(Eric Vargiolu - DPPI for Renault Sport F1)
Sebastian Vettel's failure to match team mate Daniel Ricciardo's race performances in the last two Grand Prix outings is down to the reigning world champions struggle to get on top of the set-up of the new RB10 according to his Red Bull Racing team.
The four time world champions have endured a difficult start to the 2014 season and have so far secured just one podium and that came at the hands of Sebastian Vettel in Malaysia where he finished in third place behind the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. The German is now in 5th place in the Driver's champion on 33 point's, 46 behind leader Nico Rosberg.
While Vettel has struggled, his team mate Daniel Ricciardo has been like a duck taking to water and has settled into his new role at the Milton Keynes based team instantly. Despite the hiccup at the season opening race in Australia and his retirement from the Malaysian Grand Prix the Australian has managed to get back up to speed quickly and has finished the last two Grand Prix in 4th place bringing his point's tally for the season so far to 24 point's, just eleven behind Vettel.
The duo are so far 2 all in qualifying while Ricciardo has out performed Vettel. To his credit Sebastian has said that Ricciardo has just been faster then him.
It is the first time that Vettel has been older then a Formula One team mate despite being just 27, Ricciardo is 25.
Team boss Christian Horner had this to say when asked about Vettel's performances:
The compound effect of that is that he is damaging the tyre more, which is very unusual for Seb.'
Horner was also asked about new signing Daniel Ricciardo and how he is performing this season:
'It is a massive performance from Daniel, he has been hugely impressive all weekend.
"He has really been outstanding this season in all four Grand Prix this year. He has done a tremendous job.'
The Formula One community returns to Europe in just over two week's time for the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona, the opening race of the European leg of the season. Red Bull will bring a number of big upgrades to the RB10 to that race, however so will the other team's. Vettel will be hoping that the new developments being brought to the car will give him what he needs to compete with Mercedes for race wins.
©Ben Johnston 2014