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Vettel enjoying ‘favorite’ tag

Mar 2, 2013, 9:18 AM EDT

F1 Testing in Barcelona - Day Two Getty Images

Defending Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel has revealed he is enjoying the attention that both he and Red Bull are receiving.

Having won three consecutive world championships, Vettel and Red Bull are regarded by many as having a strong chance of making it four-in-a-row in 2013. However, despite admitting to the official Formula One website that he enjoyed the ‘favorite’ tag, he was quick to tell his rivals to wait until Melbourne before coming to a conclusion about his pace.

“Ah, I thank everybody for their high opinions. Let’s hope they are right!

“To be honest I had very little time to look at how others are doing, so I am impressed by how much we’ve been under scrutiny from others. I think Melbourne will show the trend, but I doubt that we will be able to establish any real pecking order based on one or two races.”

Vettel did not gauge Red Bull’s progress compared to that of their rivals, believing that this would not be clear for a while, but he does believe that the midfield has cut the gap to the front runners.

“Last year we also had to learn that it takes much longer these days to know who is hot and who is not.

“I also believe is that the midfield is closing the gap even further to the top. What does that mean? That the usual suspects will have to work harder – and for the fans that we will again see an exciting season!”

Vettel will drive his RB9 for the final time before the Australian Grand Prix tomorrow. The German driver has a reputation for naming his cars, with previous incarnations christened “Luscious Liz”, “Kinky Kylie”, “Kate” and “Kate’s dirty sister”. He did concede that he is yet to name the RB9.

“No, we will sit down in the week before Melbourne to discuss how ‘she’ should be called.”

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