Sebastian Vettel says Fernando Alonso’s performance in 2012 gives him cause to believe his title chances aren’t over before the new championship has begun.
Alonso’s Ferrari was well off the pace at the beginning of 2012 yet he went into the final race of the season in contention to win the championship.
Vettel, whose Red Bull has been beset by problems during pre-season testing this year, said that gives him hope he will be in the running for the title again this year.
Asked whether he was pessimistic about his title chances Vettel said: “No I think that’s not fair to say because it’s a long year.”
“I think our pre-season testing, our preparation hasn’t been ideal, we know we’re not in the best position for this race. But I think it’s a different story when we talk about the championship. It’s a long way to go.
“I think two years back Fernando was on the grid with 1.5 seconds to pole position and he was very close to beat us for the title at the very last race. So anything can happen, that’s why this race is important, just as any other one.”
However Vettel admitted “there’s a lot of things we need to solve” with the RB10.
“Unfortunately we can’t solve them overnight – we’d love to but we can’t, so we really have to go step-by-step, together with Daniel, just try to be as precise as we can, trying to give the engineers the best feedback possible about the whole power unit so that we move forward on that. But also talking about the car because at this stage it’s a bit unknown where we are.”
2014 Australian Grand Prix
- The FIA’s verdict rejecting Red Bull’s appeal in full
- Red Bull’s own measurements showed Ricciardo’s car was illegal – FIA
- Red Bull lose appeal against Ricciardo’s Australian Grand Prix disqualification
- Magnussen wins Driver of the Weekend vote on debut
- Losing podium better than retiring – Ricciardo
Image © Ferrari/Ercole Colombo