They are the reigning back-to-back world champions and the favourites heading into 2012, but Sebastian Vettel has admitted Red Bull is not perfect.
“Yes, last year was nearly faultless”, the German is quoted by the Guardian newspaper.
But he admits he made mistakes.
“Fridays have been poor,” said the world champion. “I made mistakes. I crashed the car.”
Dr Helmut Marko elaborated: “He threw the car away four times unnecessarily.”
Vettel, 24, continued: “We got the concentration back when it mattered but on Fridays you only have a couple of hours to prepare the car – so we can improve on that. We had a meeting in January and went over the things that we need to do better and you would be surprised. It was a long list. There were lots of points to improve.”
Even heading into the fresh 2012 season, there are already new items on that list: Marko bluntly described the final day of pre-season testing, when Vettel did a paltry 23 laps and was dead-last, as “shit”. But amid rumours the team might have to scrap its Melbourne update package for now, the Austrian insists Red Bull collected “sufficient” data from Mark Webber’s work last Saturday.
“We had three very good tests, but not perfect,” Vettel admitted to RMC. “Sure, there were a few pieces here and there that worked less well than expected, but overall there were not too many surprises.
“I feel good with the car, it (Sunday) was no big deal.”
McLaren’s Jenson Button, however – runner-up to Vettel last season – is keen to ensure Red Bull feels as much pressure as possible heading into 2012.
“In the last two years we weren’t able to (apply pressure) all that often,” he is quoted by the Koln Express, “but I think this year will be different. I want to see how they are when they are feeling that pressure.”