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Red Bull will get even faster, warns VettelLaurence Edmondson June 14, 2011 « Karthikeyan hits back at Massa | »
Sebastian Vettel believes the 2011 Red Bull still has plenty of development potential and is confident the team will unlock more race pace over the coming weeks.
Vettel has been the undisputed king of qualifying this year, taking six pole positions from seven attempts, but has faced stiffer competition in the races and has twice been beaten by a McLaren - most recently in Canada. But while the past three grands prix have been much closer affairs than the opening races, Vettel is confident his Red Bull team still has some considerable improvements in store.
"I think if you look at the championship so far it has been tight and it will stay tight," he told ESPNF1 in an exclusive interview. "People will obviously try to catch up as much as they can and try to win races and we have to make sure that we keep improving our car ourselves.
"In terms of room for development, I think there are always things you can improve. You'll find yourself in a position where you're thinking of things to improve on the car that you didn't think were possible a couple of weeks before. Day by day we have to go step by step and find new things. Back at the factory we have guys trying to make things better in many ways, not just aero wise but also mechanically, and we do bring a lot of new parts to the track. We just have to hope that they work and that they make the car faster."
Over a race distance the McLarens appear to be able to extract more performance from the Pirelli tyres than the Red Bull, despite the latter being much quicker over a single lap. Vettel revealed that tyre management is an area the team is focusing on, but said it is not possible to come up with a one-size-fits-all solution.
"Every race is different," he said. "With the tyres especially this year, it's usually a different picture we have after the race compared to what we had at the start. If you look at this year there were some races where we didn't perform according to what we expected. But we have two or three things we are working on and we have to do better in the future.
"There are no secrets. Working with the tyres, obviously in the race there are so many things coming up, you start with a very heavy car so the forces are different and the loads that you have to put into the car and into the tyres. I think all in all we have a very fast package and we just have to make sure we can use it no matter what the conditions are and no matter what stage of the race we are at."
He also admitted that KERS is an area that Red Bull is working hard on after several failures of the power boost system so far this season.
"I think it is our weak point at the moment, for sure, because it is causing us more trouble than anything else on the car" he said. "We are working, obviously, very hard on it and we are not proud of where we are at the moment, with the amount of problems we have.
"Surely it would have helped us here and there [if it was working 100% of the time] and would have made us quicker, especially in the races. But it didn't happen, so I can only say that we will keep working hard on it and we will try to make it reliable so that it works every time and it doesn't fail."
Laurence Edmondson is the deputy editor on ESPNF1