F1: Red Bull pinpoint problem areas ahead of Malaysian Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel finished third in opening Grand Prix

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner is content his team has the platform to land their fourth consecutive Formula One world title.

Sebastian Vettel had to settle for third in Sunday's season-opening Australian Grand Prix, despite blowing away the field in qualifying to land his 37th career pole position.

The race pace of the RB9, however, was found wanting, with Horner claiming his team was unable to generate that out of the Pirelli tyres and given the cool conditions at Melbourne's Albert Park.

It might not have been the perfect start for Red Bull and Vettel, but, given their renown for their rate of development over the course of a season, Sunday was an ominous warning for their rivals.

Asked as to where it went wrong for Vettel in Australia, Horner said: "One simple word - tyres.

"For whatever reason, we didn't find the optimum window with the tyres given the conditions. We were just a bit out.

"After Seb had built up a lead on lap four or five it became apparent the car was pretty heavy on the tyres, which forced us to go down the route of a three-stop (strategy).

"All things considered, third place was actually a very good result given Kimi (Raikkonen) and Lotus was the only driver-car combination that made a two-stop work.

"But there were plenty of positives - we qualified on pole, we know we have a quick car which is also competitive.

"So nobody in the team left Australia despondent or disheartened by the race.

"We had a very solid weekend - it's just that we found ourselves out of the window (with the tyres) in the race."

Horner insisted Red Bull's issues in Melbourne were related to set up rather than anything inherent in the car.

So this weekend's race in Malaysia, where conditions will be hot and humid, will pose a different problem for Horner.

"There are a lot of lessons learned from Australia that will hopefully be relevant for cool races in the future," Horner said.

"Although we're only going to get a true picture of form after four or five races when we've gone to different venues, different tracks and asphalt surfaces.

"At least we have a quick car, which is the first thing you need. After that, you then have to make sure that car uses the tyres correctly."

Even Vettel has conceded the team "has some homework to do" with regard to the tyres, and, although unhappy at not securing the win from pole, knows he is again in the hunt for another crown.

"This year the car seems much more balanced and I'm much happier, in a much happier place," Vettel said.

"We can be happy with the pace we showed all weekend. The car left a very good impression, and the whole team operated very calmly.

"Considering it was the first race of the season we seemed to just continue where we finished last year."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent