviously if it starts to bother you when the car slides too much, then you find yourself correcting more than actually being able to push or get the maximum out of the car. And, yeah, it slows you down.
“I think that has been part of the problem so far. There’s lots of reasons behind it so it would be nice to have just one problem and one fix for that but obviously it got a lot more complex this year. There’s a lot more factors than just the car set-up. So yeah, we’re still learning a lot. We did already a lot of improvement but there’s still obviously a lot to do. But I think generally you never change the way you like to drive a car, or your style I think doesn’t change.”