- Red Bull
Vettel admits falling short of own expectations
Sebastian Vettel insists he is fully aware he has underperformed so far in 2014 but that he is refusing to dwell on the form of Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.
Vettel's form has been one of the recurring storylines of this season, especially as it has often been in stark contrast to Ricciardo, who claimed his first career victory in Canada. Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko recently admitted to telling Vettel to "raise his game" after the Chinese Grand Prix, something the German realises he still needs to do.
"It's pretty simple [to see], I get to see a lot of what I produce on the track," Vettel said. "We record all the data, which can give you a lot of answers. As a matter of fact I didn't run that much in winter testing and didn't run that much during race weekends [early in the season] so things were not always that straight forward. I think the clean race weekends we have had have been alright.
"Would I have loved to have been quicker? Yes. So that means there's a lot of work ahead of us, trying to get the car in the right window for me to try and extract a little bit more and hopefully close that gap down a little bit to Mercedes."
Though Ricciardo has been the standout Red Bull performer in recent races, Vettel insists the challenge is no different to that of any other team-mate in his career - including predecessor Mark Webber, who he was consistently beating for the final three years of their partnership.
"I think it hasn't been very smooth from my side. I wouldn't say [Ricciardo has] given me a harder time than I'm used to. Obviously he's had better results, it's correct to say he's been in front, and in previous years I was in front of Mark most of the time.
"But equally I think every race writes its own story and I think there's always two sides to the story. I think he's doing a very good job, there's no doubting that. He's able to get the maximum out of the car, which he has been since race one, which is good. On my side there are a few things to overcome but at least it is good to see that the other half is good too."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Products you might like at espnshop.co.uk