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Vettel doubts test advantage

ESPN Staff
July 25, 2013 « Ferrari hopes hinge on Hungary - Alonso | Vergne still in the running for Red Bull drive - Ricciardo »
Sebastian Vettel arrives at the Hungaroring having already completed 79 laps on the new Pirelli tyres © Sutton Images

Sebastian Vettel doesn't believe his time testing tyres at Silverstone will deliver him any advantage in the Hungarian Grand Prix and expects the competitive order to remain the same.

Pirelli has revised the tyres to use the 2012 structure in response to the issues seen at the British Grand Prix. Although the compounds remain the same, the teams were allowed to run their race drivers during the Young Driver Test at Silverstone to test the tyres, and with Mercedes banned Vettel was the only one of the top six drivers in the championship to do any testing.

Despite having already run the tyres, Vettel doesn't think he will have a head start compared to his title rivals.

"Testing is always useful [but] obviously the test last week was very limited in what we could do with the car so we probably didn't learn that much," Vettel said. "We couldn't really change anything on the car so it was all about tyres. I think the circumstances were quite special in Silverstone - usually it's never that hot - but it was still interesting.

"[The team learned] not so much to be honest because we couldn't do that many adjustments; we basically just put new tyres on and fuel in! I think it was just to get a first feeling and the tyres don't seem to be that different, which I think is good because we haven't asked for different tyres we have asked for tyres which are safe. Therefore it's difficult to know what to expect here but I don't expect it to be a massive change, so I would be surprised if all of a sudden teams are struggling that didn't struggle before and the other way round."

Despite expecting the pecking order to remain the same and already holding a very comfortable lead in the drivers' championship, Vettel says he isn't focusing on his position in the standings yet.

"I'm not really thinking about it. We have one more race here before we have a break which I think is a good time to reflect on the first half of the season and also try to look back at what we have done, what we can improve on, what are the things to look out for and then go step-by-step. The second half of the season will be very tough with lots of races in only a few weeks. I've said it many times; with the points system we have things can happen very quickly. Obviously it's a very good position that we are in at the moment but first of all we focus on this race before the break we've got left and then try to look forward to the second half, but not necessarily thinking too much about the championship."