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Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel is keeping his feet firmly on the ground ahead of the 2013 season, insisting that his extensive past success is not a guarantee of further achievements in the future. The German, who notched up a third consecutive Drivers’ crown last year, instead reiterated that the field ‘starts again from zero’ in 2013.
"It's one thing to look back at what we have achieved as a team but, as I feel it, we all start again from zero," Vettel said at the launch of Red Bull’s new RB9 chassis on Sunday. "We’ve all got the same chances and it will be a long year, a lot of races and a very tough challenge waiting for all of us.
“I'm looking forward to it and not really thinking about what happened in the last year because I'm also convinced that it doesn't really give us a head start or an advantage. 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 in the car, start the testing and then go racing finally and find out where we are."
Vettel went on to discuss who he believes will be his main rivals in 2013, with the 25-year-old quickly outlining his respect for chief 2012 title rival Fernando Alonso.
"The best drivers are in the best teams," he explained of his 2013 rivals. "From a team point of view we are racing against the best teams and from a driver point of view we are racing against the best drivers. I think it's easy for you to work out who they are. Fernando is certainly one of them. It's not a secret I respect him a lot as a driver and have a very high opinion of him.
"There are others as well. Mark (Webber) is one of them, Lewis (Hamilton) is one of them. 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 the usual suspects… Jenson (Button) - sorry!"
Vettel will embark upon his fifth season with Red Bull in 2013. He will get his first taste of the RB9 on 7 February, completing the final two days of the opening Jerez test.
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