• Red Bull

Vettel not daunted by 2014 struggles

ESPN Staff
April 17, 2014 « Raikkonen on Ferrari changes: 'Life goes on' | Rosberg eager to discuss 'above limits' driving with Hamilton »
Sebastian Vettel does not expect to see the gap to Mercedes come down in China © Sutton Images
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Sebastian Vettel admits he is not concerned by his downturn in fortunes in 2014 as long as he keeps getting as much out of his Red Bull as possible.

Vettel is in rather unfamiliar territory in 2014 after five seasons at the front of the pack and four consecutive world titles, with Red Bull still struggling to keep up with Mercedes power. While he is happy to confess his car is not where he wants it to be currently Vettel insists he is not taking his struggles as badly as some might believe.

"It's been a big challenge, and not so much what people expect in terms of results," Vettel said. "I don't mind finishing fourth, sixth or eighth as it depends on how you finish. That seems to be the biggest challenge right now, I'm not quite where I want to be in terms of how I feel inside the car.

"Then again we've had a lot of changes and there's a lot of new stuff to adapt to, so obviously we are still learning with the car which is the still the biggest challenge."

After his podium in Malaysia and a late challenge from team-mate Daniel Ricciardo in Bahrain, Vettel is confident of another top-five finish in China but admits the circuit makes a genuine step forward to Mercedes seem unlikely.

"It's difficult to say [where we will finish]. Mercedes are the favourites going in but we want to stay as close as we can. What's realistic? Probably if we can be in the top five, that's probably good for us and where we are right now.

"It's a big gap [to Mercedes] at the moment. Bahrain obviously looked very bad for everybody but Mercedes. I think for here it could be a little bit different but historically you have to say it is one of the circuits that favoured Mercedes in the last couple of years. You can expect them to be strong because of the nature of the track and strong because they are in very good shape right now."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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