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Sepang, 26 March – Sebastian Vettel had his usual Thursday media meeting in the Sepang paddock and his first job was to explain to the press that the suggestion that he should attend a Mercedes team briefing today, was nothing more than a joke. “Do you imagine if I went there, they would really open up?” the Ferrari man asked his audience.

“I was joking, if you have an advantage you don’t want to give it out. Of course you can learn from other people, but we have a lot of intelligence in our team and I think from last year to this year we seem to have made a good step. Now it’s up to us to confirm that in the next couple of races and make sure we progress. With this year’s car, from the first day I was happy with the balance. I like the flow the car has.”
An encouraging start in Melbourne leaves the German keen for more: “We must work to establish ourselves in the position we were in in Australia, ideally a little bit closer to Mercedes and a little bit further ahead of Williams. It will be very close between us and Williams and also Red Bull: it’s only a question of time as to when they will come back.”
In the heat of Sepang, Sebastian believes the Scuderia should not automatically look to follow Mercedes. “We will tackle the weekend as usual, trying to get the car in the right window to get into a rhythm. In Malaysia, anything can happen, so our target should not be just to establish our position. We must attack and try and close the gap to Mercedes and with the conditions you can get here, a win is always possible.
Asked about the general state of Formula 1 as the sport goes into a second season under new rules, the Scuderia driver was generally upbeat. “In terms of excitement there are some things we miss and speaking to the fans the noise is one of those. Then, as a driver, you always want to go quicker. But the things you enjoy are always the same; driving one of the quickest cars in the world and competing against the best drivers.”


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