Vettel insists title remains the target

Sunday 02-March-2014 09:08

Sebastian Vettel is refusing to weigh-in on his chances of defending his title as Red Bull's troubled pre-season draws to a close.

The reigning World Champions have struggled throughout testing with the RB10's longest run to date being a 20-lap stint done by Daniel Ricciardo on Friday in Bahrain.

That day also saw the team finish third on the timesheets, an encouraging result for Red Bull.

However, a day later the RB10 did not even manage a single lap as Vettel broke down twice; first on his installation lap and later in the pit lane as he attempted another run.

The team's woes have led to speculation that Vettel's days as World Champion could be numbered.

The German, though, says it is far too early to make any predictions about the upcoming season.

"Right now, it's impossible to have any expectations," he told Sky Sports.

"Of course, our reliability's bad at this stage, otherwise I'd be doing a lot more mileage. But also it's impossible to judge the speed.

"I think the couple of laps we had it felt okay, but we'll have to wait until the first race to see what the stopwatch says."

In fact the 26-year-old insists his goal for this season is to add a fifth Drivers' Championship title to his tally.

"The goal is similar to the last few years," he added.

"In the beginning, you always start off with limited expectations because we don't know how competitive we are. And once you realise you are competitive, you want to win. That's the target for this year.

"But obviously, we have to look at things step-by-step. There's no point saying that we want to win the Championship. First of all, we want to make sure we can do the best job we can, trying to finish the first race and then going from there."

As for Red Bull's woes, Vettel is refusing to blame engine supplier Renault.

"I think it's not fair to split the two anyway. We work with Renault, Renault works with us all year.

"Surely there's things that happen on the Renault side and other things that happen on our side, and we are a team.

"We've had a lot of success together, right now we have a difficult time together."

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