Vettel 'encouraged' by Aussie pace

Sunday 23-March-2014 09:03

Although Red Bull eventually left Australia without a single World Championship point, Sebastian Vettel was buoyed by the RB10's much-improved pace.

After a trying pre-season in which Red Bull struggled to string together more than 20 laps, the team headed to Australia not expecting much.

As in testing, Vettel suffered the bulk of Red Bull's Renault woes while his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo showed some promising pace.

The Aussie qualified second behind Lewis Hamilton and finished second to Nico Rosberg only to later be disqualified when his car was found to have exceeded the fuel flow rate during the grand prix.

But despite the disappointing end to the weekend, Vettel says it was an "encouraging" performance and one the team is looking to build on.

"We still have a lot of work to do with the car but it was encouraging to see that our pace was better than expected in Australia - hopefully we can build on that and start collecting some strong points in the next two races," he said.

Next weekend, Vettel and his rivals will head to the Sepang circuit for the Malaysian GP where the German says high humidity and thunderstorms are just some of the issues they will have to deal with.

"Next stop is Kuala Lumpur, which I like as a city. Downtown can sometimes seem sterile, but then you turn a corner and the streets burst into life with the night markets. Whenever I have time I try to go there and see what they have to offer.

"Looking to the track, the two overtaking possibilities are the first corner and before the last corner, which in both cases is after a long straight; my favourite corners are five and six.

"Beside the challenge of the circuit, you have to cope with the tropical heat. We can be driving in humidity of up to 90%, while big thunderstorms in the afternoon are not uncommon."

A week later it is off to Bahrain for the second part of the double-header where the drivers will swap humidity for a dry desert heat.

"From there we go to Bahrain, where we've recently been for winter testing, so it will feel quite familiar and after the high humidity in Malaysia it will be nice to go to dry heat. Because the circuit is in the middle of the desert, sand can be blown up in the wind on to the racing line.

"The circuit has a nice combination of fast, slow and medium corners and is pretty technical to drive. I also like the rosewater they have instead of champagne!"

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