Date: 6th March 2011 at 10:03am
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Sebastian Vettel may well be Formula One’s youngest-ever world champion at the age of 23, but the Red Bull driver doesn’t feel winning the crown last season will be an advantage in 2011.

?I don?t have an advantage by having the number one on the car. It?s a nice feeling. Last year was a great success and a big relief for me. So hopefully it will make me a bit stronger but nevertheless it will be a long, hard and tough season.? Vettel told redbullracing.com.

Red Bull’s 2011 car is in the hands of Vettel and Webber once again this season and the German and Australian could well be battling for the title once again this season.

Winter testing also suggests that Ferrari could also be strong once the season starts in Australia, however Vettel isn’t confident that winter testing performances can be used to predict how the season will pan out.

?We seem to have a good car but it?s still early – far too early to tell, So we have to wait and see. There have been a lot of changes, which involved a lot of work over the winter as we tried to get the whole package ready for the start of the season. It?s very busy now and we?re all trying to do our best to get the best possible packaging together.?

One of the major changes to new season is the switch from Bridgestone to Pirelli tyres, especially with F1’s tyre manufacturer being specifically tasked to design tyre’s that do not last as long as the 2010 Bridgestone’s.

?The tyres are very different to what they were last year, But then again it?s the same for everybody. I think that we will see that racing will change. I think one stop is impossible at this stage, also maybe two stops. So I think it will be at least three or four stop races. I think it will make it all very interesting.?

If Vettel is correct and we begin to see three or four pit stops in a race then Pirelli will have certainly achieved the objective they were set.

Tyre strategy will be a major part of how the 2011 season works out, some drivers will take one strategy to look after their tyres and complete less stops, while others will race flat out to try and get an advantage from taking as much from the tyres as possible before changing tyres and racing flat out again.

Driver styles and how the cars are designed will be a major factor regarding who gets the tyres to work best. It should be a very interesting variable once the F1 circus kicks off down under.