Vettel: I feel like I have a car in my hands again

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Quadruple Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel believes that his new RB10 chassis has helped him to pull out of his early season crisis.

Until Barcelona, the reigning quadruple world champion had struggled at the wheel of his original RB10 car, affectionately nicknamed ‘Suzie’ by the German.

So, with Helmut Marko fearing a chassis crack, Red Bull reverted as a precaution to its winter testing monocoque for Vettel to drive in Spain and beyond.

Although grappling with nightmarish reliability for most of the weekend, Vettel ultimately scythed through the field in the race, declaring afterwards to Auto Motor und Sport: “I feel like I have a car in my hands again. I do think [the new chassis] made a difference.

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“At least the question mark went away,” he added, referring to the uncertain handling of the car he experienced in 2014 until Barcelona. “As for the pace, it was reasonable.”

While happy with the Adrian Newey-penned RB10 overall, Red Bull is pushing engine supplier Renault to make further improvements. In Spain, the team benefitted from a new blend of fuel supplied by Total.

“In the car itself you don’t feel more power,” said Vettel, “but we were not as vulnerable on the straight as usual, so I do think it gave us a bit.”

But for the moment, he acknowledged that Mercedes are a long way ahead. “They have a phenomenal engine, two very good drivers, a very good car, and a very good team, they’re doing a good job so it would be wrong to complain and moan about how dominant they are.”

“They worked better than everyone else in the winter and deserve to be in that position,” Vettel added. (GMM)

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