Handling tyres is key to success, says Vettel

Handling tyres is key to success, says Vettel

Sebastian Vettel started his campaign to win four successive world titles with third place at Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix but the German thinks the season-opener race will prove to be an anomaly over the course of the year.

The 25-year-old showed the raw pace of his Red Bull had not gone away when he took his 37th pole position in a qualifying session delayed by heavy rain on Sunday morning but later was convincingly beaten in the race by Kimi Raikkonen's Lotus.

Comforted, perhaps, by the fact that it was not until the fourth round in Bahrain last year that he won his first race, Vettel said being outpaced by both Lotus and the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso was not what he expected at Sepang this week.

"What we have seen today was a first glimpse, but we are far from getting an idea of the pecking order," he told the sport's official website after the race on the Albert Park street track. "Malaysia is a completely different track and from what we have seen today, everything depends on how well people handle tyres.

"But we will see completely different conditions and will use different tyres so there are too many differences to here. We have seen over the past few years that what we have seen in Melbourne has hardly ever become a trend for the next couple of races."

Sunday's 58 laps were a riot of entertainment for the fans packed into the Melbourne park with seven leaders over the race, battles between top drivers at what seemed like every turn and a popular surprise winner in the Finnish "Iceman".

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