Vettel not writing off chance of fifth title

By on Thursday, March 13, 2014
Red Bull/Getty Images

Red Bull/Getty Images

Sebastian Vettel insists he is not writing off his chances of winning a fifth successive world title despite enduring a difficult pre-season campaign.

Vettel and Red Bull struggled with the reliability of the RB10 during the three pre-season tests but the German insists it's too soon to make definitive predictions.

Vettel cited Fernando Alonso's form in 2012 with a recalcitrant car as his inspiration.

"I don’t think that’s fair to say. It’s a long year," he said when asked if he's not optimistic about the prospect of a fifth championship.

"Our pre-season testing, our preparation, hasn’t been ideal and, yeah, we’re probably not in the best position for this race but I think it’s a different story when we think about the championship.

"There’s a long way to go. Two years back Fernando was on the grid with 1.5 seconds to pole position but he was very close to beating us to the title at the very last race. Anything can happen. That’s why this race is important, just as any other one. But there are a lot of races this year."

Vettel admitted that Red Bull is not in the best shape ahead of this weekend's Australian Grand Prix.

"It’s obviously a tough step for all the teams, all the drivers, a lot of new things to get used to," he said.

"We know that obviously we’re not in the best shape yet. There are a lot of things we need to solve. Unfortunately, you can’t solve them overnight. We’d love to but we can’t. So you really have to go step by step, together with [team-mate] Daniel [Ricciardo], I think just trying to be as precise as we can, trying to give the engineers the best feedback possible about the whole power unit so that we move forward on that and also talking about the car because at this stage it’s a bit unknown where we are.

"It’s not a secret: you need very, very strong reliability to be a title contender, so we’ll see… I’m looking forward to tomorrow and especially Sunday to get a feel for the new regulations and see where we are."

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