It was a tricky day for us, admits Vettel
12 April 2013 – Reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettel has described a challenging first day to his Chinese Grand Prix weekend, with the German feeling uncomfortable about the gap to pace-setter Felipe Massa in this afternoon's second practice session.
The Red Bull driver, who finished the day tenth on the overall timesheets and 1.451 seconds behind his Ferrari rival, is optimistic that despite his early issues at the Shanghai venue, his team will be able to make up the lost ground overnight.
"Today was a tricky day for us," Vettel explained. "I struggled a bit this afternoon and the gap to the guys at the top is a little bit bigger than I'd like. There are two or three things that we need to work on and then we should be in a better shape for tomorrow.
"I think we know what we need to do. It looks like the Soft tyre is the one for qualifying, but it seems that we won’t see that many stints on the Soft tyre during the race."
In the sister Red Bull, Mark Webber was slightly more optimistic about his initial feelings with the RB9, but admits tyres will hold the key to success this weekend.
"It was good today and we achieved a lot of mileage," reflected Webber, who ended the day fifth fastest. "There are obviously some pretty quick cars out there – we saw that in Malaysia before it rained in qualifying. We're getting a lot of information, but we’re still in this early phase of learning about the tyres.
"I think that we have a bit of work to do, but the car doesn't feel too bad, we just have to keep working on understanding the tyres. It’s nice to have a stable weekend in terms of weather, which is unusual in Shanghai."
Vettel, who on Thursday made a string of controversial comments in response to the Malaysian Grand Prix team order controversy, currently sits atop the standings with a total of 40 points to his name, while Webber is 14 points adrift in third position.