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

News
scienceExcitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
Life and Style
Customers can get their caffeine fix on the move
food + drink
Sport
sport
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
News
peopleEnglishman managed quintessential Hollywood restaurant Chasen's
Life and Style
food + drinkHarrods launches gourmet food qualification for staff
Voices
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
voicesRobert Fisk: Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script
Arts and Entertainment
Michael Flatley prepares to bid farewell to the West End stage
danceMichael Flatley hits West End for last time alongside Team GB World champion Alice Upcott
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
filmReview: Lucy, Luc Besson's complex thriller
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
News
Jermain Defoe got loads of custard
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans