• Malaysian Grand Prix - FP2

Red Bull closer to McLaren in Malaysia - Vettel

ESPNF1 Staff
March 23, 2012 « Hamilton to make set-up tweaks to help race pace | Gearbox problem leaves Kobayashi with work to do »
Sebastian Vettel set the second fastest time in the morning session but was only 10th in the afternoon © Getty Images

Sebastian Vettel believes Red Bull is closer to McLaren's race pace in Malaysia than it was in Australia.

After McLaren locked out the front row at Melbourne, Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton pulled away in the early stints before a safety car helped Vettel up in to second place. It was a reversal in form from 2011, and after Lewis Hamilton was quickest in both Friday practice sessions at Sepang Vettel admitted he didn't know if Red Bull would be challenging McLaren for pole position.

"It is hard to say," Vettel is quoted by Autosport. "McLaren looked very strong today, morning and afternoon. I haven't seen the long runs, I think we are closer by the looks of it in long-run pace so we will see what we can do."

Vettel also said that he still needed to improve the balance of his car after complaining to the team that the car was "all over the place" during the second session.

"I'm not entirely happy maybe. This afternoon I would have liked to have been further up but it is one lap you are looking at. All in all we had decent running today - but there is still a lot to do. I am not entirely happy yet but it is not as if we expected that all our problems would be solved within three hours today.

"The run was not perfect because otherwise we would have been higher up, but before that and after that it was quite OK. It was a one-off and didn't use the tyre as much as we should have. So I am not entirely happy yet."