sport

Vettel looking to turn screw

Sebastian Vettel is ready to hammer home his dominance in Formula One after spending the winter relaxing with some DIY.

After claiming his third consecutive world title last November, Vettel has since kept a low profile prior to today's unveiling of this season's Red Bull, the RB9, at a warehouse close to their Milton Keynes headquarters.

Unlike other drivers who have revealed what they have been up to via their Twitter accounts, nothing has been heard or seen of Vettel.

So after taking the wraps off the latest creation of design genius Adrian Newey, declaring it to be nothing more than "nice", the 25-year-old German revealed his preparations for the new campaign.

"I've been pretty quiet, not done much," said Vettel.

"I've been fortunate to stay at home, especially after what was a tough end to last season which drained the energy.

"So I was able to enjoy being at home, enjoy the things that were awaiting me there, some DIY, stuff you don't have time to do during the season.

"I enjoyed that, and I enjoyed sleeping in my own bed, making my own breakfast, rather than sleeping in a hotel and having the buffet.

"You always want what you don't have when you travel a lot."

Asked whether his version of DIY incorporated a paintbrush, hammer and nails, Vettel smiled and replied: "A little bit."

Given the stability in the regulations, Vettel will undoubtedly start as favourite to make it four championships in a row.

Asked as to his plans for world domination, Vettel could not resist a quick quip given he is a German in an Austrian-owned team which bases itself in England.

"World domination? I'm German, but I didn't say that...and I have no moustache," joked Vettel, who was clearly in good form.

When questions switched from English to German, Vettel raised his little finger in reference to Dr Evil from the Austin Powers movies and said: "Now we're making our secret plans!"

But with 26 victories, 36 pole positions and three world titles to his name, the question is, just how far can he go?

"I don't know," shrugged Vettel.

"It all starts again from zero. We've all got the same chances in what will be a tough year again with a lot of races.

"So I'm just looking ahead. I'm not looking back on past races because I am convinced it doesn't give you a head start or an advantage.

"Obviously, the expectations are still there, but more than that we expect ourselves to do well again, so there is a lot of pressure.

"Right now there is excitement to get back into the car, start testing, then go racing and find out where we are.

"It's one thing to do all the talking now, but as soon as you have the helmet on, you simply want to perform and do your best."

For team-mate Mark Webber, ahead of his seventh year with the team, Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko last month questioned the Australian's mental strength.

Marko suggested Webber cracks under pressure, only for the 36-year-old to counter by claiming the Austrian has his own agenda.

Webber has no doubts about his own ability as he said: "I do believe I can have a crack at the championship again this year, as I have done in previous seasons.

"That is my goal and what I think about each day when I get up, and I'm working hard with the team on doing that.

"They know I need 100 per cent support. You cannot win a world title with only 90, you need 100, and we're going into 2013 with this in place, and I'm comfortable with that."

From team principal Christian Horner's perspective, he has reiterated Webber again has as good a chance of being champion as Vettel.

"Helmut can be outspoken at times," said Horner.

" But if we weren't happy with Mark then we would never have signed him to be with the team for this year.

"We're very happy with Mark and we give both drivers equal opportunity. It's ultimately down to what they do on the circuit.

"For us, it doesn't matter which driver wins, as long as it is a driver in one of our cars.

"Both of these guys believe they are the best, and the team will do the very best it can to support them."