Sebastian Vettel says that he is expecting the 2012 season to see a closer contest than his dominant 2011 campaign.

13032 - Vettel expects closer contest

Vettel won 11 of the 19 races and secured 15 pole positions as he secured the drivers' championship with four races still to go last season. After the new RB8 in which he will defend his title was unveiled, Vettel said that he hadn't expected 2011 to go so well at the start of the year, and was adopting the same approach to this season.

"The thing is, at the beginning of last year we didn't really expect whatever happened last year, so I think it's the same thing again," Vettel said. "It would be wrong to go into this season and expect 2011 to happen again, as in getting into the lead early and having a very big gap to other competitors in the Championship. So I think it will be very, very tight this year and everything else would be a surprise to be honest."

Vettel said one of the reasons for his caution was the added restrictions in the regulations, which he believes will bring the cars even closer together.

"Looking at the cars, you know there's not much room we have left to play (with) for designers and to find something extra. You know, the last two years we have had two big things taken away, the double diffusers, plus, for this year, the system around the blown exhaust. So we are missing that and therefore I think it's difficult to really create a difference. We'll see, obviously we hope our car is better than all the others but it will be difficult, and I think the cars will be fairly similar, as in the gaps will be even closer than they have been."