May 23, 2013, 3:45 PM EDT
Red Bull Racing may be defending a winning streak at Monaco that stretches back to 2010, but their pace in the Thursday practice sessions has failed to suggest that a fourth consecutive win may be on the cards. However, both Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber have both downplayed the results, taking the positives out of the sessions.
Two-time Monaco winner Webber finished 7th and 5th in FP1 and FP2 respectively and the Australian believes that the results were quite good considering Red Bull’s practice record around the streets of Monte Carlo.
“I think traditionally we’re never too electric here on Thursday’s, so today was actually one of the better ones we’ve had in the last few years,” Webber said in a team statement. “You’ve got to be very, very focused here; concentration is very, very high. It’s a challenging venue to pull everything together; we want to obviously get short run performance as well as gaining short and long run data, which I think we’ve got.”
Similarly, 2011 winner Vettel was pleased with the results, especially given his KERS failure in FP2.
“I think generally it was okay,” Vettel said. “Unfortunately we lost quite a lot of time in the afternoon while we were making some changes, but that can happen on Friday, or in this case Thursday.
“We had a KERS issue this afternoon, so I didn’t use the system during P2. The guys know what the problem was with that.”
He did however admit that the team needed to improve for qualifying on Saturday.
“We’d like to be a little bit more competitive, so we need to try and find some more lap time.
Both drivers will be keen on extending their Monaco records, and a good qualifying performance will be crucial due to the lack of overtaking opportunities. Red Bull will want to maintain their advantages in both title races this weekend, and a win in Monaco would certainly answer any critics questioning the team’s pace.
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