'We've made another step forward' - Vettel
7 February 2013 – Sebastian Vettel says Red Bull has made 'another step forward' with its new RB9 chassis. The reigning World Champion, who took over from team-mate Mark Webber at the Circuito de Jerez on Thursday, enjoyed a smooth introduction to his 2013 challenger, posting the third quickest time on his way to an overall lap total of 102.
"So far, I think we can be pretty happy," said Vettel. "Mark had a good couple of days to start with and I took over today. It was great to get back in the car, to get rid of the rust and to get back in the groove again.
"It's an evolution and I think we've done another step forward, but that's all we can say at the moment. The first feeling is good and the car is working well. It’s difficult to judge the speed, but reliability looks pretty good. For today we accomplished what we set out to achieve – which was to put a lot of laps on the car."
Despite his positive first impressions, Vettel was cautious about making any predictions for the season ahead, reiterating that tests never show the full picture.
"It’s very difficult to judge anything else," he added. "It could be that there is a favourite after these three tests, but it could turn out to be completely different in Australia because it’s a different track with different characteristics. I expect the Championship to be at least as tight as last year, as the regulations haven’t changed so much."
Vettel will bring the first pre-season test of the year to a close for Red Bull on Friday.