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Vettel under pressure as Red Bull fail to impress in F1 testing

updated 12:34 PM EST, Tue March 5, 2013
Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel is the youngest triple world champion in Formula One history.
Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel is the youngest triple world champion in Formula One history.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Sebastian Vettel not satisfied with Red Bull's preseason testing
  • The German has not topped the time sheets at any of the testing events
  • The Red Bull driver is the youngest triple world champion in Formula One history
  • The 2013 Formula One season begins with the Australian Grand Prix on March 17

(CNN) -- Sebastian Vettel and his Red Bull team have left their Formula One rivals trailing in their wake during a three-year domination of the sport.

But ahead of the 2013 season getting underway in Australia later this month, it is the triple world champion and his all-conquering team which has some catching up to do after a preseason which has not gone entirely to plan.

Red Bull, and every other team, was left in Mercedes' rear-view mirrors at the final preseason test in Barcelona last weekend, with Vettel failing to top the charts at any of the offseason practice.

Vettel insists there is still time for Red Bull to turn it around ahead of 2013's curtain raiser on March 17, when he will begin his bid to become only the third driver to win four consecutive championships.

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"I would have loved to work more on the set-up, but I don't think that this is only me. I think everybody struggled in that area," the 25-year-old told Formula One's official website.

"We cannot be satisfied with the state of affairs right now ... there is still time before Melbourne to make some significant changes."

Vettel has been left frustrated by the tires introduced by the sport's official supplier Pirelli, which are softer than in 2012.

Pirelli claim the new tires will speed up races and promote overtaking.

Read: China's Ma lands Caterham spot

"It is extremely difficult to pinpoint any exact area we are not satisfied with because the tires are not consistent enough," continued Vettel.

"We need to have a good look at the data between now and Melbourne to have a better understanding of what to expect in Australia and the first few races of the season.

In my opinion, lap times didn't matter all through the winter tests."

Regardless of preseason statistics, Vettel will be the man every driver on the grid will be targeting when the lights go out at Melbourne's Albert Park.

"I would say that we never had a winter that was less conclusive than this one: the tires last more or less, depending on how much temperature you are able to create," added Vettel.

"So I think it is impossible for all of us to read the pace of the cars and to make out any favorites."

Vettel will now head back to the team's British base in Milton Keynes before taking some time out ahead of the start of the campaign.

Read: Victories Vettel into record books

"Immediately into the simulator!" said Vettel when asked what was next on his agenda. "To continue where we left business on Sunday.

"We will then sit down and filter and interpret all the data that we have collected over the testing period to see what we can read out of it.

"Finally, before heading to Melbourne I will allow myself some final quiet days before the season starts with all its force."

Vettel made a slow start to the 2012 as there were eight different winners in the first eight races, but a run of four straight victories in the autumn set him on the way to his title triple, while Red Bull retained the constructors' title.

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