Sebastian Vettel has completed his running in the second week of testing at Jerez, with Red Bull teammate Mark Webber taking over for Friday and Saturday. The German was quickest on the opening day and third fastest today, covering 169 laps in mostly wet or changeable conditions.
At the end of Thursday's running, he spoke to AUTOSPORT about his thoughts on the RB6 and the problems caused by the weather this week.
Q. The weather has not been your best friend in the last two weeks, but were you pleased with the long runs today?
Sebastian Vettel: You always depend on the conditions. It was dry and wet, damp and in between, nothing really. Some people did more laps, some less. It was always too dry for inters or wets, and when it was raining hard it was too wet to even go out at some stage. That's a shame because you lose a lot of time and you can't really test things that you would like to. So you end up doing all the little things, which is good but nobody has fulfilled their program.
So let's hope for better weather in the next two days, Mark is taking over. I think the feeling [of the car] is all right but it's impossible to really judge. On top of the difficulty with the fuel, we've got the weather. The main thing is just that your car is reliable and we didn't really have any troubles so that is positive. Let's see next week.
Q. Yesterday you managed some impressive long runs. How did the car feel as the fuel came down and the tires went off?
SV: We had more dry running last week really. Yesterday the chicane was always wet so it wasn't 100 percent dry. On top of that the wind was changing a lot so it couldn't be that consistent. Never the less I think we did a couple of good runs.
It's hard to know where the others were at that time with the fuel, but we know where we were. Already last week we found out that the car is in quite good balance with low and high fuel. If anything I think we confirmed the results from last week, when we had similar conditions as well. It's really difficult because you can't really test the things you would like to.
Like everyone, next week we expect one or two new parts to improve the car a bit in Barcelona. How much, we will see. I think it's always the same, you try to improve, aerodynamic parts, some mechanical. I think it's the same at the beginning of the year.
Q. Even though you haven't had the running you wanted, are you confident you can start the season as well as you finished last season?
SV: We need a little bit of dry running to really get into the rhythm, but this weather is also good to practice yourself. The car is very reactive and you need to react quickly because it's very slippery out there. So I think it's good practice after a long break to get the reactions up to speed.
Q. How much did the wind affect performance?
SV: Quite a bit. It was very strong, you felt it quite a lot also when the wind was turning – sometimes you had headwind and quite good grip and sometimes it was the other way around and the car didn't want to stop. It was quite tricky and sometimes it throws your car off line. It's a good practice but it's not good to test things.