Vettel: Not much difference in tires

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Despite Pastor Maldonado yesterday claiming that there was a noticeable difference in the new Pirelli tires, defending world champion Sebastian Vettel claims that he has not felt much of a change.

Following the issues that occurred at the British Grand Prix last month, Pirelli have opted to re-introduce the tire constructions used last season in order to ensure the safety of the drivers. With the design being slightly different, many (like Maldonado) have had to get used to the tires once again, but Vettel believes that the difference is negligible.

“Obviously, we were very limited on what we could do, but for me there is not that much difference with the tires,” Vettel said in a statement from Red Bull following today’s sessions. “It was good to get in some laps though, good to get a feeling for them and it’s always nice to drive at Silverstone.”

Looking ahead to the next race in Hungary, Vettel is keen on winning for the first time in Budapest.

“Hungary has some interesting memories for me. It was my first F1 race with the Red Bull family; let’s hope I can add to my memories by winning there for the first time before I go on holiday.”

If Vettel were to win at the Hungaroring, he would have won every race on the calendar besides the United States Grand Prix.

‘Still quite early’ for Ricciardo to think about Red Bull F1 future

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Daniel Ricciardo feels it is “still quite early” to make a decision about his Red Bull Formula 1 future despite seeing teammate Max Verstappen announce on Friday he would be staying with the team until 2020.

Verstappen, 20, put pen to paper on an enhanced F1 contract with Red Bull, with his previous deal due to expire at the end of next season in parallel to Ricciardo’s own agreement.

Ricciardo was asked following practice on Friday why he is yet to strike a new deal for himself with Red Bull, and explained he is in no rush to make a final decision when he has over a year to run on his current contract.

“It’s not that I’ve said no to anything. It’s just still quite early I think,” Ricciardo explained.

“People talked a little bit about contracts and the silly season for next year, but I thought that would still happen next year. It’s still quite early.

“If I’m to try and extract some positives out of his news it’s that it gives us good confidence for next year. He and his management see a lot of positives in the team to continue like that.

“I’m 100 per cent here next year, I can at least say that, and I think it gives both of us confidence that we’ll keep progressing the way we are.”

Red Bull said upon announcing Verstappen’s new deal that it wants to “build a team around him”, with the 20-year-old standing out as a once-in-a-generation talent.

The focus surrounding Verstappen has not left Ricciardo feeling as though he is in the shade or in any way playing second-fiddle to the Dutchman, stressing he has no internal concerns at Red Bull.

“For sure, as far as media goes, he certainly gets a lot of attention. He’s broken records for his age and things like that, so rightly so,” Ricciardo said.

“Take the media out of it, as far as inside the team, new parts on the car, things like this, there’s always been parity and equality.”

Verstappen is only the third driver to commit to a deal beyond the end of next season, following Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari and Fernando Alonso at McLaren on multi-year contracts.

All 10 F1 teams have at least one free seat for 2019, making Ricciardo a possible candidate for seats with either Mercedes or Ferrari were he to consider a move away from Red Bull.

Speaking to British broadcaster Sky Sports, Red Bull F1 advisor Helmut Marko said he felt Ricciardo was “putting himself on the market” by waiting to make a decision on his future, but that talks would take place when possible.