Sebastian Vettel says that the 2012 cars "have less grip than last year" but insists he does not know if Red Bull has the quickest car after setting the fastest time of the opening day in Barcelona.

13476 - Vettel notes difference in grip

Vettel's time of 1:23.265 came during the afternoon session on the hard compound Pirelli tyres, indicating that there is more pace to come from the RB8. Despite topping the timesheets Vettel said that he could only judge the car based on the feeling he was getting, and that the new regulations for 2012 had made a big difference to the grip available.

"It's clear that the cars have less grip than last year, but we try to come back from that slowly," Vettel said. "It's difficult to judge where we are compared with the others right now. It's all based on feeling and the feeling I have inside the car at the moment is fine. I think we had a good day today, with no trouble. We had a long lunch break when we made some changes, but not because anything broke down. All in all, it was a good day."

Head of race engineering Ian Morgan said that the team spent part of the day reacting to what was learnt at Jerez, as well as running new components on the car.

"We got through most of what we wanted today," he said. "We had a longer than usual break for lunch, in order to change some things, but that had always been planned. So, while we lost a little time, it wasn't at the expense of getting the tasks completed. These tests are a process of continuous development and the programme today was influenced a bit by what we learned at the last test. We also had to test some items that were put into development before the car even took to the track.

Morgan also revealed that the team would look to carry out race simulations during the rest of the week.

"The next two days will be somewhat different. We will be doing race simulations and will have the whole race team here, so we will try to mix that with continuing the development. There aren't many chances to run through a whole race weekend before the season starts and we'll do a simulation with each driver. Those should keep us on our toes for the next couple of days."