Five days after clinching the world championship in Abu Dhabi, Sebastian Vettel was back at the Yas Marina circuit for the Pirelli tyre test.
Red Bull had four sets of tyres available to them for the first day of this two-day test, and used this opportunity to gain as much information as possible about them, and to understand how they work with the car, ahead of the 2011 season.
Vettel finished the day with the second fastest lap, beaten only by the Ferrari of Felipe Massa.
“It was all about the tyres today, as this was the first chance we have had to try them out and work with them to develop the car's set-up for next year,” said the new world champion. “I think the tyres behaved well, better than expected given the short amount of time Pirelli have had and they've done a good job. Pirelli are obviously in the middle of their development and what we used today is not what we will race with, but it was a good start. The circuit was in good condition and we had blue skies all day.”
“It was great to be back in the car after an incredible week – I went to Salzburg on Monday morning for a TV show and press conference and then to the UK to say thanks to the team in Milton Keynes – that was quite emotional. It's nice for me and the team to be able to enjoy our success, but 2011 started today and I was focusing on the tyres and getting to know them – I think we have learned quite a lot.”
Vettel will be back in the car on Saturday for the second day of the test.