Vettel admits Melbourne will be a struggle

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Sebastian Vettel isn’t making excuses ahead of the Australian Grand Prix, as he expects Red Bull to struggle given the preseason testing woes.

“It became obvious at the first test that there was an issue as I spent more time in the pits than on the track,” Vettel explained, via a Q&A on the official Formula One website. “That is when you understand that you cannot turn a blind eye to the situation.”

There were some ruminations Vettel might be publicly unhappy with the situation, but with his resolve already being tested, the four-time defending World Champion has already taken on a mature stance.

“Just because we’ve done so exceptionally well in previous seasons it doesn’t mean that those seasons were a walk in the park,” he said. “Coming into this season we knew that there is no such thing as a guarantee on winning, so right now it is not that huge a shock for us as it might be for people on the outside.”

Finishing the race may be the ultimate goal, with anything more than that a bonus. Still, Vettel denied the opportunity to make any proclamations ahead of the weekend.

“We even don’t know the speed of the car,” he said. “In the tests we struggled with reliability so we have very little idea about the speed. This race will be about seeing where we are, so any expectation is difficult to say.”

BMW confirms IMSA, WEC GTE line-ups for 2018

BMW Motorsport
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BMW has confirmed its driver line-ups for the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship campaigns.

In an announcement made at its end-of-year Sports Trophy event on Friday night, BMW firmed up its roster across its factory WEC team and its customer RLL Racing IMSA squad.

Two of the 2018 BMW M8 GTEs will enter the WEC next year, joining a hotly-contested GTE-Pro class that already features Ferrari, Porsche, Aston Martin and Ford.

BMW factory drivers Antonio Felix da Costa, Nick Catsburg, Augusto Farfus and Martin Tomczyk will share the two cars across the 13-month ‘super season’.

The quartet will be joined by Tom Blomqvist, Alexander Sims and Philipp Eng for the 24 Hours of Le Mans

In IMSA, the RLL Racing team will once again field Sims and John Edwards, who will be joined by the incoming Connor De Phillippi and Jesse Krohn.

BMW also confirmed on Friday night that Tom Blomqvist would see out the Formula E season with its Andretti-affiliated team, having been benched for Kamui Kobayashi in Hong Kong.