Opening day 'promising' for Vettel
Sebastian Vettel labelled his first day in the RB8 promising but warned against making comparisons to other teams in Jerez.
Vettel took over from Mark Webber and set the third fastest time as he completed 96 laps in the new car. Having had his first experience of the RB8 Vettel was asked what he had managed to learn about the car and said that he had focused on getting used to the car and analysing its characteristics before focusing on outright performance.
"Let's see on the second day but on the first day it was promising," Vettel said. "It's a long way to go, it's the first day, there's a lot more to come. We need to understand how the car works and then we can address the problems properly and hopefully tune the development in the right direction but for now it's just to understand what are the main points for this year; where are the weaknesses and where we can improve. So that's why it's important now to run as much as we can.
"In the morning it was quite slippery and it does take a little while to get back in to the rhythm and mainly to understand the car. So that was the priority today for me; find the rhythm and try to understand what the car needs so that we can hopefully push the development in the right direction."
With the exhaust-blown diffuser banned for 2012 Vettel added that he hadn't seen any interesting concepts that would give any one team a big advantage.
"You try to explore things that you haven't tried before. It's attention to detail, so I don't think there's any big secrets we will find out. If you look at all the cars they are slightly different yes but there is nothing revolutionary. Now we wait for the Mercedes and then we'll know a little bit more. At this stage it's clear that this year it should be very tight again if not tighter than last year."
Vettel also warned that it was much too early for anyone to work out who will be able to challenge for the title this season.
"I think from the outside it isn't very clear; it isn't clear what we're doing, it isn't clear what Ferrari's doing, and so is McLaren. So it's a big question mark. Mercedes haven't run their new car yet so I think we will know a little bit more in Barcelona and especially at the last test when people usually turn up with more or less their car that they will race at the first race, so we have to be patient."