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Champ Vettel eyes repeat performance

other Updated: Feb 02, 2011 00:51 IST
AFP
Formula One champion

Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel believes he can repeat his record-breaking performance of last season - but Red Bull teammate Mark Webber may be the one who stands in his way.

Vettel became the sport's youngest champion at 23 when he triumphed in the last Grand Prix of the season, in Abu Dhabi in November, to take the title in dramatic fashion.

Australian Webber, 34, had led the Formula One standings for much of the season, finished eighth, and third overall. For 2011, the British-based, Austrian-funded Red Bull has retained the pair, who tested the new RB7 car at the Ricardo Tormo race track near Valencia on Tuesday along with several other teams.

"We are very lucky in that we have possibly the strongest line-up on the grid," team principal Christian Horner said Tuesday. He said last season -- in which Red Bull also took the constructors' title -- has brought the team "confidence but not arrogance.

"The team goes into this season very motivated and very committed... We achieved some remarkable things last year and that is our target again".

In addition to Mercedes and Red Bull, Williams and Toro Rosso also showed off their new vehicles Tuesday. That follows Ferrari's launch last Friday, and that of Lotus Renault, Team Lotus and Sauber on Monday.

The new season -- which begins in Bahrain on March 13 -- brings the various regulation changes, most notably the introduction of an adjustable rear wing, and the removal of devices such as F-ducts and double diffusers. This season will also see the return of KERS, a device that stores energy created by braking, which can be used to boost power at certain points.