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‘Hungry Heidi’ pleasing Sebastian Vettel

Mar 15, 2013, 6:30 PM EDT

Australian F1 Grand Prix - Practice Getty Images

Three-time world champion Sebastian Vettel has a tradition of naming his car ahead of each season, and 2013 is no different with the RB9 being christened “hungry Heidi.” Humorous names aside, the defending champion appears to be working well with his new car.

“Of course it is important to come here with the feeling that you have done everything possible to start the season in a good position.

“We have been working very hard in the factory between Barcelona and before flying out to Australia, so for ourselves the feeling is very positive. What that really means we will find out on Saturday.”

Vettel set the quickest time in both Friday practice sessions which surprised many following Red Bull’s disappointing pace in pre-season. The German driver was quick not to get too carried away with his success, although he was pleased with the result.

“The car is doing exactly the things that I like, but also that you should not read too much into the Friday times. Of course it is better to be at the top of the time sheet than somewhere in the midfield.”

With Red Bull, Ferrari, Lotus and Mercedes separated by less than one second in practice, qualifying could be incredibly tight, and Vettel also expects the field to get even closer on Saturday.

“I think we haven’t seen everything from the others on the soft tires so I expect it to be much closer tomorrow. I hope that we will be able to take the fantastic balance that the car has right now into the next two days.”

  1. apexassassin - Mar 15, 2013 at 8:54 PM

    Practice times are enarly meaningless, especially at the first round. We’ll see what FP3 brings (though not on NBCSports sadly) and hopefully we get a dry quali which will be much better gauges of performance.

    Still though, The Finger looks strongest.

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