Sebastian Vettel has remained cool, calm and collected despite the ordeal that has surrounded him and the Red Bull team during pre-season testing, which reached rock bottom on day three in Bahrain where the world champions failed to complete a single lap of the Sakhir circuit.
Vettel told reporters afterwards, “We thought we would be in a much better place this week compared to last week. That hasn’t really been the case, and there is no point being too emotional at this stage. We really have to take it step by step.”
“We know how serious it is, especially inside the team – on Renault’s side and our side. We’ve been a team [for] the last five years and things have been fantastic.”
“At the moment we obviously have lots of different problems that we are curing. It’s not the best situation to be in but we can’t change it. Everybody is extremely motivated to fix it, but it doesn’t happen overnight.”
“We can just hope for a better day tomorrow [Sunday] and then to have a decent start to the season in Melbourne but at this stage obviously reliability is still a big question mark. It’s difficult to say how long it will take to remedy.
“I think some things will just come down to the fact that in two weeks’ time we’ll have lots of new parts on the car. We’ve had some damage because of the problems we’ve had here and the parts aren’t available overnight, so from that side I think things will get better over the next couple of weeks.”
“We obviously haven’t done much running but from the little we have done has been quite promising, so I think once we get going the speed should be OK.”
Reports of Vettel throwing a tantrum at Jerez are well off the mark, according to the team, and in fact the German was in surprisingly good spirits on Saturday despite the problems that have infested the RB10.
He even cracked joked with course car driver when he was picked up after coming to a stop out on track during his first run , “Thank you. Please take this the right way, but I hope I don’t see you again!”
A little later, at the end of short and abortive run, Vettel showed the spirit of a true champion as he gamely helped a marshal push the stricken RB10 back up the pitlane to the Red Bull garage, smiling along the way as they passed the enclaves of rival teams. (GP247)
Subbed by AJN.