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Motorsport | Formula 1

Sebastian Vettel © Gallo Images

‘Red Bull have catching up to do’

Sebastian Vettel says Red Bull can be satisfied with their start to the Formula One season but need to do more if they want to defend their driver and constructor titles.

Vettel's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix has put him top of the standings, while the team also leads the constructors' championship.

But speaking at testing in Mugello, Italy, the 24-year-old world champion said the team had some catching up to do and was working hard on improving performance after the first four races had seen four different winners.

"It's always good to win races. That's our aim," he said. "But we still have a lot (of ground) to make up which is why we wanted to put in a lot of kilometres in these tests and to examine things we have already tried out."

Red Bull won 12 out of 19 races in 2011 as Vettel dominated the season for his second successive world title, but that supremacy appears to have slipped away.

"Dominance is never easy. We have had had four races and one victory," Vettel said.

"We were competitive in the other races but certainly not strong enough to win. Nevertheless it wasn't a disaster.

"We are satisfied with the state of things but we want more. We are working hard on new parts which will improve the car's performance."

Eleven of the 12 Formula One teams are in Mugello, with the three days of testing concluding on Thursday. Formula One moves to Barcelona for the Spanish Grand Prix on May 13.

The circuit is "perhaps not ideal" for testing because of its many fast turns, unlike most Grand Prix circuits, Vettel said.

"It makes it difficult to say whether it's going in the right direction. We have tested a lot but more important is then the evaluation and what happens in the week leading up to Barcelona," he said.

Some of Vettel's rivals, including McLaren duo Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, and Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen are not taking part in the sessions on the track in the Tuscany region.

"Whether as a driver you have to take part is something you can discuss," Vettel said.

"Time on the track is always valuable. This circuit is fantastic, one you hope to drive on when you sit in a Formula One car. Unfortunately we don't have a circuit like this in the calendar."


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