Red Bull Racing have confirmed that Sebastian Vettel will drive a new chassis for the next Formula One Grand Prix in Spain.
The four-time Formula One world champion has been criticised for his out of character pace since the start of the season having been outshone by his new team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.
Speaking about the new RB10, Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko told Germany's Auto Bild "Vettel will get it.
"It's already been decided," he said.
The Australian newcomer Ricciardo has been able to out-qualify his team-mate on three out of the four occasions this season and Helmut suggested that there was damage to Vettel's car adding,
"In Barcelona, Sebastian will have a new chassis, because sometimes even a small hairline crack can have large consequences."
He said it is not the first time that Sebastian has faced a situation of this kind.
“In 2012, Sebastian had problems compared with Mark Webber, but after a chassis change suddenly everything was much better and when he regained his confidence, he was almost unbeatable and won the title.”
So maybe there is hope after all for Vettel, who trails Lewis Hamilton in the driver standings by 46-points, after the first four races.
Despite the questioning of Vettel's capabilities when not given the best machinery on the grid, he still leads his teammate Ricciardo by nine-points in the championship.
But that is only after Daniel had his second-place finish from the season opener in Melbourne snatched away from him due to a fuel irregularity. On the track, Ricciardo has been getting the better of the youngest ever world champion who finds himself in the unfamiliar position of having to overtake rather than lead from the front.
The arrival of the European season could signal a kick-start in the campaign of the Milton Keynes-based outfit who have won the last four Constructors' Championships. But that run is under serious threat from the faultless Mercedes cars.
Vettel will hope that the new chassis will be a catalyst for some much-improved form with his best result this season coming in the Malaysian Grand Prix with a third-place finish.
No doubt if the chassis enhances the performance of Vettel beyond Ricciardo there could be some antagonism between the pair with regard to driver favouritism with the newcomer being promised equal opportunities this year.
We will see how it pans out as the season develops but it is fantastic to see Vettel not having it all his own way and having to cope with a new challenge and it will be a huge test of the German's character.
The Spanish Grand Prix will take place at the Circuit de Catalunya next weekend with Christian Horner's team second in the Constructors' title, 97-points adrift of Mercedes.
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