Sebastian Vettel is pleased to be back in Europe ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix later this month as he looks to repeat his 2011 triumph at the Circuit de Catalunya. The Red Bull driver held off a stern challenge from McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton to win the race two years ago en route to his second drivers’ championship title.
But the most distressing sign is McLaren’s unexpected lack of pace and competitiveness. According to team principal Martin Witmarsh:
The pace of life in Formula 1 never relents, and it’s incredible to think that our return to Europe will see a quarter of the 2013 championship gone. Last year’s Spanish Grand Prix saw an unexpected but worthy winner in Pastor Maldonado. While it would be difficult to see another left-field runner emerging as a contender for victory, the formbook is still hard to read. We are pushing ahead to develop the car and will be hoping for a productive weekend.