Sebastian Vettel: Red Bull driver warns sceptics about writing off title chances

Red Bull have struggled during pre-season testing and appear unprepared for this weekend's opening Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel has warned his critics to write off at their peril his chances of him becoming only the second driver in Formula One history to win five successive world titles.

Following a wretched pre-season of testing in which the new Red Bull often ground to a halt, the odds are on Vettel failing to even cross the line in Sunday's season-opening Australian Grand Prix, never mind stretching his winning streak to 10 races after taking the chequered flag in the final nine of last year.

The Milton Keynes-based team encountered a raft of problems with the RB10 - with Vettel continuing his trend of providing his car with a girl's name and this year calling it Suzie - that has placed them firrnly on the back foot going into the race around Melbourne's Albert Park.

It has been suggested the car appears quick enough, and if Red Bull can get on top of their reliability issues then Vettel could again be in the hunt for another crown.

Dismissing a suggestion that a fifth consecutive championship was not on the cards, Vettel said: "That's unfair to say.

"Our season testing, our preparation hasn't been ideal, and we're not in the best position for this race.

"But it's a different story for the championship because there is a long way to go.

"Two years ago I remember being on the grid (on pole) and (Fernando) Alonso was 1.5 seconds behind me, but he came very close to beating me for the title at the very last race.

"So it shows anything can happen. That's why this race is important as any other, and there are a lot of races to go.

"Of course, we know we're not in the best shape yet and there are a lot of things we need to solve, but unfortunately you can't solve them all overnight. We'd love to, but we can't.

"We have to go step by step, be as precise as we can, trying to give the best feedback possible to the engineers."

 

The past few weeks have arguably been some of the toughest for the 26 -year-old since he arrived at Red Bull, prompting the question as to how he will react.

Naturally, Vettel has every intention of continuing to give his all, even when the chips might be down.

"At this stage it's difficult for all of us to know what to expect as to how the racing will look, how it will feel inside the car, how many cars will cross the line," added Vettel.

"We had a lot of problems during the test, as did others, so it's difficult to have any sort of expectations.

"But I'm not going out to simply make it round, rather to the push to the maximum, to do the best I can, and then we'll see where we are and how far we get.

"The target is to finish, and to be in the best possible position.

"As to mindset, it's fairly straightforward for the rest of the year - we're a strong team, we have a lot of good people on board, we've good resources, so we should progress as the season moves on."

PA

Voices
voices
News
general electionThis quiz matches undecided voters with the best party for them
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen starred in the big screen adaptation of Austen's novel in 2005
tvStar says studios are forcing actors to get buff for period roles
News
Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge show their newly-born daughter, their second child, to the media outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on 2 May 2015.
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before