F1 grandees Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso have refused to predict they will be in the running for this year’s world title.
An early analysis of the winter test running in Spain might have Red Bull and McLaren at the front, with Mercedes and Lotus possibly challenging Ferrari for the position of F1’s ‘third power’ in 2012.
“I think it’s too far away,” back to back world champion Vettel, referring to the three week gap until Melbourne, told German reporters. “At the moment we do not know where we all are, which is why I don’t want to talk about the first race or the championship.”
Agreed Alonso: “I think it’s wrong to try to figure out in February if you are going to have a successful season or not. We don’t know,” he is quoted by AS newspaper. “The feelings I have are that we are faster than the Giulietta,” he smiled, referring to the Alfa Romeo road car.
“I don’t know. Red Bull seems to be strong but we will not know how much until we get to Melbourne,” said Alonso.
According to Finland’s MTV3, McLaren’s Jenson Button added: “I don’t think Red Bull will have the same kind of head start they had at the beginning of last season.
“But Sebastian is of course the favourite, as he should be – he won the past two championships.”