Vettel sees Formula One title race wide open

ALAN BALDWIN
Last updated 13:51 08/02/2013
Sebastian Vettel
Getty Images
SEBASTIAN VETTEL: "The regulations haven't really changed. At some stage I think it will be getting even closer at the top and therefore everyone is in the hunt."

Relevant offers

Motorsport

Red Bull drop Daniil Kvyat to Toro Rosso, promote Max Verstappen Scott McLaughlin's drive safe despite Volvo pulling the pin on V8 Supercars Kennard's longevity rewarded Kiwi rally flyer Hayden Paddon moving towards WRC glory 'one step at a time' Brendon Hartley ready to get championship defence underway after crash Aussie Supercars ditches the 'V8' name, looks towards turbos and fours Engine failures and reprimands add to Lewis Hamilton's F1 woes The six most terrifying crashes from Talladega Nascar 2016 race in Alabama Rally champ John Kennard greeted at Marlborough homecoming The five ugliest racing cars

This year's Formula One title race looks wide open to Red Bull's triple world champion Sebastian Vettel.

Asked whether he still saw Britain's Lewis Hamilton as a contender now that the 2008 champion has moved from race winners McLaren to the Mercedes team that was far less competitive last year, the German nodded.

"Yes, of course. I think the way that least season started, with a lot of different teams and drivers winning the races, there's nothing that speaks against it happening again this year," he told reporters after his first drive of the new Red Bull RB9 today.

"The regulations haven't really changed. At some stage I think it will be getting even closer at the top and therefore everyone is in the hunt."

Last year started with seven different winners in the opening seven races and ended as a duel between Vettel and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso as the top teams got on top of the Pirelli tyres.

Pirelli have changed the compounds for this year with the aim of encouraging overtaking and introducing more stops.

Vettel cited the example of Williams, who won in Spain last year because they were fast rather than lucky, and suggested the same could happen again with less-fancied teams enjoying their moment in the spotlight.

"We have to wait and see. Even if after the last Barcelona test you have a certain favourite, it could be all different in Australia. It's a different track and a different temperature. It's going to be a long season," he said.

The season starts in Australia on March 17.

Vettel's view contrasted to that of Alonso, who told reporters this month that he expected the race wins to be divided between three teams with Ferrari having to make sure they were one of them.

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who is your favourite V8 Supercars driver?

Scott McLaughlin

Shane Van Gisbergen

Fabian Coulthard

Jamie Whincup

Mark Winterbottom

Craig Lowndes

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content

Blog