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'We all start again from zero' - Vettel
Sebastian Vettel says his three consecutive titles do not make him favourite for the drivers' championship in 2013.
Red Bull has dominated the sport since 2010, winning three consecutive championship doubles. With the regulations remaining fairly stable in 2013 and Adrian Newey admitting the new RB9 is an evolution of last year's car, Vettel is the bookies' favourite to retain his title but he says Red Bull is on an equal footing with every other team, just facing higher expectations.
"It's one thing to look back at what we have achieved as a team but really as I feel it we all start again from zero," Vettel said. "So we've all got the same chances and it will be a long year here, a lot of races and a very tough challenge waiting for all of us. I'm looking forward to that and not really thinking about what happened in the last year's because I'm also convinced that it doesn't really give us a head start or any advantage. If anything the expectations are there, people expect something, but more than that we expect ourselves to do well again so there's a lot of pressure. But I'm just excited to get out again and get in to the car, start the testing and then go racing finally and find out where we are.
"It will be tough; tough to beat Mark [Webber], tough to beat the other guys and the other teams because they will try everything to beat us. Obviously the last three years have been very good for us and we've managed to beat them but there's no guarantee or nothing that helps us to keep winning and keep doing a good job. So we really have to focus every single time - or in our case every single lap - and try to get everything together. It's one thing to do all the talking now but as soon as you put the helmet on you want to perform and you want to do your best."
Asked about who he expected to be his main rivals this season, Vettel said it was likely to be not only Fernando Alonso but also any driver from the top teams.
"The best drivers are in the best teams. From a team point of view we are racing against the best teams and from a driver's point of view against the best drivers. I think it's easy for you to work out who they are; Fernando certainly is one of them. It's not a secret I respect him a lot as a driver and have a very high opinion of him but there are others as well. Mark is one of them, Lewis [Hamilton] is one of them and there are others, but I usually don't like to name them as there's a chance of forgetting one of them and that's not the idea. I think it's the usual suspects … Jenson [Button] - sorry!"