Formula 1 News

Vettel makes light of new challenges

For first time this year, the german and its Red Bull did not dominate the first two sessions, opening the doors for others.
Friday, June 24, 2011

VALENCIA, Spain, June 24, 2011 (AFP) - Defending drivers world champion Sebastian Vettel was in light-hearted mood on Friday after clocking just the third-fastest time in opening practice for Sunday's European Grand Prix.

The 26-year-old runaway leader of this year's title race said he was feeling no extra pressures from rule changes that prevent any engine mapping fixes between qualifying and the race or from his rivals increased
determination.

Talking about the advantage that he and Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber may have gained from the engine mapping alterations, he joked: "It was five seconds!"

He added: "No, seriously, I can understand that it is news to everyone to get some information, but I can only say that it will affect everyone when the rules change, but I don't see us suffering more than others.

"Maybe I will be surprised, maybe not. But from what I judge now, there is nothing to be afraid of."

Two times champion and local hero Fernando Alonso ended up fastest on Friday for Ferrari ahead of Briton Lewis Hamilton of McLaren.

Vettel added: "It is important that we are there or thereabouts, it is tight here. "It changes from circuit to circuit, sometimes the gaps are bigger, sometimes much closer.

"We got to Australia and we were quite a bit quicker than others, then we get to Malaysia and we had to push hard to be on pole position. That is two weeks and nothing changed on the car -- it was just a different track."

Webber said: "Nothing has changed on engine mapping. McLaren were not slow in Canada and neither were Ferrari, so not much has changed. "On all of this, we wait until Silverstone, -- as that is a normal GP in
terms of the new regulations -- at least for us anyway. For us, not much has changed."

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1 Nico Rosberg 165
2 Lewis Hamilton 161
3 Daniel Ricciardo 98
4 Fernando Alonso 87
5 Valtteri Bottas 73
6 Sebastian Vettel 70
1 Mercedes 326
2 Red Bull Racing 168
3 Ferrari 106
4 Williams F1 103
5 Sahara Force India 91
6 McLaren 90

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