• Malaysian Grand Prix

Red Bull learned lessons with tyres - Vettel

ESPN Staff
March 21, 2013 « McLaren not ruling out switch to 2012 car | Ferrari has strong race pace - Massa »
Sebastian Vettel would rather have tyres without degradation © Getty Images
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Sebastian Vettel says Red Bull learned a lot about the Pirelli tyres in Australia and is hoping to apply those lessons to this weekend's race in Malaysia.

Vettel finished third in Australia but struggled with degradation and had to adopt a three-stop strategy that saw him lose out to Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso after starting from pole position. He admitted that Red Bull had not foreseen that level of degradation but said it had learned from the race and would change its set-up accordingly this weekend.

"You don't approach the race thinking I will win for sure and you don't stand on pole thinking it's practically won and that the clock just needs to tick for a little while and then the job is done," he said. "But for sure we saw the chance to win and the problems we had in the race suffering with the tyres ... we did not expect there to be that much of a problem. But that's how it is and we learned a lot last Sunday and we will go from here.

"I think we still managed to get a very good result, but we probably didn't have enough pace in the race to beat the two cars in front of us, and there is a direct link to tyre degradation with that. Surely we will try for this week to treat the tyres a little bit better and go a little bit further, and tomorrow we will see how bad or good it is."

Vettel said he would prefer tyres that did not degrade so that he could push lap after lap.

"The last two years with Pirellis we had a lot more degradation than we used to and from a driver point of view when the tyres run away from you it's not so nice because you can't challenge the car as much as you'd like. In qualifying we get more or less one lap out of the tyres and then we drive under the car because the tyres don't allow us to [keep pushing]. Obviously it was very different in the old days, but it's the same for everyone so it doesn't make a big difference. Surely if you could choose as a driver you would love to go flat out and 100% every lap to challenge yourself and challenge the car. Obviously if the car is full of fuel and the tyres are getting older so you're going five, six or seven seconds slower, then it's a different style of Formula One."