Abu Dhabi

Last Race: 23rd Nov Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi GP Results
Pos Driver
1 Lewis Hamilton
2 Felipe Massa
3 Valtteri Bottas

Vettel: Close at the top

Friday 8th February 2013

Share:

Vettel: Close at the top

Vettel: Close at the top

Sebastian Vettel expects this season will be "at least as tight as last year" as the stable rules have made it difficult for any team to get a jump on their rivals.

Ahead of the major revamp in 2014, which includes an overhaul of Formula One's engine regulations, this season the sport's rules have remained stable with only a few tweaks such as the ban on the Mercedes-style double DRS.

As a result Vettel, who drove his new RB9 for the first time at Jerez on Thursday, reckons fans could be in for a closely-contested season.

"It might be that there is a favourite after these three tests, but it could turn out to be completely the opposite in Australia because it's a different track, a different characteristic," said the triple World Champ.

"I expect it to be at least as tight as last year, the regulations haven't really changed, so it's difficult to make up a lot of ground and equally if you're at the front it's difficult to find something else that makes you a lot quicker.

"That's the same for everyone but the car feels good so far, I think from the outside there's not that much new but mostly stuff underneath and that all seemed to work in terms of reliability which is now the most important thing."

Last season Vettel was involved in a tense tussle all the way to the chequered flag with Fernando Alonso, eventually beating the Spaniard by three points.

This season, though, the 25-year-old reckons others - including Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton - could be involved.

Asked whether Hamilton could challenge, Vettel said: "Yes, of course.

"The way least season started with a lot of different teams and drivers winning races, there's nothing that speaks against that happening again this year.

"The regulations haven't really changed, and at some stage I think it will get even closer at the top and so everyone is in the hunt.

"We saw last year Williams set some highlights, winning in Barcelona - not because they were lucky but because they were fast.

"Even if after the last Barcelona test you have a certain favourite, it could all be different in Australia."

Vettel's Maiden Ferrari Run

Editor's Picks

Looking Forward To 2015

Looking Forward To 2015

There's only 87 days to the next grand prix in Melbourne, and already PF1 is looking forward to the season ahead...

McLaren Made Right Choice

McLaren Made Right Choice

McLaren have finally announced they are retaining Jenson Button for 2015. Here are ten reasons why they made the right choice...

PF1 Prediction Results

PF1 Prediction Results

The results are in and Frank Hopkinson turns into an oracle with his scary prediction about safety in F1...

Ten Best Drives Of 2014

Ten Best Drives Of 2014

Andrew Davies looks at the outstanding race performances this season, not always by drivers who made it onto the podium...

Ten Stupid Moments

Ten Stupid Moments

We've had our fair share of stupid moments in F1 this year and Andrew Davies has rounded up some of the best (or worst)...