The German driver retired on the fourth lap of the Australian Grand Prix after suffering a problem with his Renault power-unit.
Despite Red Bull Racing coming away from the race without any points – following team-mate Daniel Ricciardo’s exclusion from second place – he is pleased with the position that the team is currently in as the sport heads to Malaysia for the second round of the championship.
Ricciardo qualified in second place and showed strong race pace at the Albert Park Circuit. It was quite a turnaround after the Milton Keynes-based outfit’s struggles during winter testing in Spain and Bahrain, where they managed to complete just 319 laps overall.
“We still have a lot of work to do with the car but it was encouraging to see that our pace was better than expected in Australia – hopefully we can build on that and start collecting some strong points in the next two races,” he said.
The Sepang International Circuit is a challenging layout and the weather always plays a major part in the race weekend. “Looking to the track, the two overtaking possibilities are the first corner and before the last corner, which in both cases is after a long straight; my favourite corners are five and six,” said the four-time world champion.
“Beside the challenge of the circuit, you have to cope with the tropical heat. We can be driving in humidity of up to 90%, while big thunderstorms in the afternoon are not uncommon.”
Last year’s race was a controversial one for Vettel after he ignored orders from Red Bull Racing and passed his team-mate Mark Webber to take the victory. He has won the event on two other occasions, in 2010 and 2011.
Image courtesy of Red Bull/Getty Images