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Gearbox issue leaves Vettel in the dark over RB8 updates

ESPNF1 Staff
March 4, 2012 « Button praises 'competitive' Sauber | Raikkonen 'positive' but plays down fastest time »
Sebastian Vettel: "It wouldn't be fair to judge the updates we have, as I didn't get many laps today" © Sutton Images

Sebastian Vettel said his gearbox problem on the final day of testing in Barcelona meant he could not accurately assess the upgrades Red Bull brought to the final test.

On Saturday Vettel's team-mate Mark Webber debuted a completely new exhaust system and front wing on the RB8, completing 70 laps in total. Red Bull hoped for more mileage on Saturday but a broken front wing and gearbox problem limited Vettel to just 23 laps.

"I'd love to be able to say more about today, but this morning I had an issue, I went off track and broke the front wing and had to come in," Vettel said. "It took quite a while to get back out and then just before lunch we had a problem with the gearbox so it upset the whole day. After that there wasn't much we could constructively do.

"To be honest, it wouldn't be fair to judge the updates we have, as I didn't get many laps today. I think yesterday was quite a decent step and it was a good day for Mark, so we'll take what we can from that."

However, he is happy with how Red Bull's winter testing has gone overall.

"Summing up, I think that with testing you always have something you'd run differently but you have to accept what you get. There aren't many years you can give yourself a 10 out of 10, because it's likely that things break or you stop for precautionary reasons. Overall, though, I think we can be quite happy with how we've done this time."

Vettel's Race Engineer Guillaume Rocquelin added: "We've had a pretty smooth run all the way through pre-season and to have such a disrupted day on the final one is pretty disappointing. We hardly had any running in the morning and when we did manage to get out in the afternoon there really wasn't much we could achieve in the short time available. It's frustrating as the boys worked really hard all day. But when things like this happen you just have to roll with the punches."