Whilst admitting the RB8 has “very nervous” handling, Sebastian Vettel insists there is nothing fundamentally wrong with the 2012 Red Bull.
The German looks likely to struggle to add a third consecutive drivers’ title to his tally this season, after slumping to just sixth in the points standings after the first two races. In China, he has reverted to a launch specification of the Adrian Newey-penned car’s exhaust layout, whilst Mark Webber is plugging ahead with a further development of the Australia-Malaysia solution.
“There is no question of something (being) wrong,” Vettel is quoted in Spanish media reports as saying in Shanghai, “just a few things that are probably just not working in an ideal manner. The problem we have is that the balance of the car is not as good as we had last year. It’s not a question of downforce, but of ensuring that all the parts are behaving as a whole.
“That is what we are trying to achieve.”
Vettel dismissed the suggestion that because Red Bull’s cars are in two different specifications this weekend, it means the team has “lost” its way.
“I wouldn’t say that,” he said. “I firmly believe we have a very competitive car, at the moment we are just not able to take its full potential out.”
Meanwhile, the 24-year-old said he has spoken with Narain Karthikeyan, following their collision in Malaysia.
Vettel twice showed his Indian rival the middle finger, and described Karthikeyan – who was penalised by the stewards – as an “idiot”.
“I spoke with him and he apologised,” Vettel is quoted by Germany’s spox.com.
But when told that he was once a backmarker like Karthikeyan, the German insisted: “I was never as far behind as the HRT. Of course you have to drive your own race. But you still have to know what is going on around you.”