Vettel: I think the races today have become much better

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing signs autogrpahs for the fans. Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Preparations, Barcelona, Spain, Thursday 10 May 2012.

Sebastian Vettel signs autographs for fans in Barcelona

May 10 (GP247) One of the big talking points ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix weekend has been the criticism by Michael Schumacher of the driving technique required to be competitive with the new generation Pirelli tyres, and when asked about this, reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel agreed that things are different now to a few years ago but believes that races are much better these days.

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing walks the track with Guillaume Rocquelin (FRA) Red Bull Racing Race Engineer. Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Preparations, Barcelona, Spain, Thursday 10 May 2012.

Sebastian walks the Circuit de Catalunya with his crew

Speaking during the FIA press conference Vettel said, “I think for us quality of racing, if you compare racing today, you have to, I think, look after your tyres a lot more than probably you had to three, four, five years ago. For us, if you take, for instance, 2009 where we were allowed to refuel, we had new tyres and the tyres lasted longer, in that they didn’t see that much degradation.”

“It’s a different quality inside the car because you can push nearly every lap similar to qualifying, whereas now I think the racing is different: we fuel the cars up, they are much heavier, and if you have a heavier car there’s more stress for the tyres, so it puts the whole thing in a different window,” explained the German.

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8 crosses the line to win the race. Formula One World Championship, Rd4, Bahrain Grand Prix, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Sunday 22 April 2012.

Sebastian crosses the line to win the Bahrain GP

“If you put a new set of tyres on with 20 laps to go, or 15 laps to go, which is, let’s say, the stint length, earlier, a couple of years ago, it’s a different world for the tyres. The tyres do see more degradation and then we start to slide and then one guy slides more than the other because he puts his tyres on two laps earlier. It creates a different type of racing, more overtaking, which I imagine is seen as better quality from the outside, simply because things happen,” said Vettel.

“I think it depends what you really want. We have more overtaking. I think the races today – over the last two years since we have changed a couple of things – has become much better. Also for us. I had a race here where I was following – how many laps is the race, 66? – I think I was following Felipe [Massa] for 60 laps out of that and I couldn’t pass. Nowadays you know that your chance will come in the race and that’s changing the position inside the car as well,” concluded the Red Bull driver who leads the championship points standings going into the weekend in Spain.